International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO)

IChO has been conducted since 1968, and is a competition for students at the secondary and higher secondary school levels. The IChO boosts the level of chemistry education in the participating countries. It helps develop friendly relations between the young people from different countries.

India started participating in this event from the year 1999 at the 31st IChO held at Bangkok, Thailand. India hosted the 33rd International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO) in its third year of participation in 2001 with whole-hearted support of all countries.

The Chemistry Olympiad program follows the following 5 stages:

1. Stage I : National Standard Examination in Chemistry (NSEC)
2. Stage II : Indian National Chemistry Olympiad (INChO)
3. Stage III : Orientation cum Selection Camp (OCSC) in Chemistry
4. Stage IV : Pre-departure Training Camp (PDT) for IChO
5. Stage V : Participation in International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO)

NSEC is the first stage of selection of students in the chemistry Olympiad Programme which is organised by the Indian Association of Physics Teachers (IAPT). Every student aspiring to go through successive stages of the programme must enroll for NSEC. NSEC is held at a large number of centres in the country.

Eligibility : All Indian students who are born on or after July 1, 2000 and, in addition, are in Class XII or lower as of November 30, 2019, are eligible to appear for NSEC 2019. A student may appear for more than one subject provided the examination schedule allows it. See information about the examination schedule under various subjects. Students who have passed Class XII are not eligible to enroll for NSEC. It is the student's responsibility to ensure that the eligibility criteria are satisfied. In case at any stage of the programme it is found that the student does not satisfy the eligibility criteria, he/she may be disqualified from the programme.

Question Paper Pattern :

80 multiple choice questions with negative marking.
Total Marks: 240

Language : Question paper will be in English & Hindi (option during registration)

Syllabus : The syllabus for NSEC is broadly equivalent to the senior secondary level (Class XI and Class XII) of CBSE Chemistry. This is only a rough guideline, and there is no detailed syllabus given for NSEC

Day & Date : 24th November 2019 (Sunday)

Time of Exam : 11.00 am to 1.00 pm

Venue : Respective NSE Centre

Click Here for Online Registration :

Date & Time of Examination : 01 Feb 2020 (13:30 – 16:30)

Eligibility : Students selected from Stage I examination (NSEC) are eligible to appear for INChO. In addition, those students, who have been exempted from NSEC as described in the Enrollment page, are also eligible to appear for INChO. Besides these two, there is no other way by which a student becomes eligible to appear for INChO.

Syllabus : The syllabus for INChO is broadly similar to NSEC.
On the basis of performance in INChO, the top 35 students in the merit list will be selected for Stage III: Orientation Cum Selection Camp (OCSC) in Chemistry. In the event, there is a tie at the last position, all students with the same marks at this last position will qualify for OCSC.There will be no other criterion or provision for selection to OCSC.

OCSC in chemistry will be organized by HBCSE for 2-3 weeks. The precise dates will be announced prior to or along with the announcement of the selection list for the OCSC.

Eligibility for OCSC :
Only the students selected from the merit list of Stage II (INChO) are eligible. There will be no other criteria or provision.
The camps include several theoretical and experimental tests. Orientation is provided to students especially in experiments. The camps conclude with a valedictory function where distinguished scientists are invited to speak to the students.
The merit list of OCSC is prepared on the basis of the combined theoretical and experimental score aggregated over all the tests in the camp, with 60% weightage for theory and 40% weightage for experiment. Performance in previous stages (NSEC and INChO) will not be a consideration for the merit list and awards of the OCSC.
The top 4 in the OCSC chemistry merit list are declared to be special merit awardees. These special merit awardees are given Rs. 5,000/- each in the form of books and cash. In addition there are special prizes to recognize meritorious performance in theory and experiments.
The 4 special merit awardees in chemistry selected at the end of the OCSC constitute the 4 member student team for the International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO), provided they satisfy required criteria such as age limit, holding valid Indian passport, medical fitness, parental consent, etc.

The selected 5 member Indian team undergoes a rigorous training programme at HBCSE in theory and experiments. Special laboratories have been developed at HBCSE for the purpose of experimental training. Resource persons from HBCSE and different institutions across the country train the students.

The Olympiad programme culminates with the participation of the Indian students (4-6 in each subject) in the International Olympiads. The students are accompanied by 2-4 teachers or mentors. Almost every Indian student who has participated in the Science and Astronomy Olympiads has returned with a medal.

For First Stage of Olympiad Selection Procedure (National Standard Examinations) in Chemistry :

Prof. M. L. Oglapurkar
Chief Coordinator (IAPT Examinations)
IAPT Office, Sheela Vihar Colony,
7, Heramb Coop HSG Society,
Near Kimaya Hotel, Karve Road,
Kothrud, Pune 411 038
Tel: 0202542 0163; 0202025 2754(O)

For Second and Higher Stages of Olympiad Programmes in Chemistry :

Prof. Jayashree Ramadas
Chair National Steering Committee
Science and Astronomy Olympiads,
Centre Director
Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education
V. N. Purav Marg, Mankhurd. Mumbai - 400 088.
Tel: 022 - 2555 5242, 2507 2205
Fax: 022 - 2558 5660, 2556 6803
Email: director [at]

Prof. Vijay Singh
National Co-ordinator
Science Olympiads
Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education (TIFR)
V.N. Purav Marg, Mankhurd
Mumbai - 400 088.
Tel : 022-2548 2104; 2507 2322
Fax : 022-2556 6635 or 2556 6803
Email: nc_olympiad [at]