Six students from the state are among the 31 students who have been selected from the Indian National Mathematics Olympiad, to be trained for the International Mathematical Olympiad this year. The list was announced last week.
These students will be trained at a month-long residential camp at the Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education in Mankhurd, before six are chosen finally to represent India at the International Mathematical Olympiad in July.
The government has designated 2012 as the year of mathematics in honour of Srinivasan Ramanujan’s 125th birth anniversary.
However, the performance of students from the state has been falling in the past few years, said officials. Every year, between 30 and 35 students are selected from across the country for the summer camp.
In 2006, 14 of the 35 selected for the final training camp were from Maharashtra. In 2009 and 2010, nine of the students selected were from the state, while in 2011 there were 10. This year the figure has further fallen to six students. Officials say there has been a steady decline compared to say 10 years ago, when half the number of students selected would have been from the state.
“States like Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu have gone down,” said SS Sane, national coordinator for the Mathematics Olympiad. “This is possibly because of greater demand for professional courses in these states, and not because of lack of talent.”
He pointed out that increasingly there were students being selected from the North and the East.
In this year’s list of 31 students 10 are from West Bengal. The test was held on February 5. Students first appeared for the regional mathematics Olympiad from which they were selected for the national level test and then for the final camp. These are students from Classes 11 and 12.