Indian students securing big win at International Astronomy Olympiad

This is a moment of pride not only for NCSM but for entire India as all three Indian students won a medal in IAO.

Led by two senior officials of National Council of Science Museums (NCSM), a team of Indian students bagged two silver and one bronze medals at the 421st International Astronomy Olympiad (IAO) held at Bulgaria from October 5-13 in Pamporovo mountain resort, southern district of Smolyan.

At the Olympiad, India finished among the top four out of the 16 participating nations, with each representative bagging medal.

Indian students securing big win at International Astronomy OlympiadThe Silver medal winning students were M S Wajid from Hyderabad and Prashant Gokhale from Mumbai, while Harshit Khandelwal from Indore secured the bronze medal. The three students: Mulinti Shaik Wajid is from Sri Chaitanya IPL Olympiad School, Hyderabad, Harshit Khandelwal is from Bhavan’s Prominent International School, Indore, and Prashant Abhijit Gokhale is from R.N. Podar School, Mumbai.

Last year, Indian students had won three silver medals at the International Astronomy Olympiad held at Kazan (Russia).

The Olympiad is organized by the Euro-Asian Academic Society and the Euro-Asian Association of Teachers of Astronomy with the European Association for Astronomy Education. About 120 school children from 20 countries in Europe and Asia took part in the event.

The competition comprises of 3 rounds – theoretical, observational, and a practical.

  • First Round: The classical problems in branches of astronomy, astrophysics, space and planetary physics are included in the theoretical round.
  • Second Round: Recognizing stars, constellations, estimating star magnitude and angular distance, working with telescopes or other observational techniques are the main subject in the observational round.
  • Last Round: The practical round consists of problems based on data results of observation.

About International Astronomy Olympiad (IAO)

The International Astronomy Olympiad (IAO) is one of the International Science Olympiads – a group of worldwide annual competitions in different areas of science. The IAO was founded in 1996 by the Eurasian Astronomical Society. It is an internationally recognized annual astronomy scientific-educating event for high school students, which includes an intellectual competition between them. The main aim of the event is to develop the imagination, creativity and independent thinking of the students. It stimulates the spirit of friendship and tolerance between students, teachers and scientists from different countries.

The age of the participants in IAO is between 14 and 18. They are selected during National Olympiads and Camps of the participating states. Traditionally, there are teams from all over the world in the competition.


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