International Physics Olympiad (IPhO)

IPhO is an annual event, which is held in the month of June - July every year. The country of the venue of IPhO varies from year to year. This activity has been conducted regularly for the past 37 years. However, India began to participate in the IPhO only in 1998.

The IPhO is a keenly contested examination in physics open to pre-university students of all countries in the world. It serves as a bench-mark for study of physics at pre-university level. It also fosters friendly relations amongst students of different countries.

It is believed that India's participation in the IPhO boosts the level of science education in the country.The physics olympiad programme in India aim to promote excellence in physics at the pre-university stage and to select and train participants for the IPhO.

The physics Olympiad program follows the following 5 stages:

1. Stage I : National Standard Examination in Physics (NSEP)
2. Stage II : Indian National Physics Olympiad (INPhO)
3. Stage III : Orientation cum Selection Camp (OCSC) in physics
4. Stage IV : Pre-departure Training Camp (PDT) for IPhO
5. Stage V : Participation in International Physics Olympiad (IPhO)

NSEP is the first stage of selection of students in the physics 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 NSEP. NSEP 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 NSEP 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 NSEP. 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 :

(i) 3-mark questions, each with only one of four options correct.
(ii) 6-mark questions, each with one or more than one option correct.

To get credit, all the correct option (s) and no incorrect option (s) should be marked.
Total Marks: 240

Language : English. (However, NSEP question papers may be available in Hindi, and some other regional languages provided there are more than 300 students for that language. Please check with IAPT.)

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

Day & Date : 24th November 2019 (Sunday)

Time of Exam : 08.30 am to 10.30 am

Venue : Respective NSE Centre

Click Here for Online Registration :

Date & Time of Examination : 02 Feb 2020 (9:00 – 12:00)

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

Syllabus : The syllabus for INPhO is broadly similar to NSEP.
On the basis of performance in INPhO, the top 35 students in the merit list will be selected for Stage III: Orientation Cum Selection Camp (OCSC) in physics. 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.

Only the students selected from the merit list of Stage II (INPhO) are eligible. There will be no other criterion or provision.

Eligibility for OCSC :
Only the students selected from the merit list of Stage II (INPhO) are eligible. There will be no other criterion 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 (NSEP and INPhO) will not be a consideration for the merit list and awards of the OCSC.
The top 5 students in the OCSC physics 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 5 special merit awardees in physics selected at the end of the OCSC constitute the 5 member student team for the International Physics Olympiad (IPhO), 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 physics :

Prof. M. L. Oglapurkar
IAPT Office, I.I.E. Campus,
128/2, J. P. Naik Marg, Kothrud,
Pune - 411 038.

For Second and Higher Stages of Olympiad Programmes in Physics :

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]