Thursday, January 29, 2009

SAIL Quiz North Zone: Cheating steals the show..!!

Quizmasters: SPS Jaggi & Jacob Kurien
Location: India Habitat Center
Sail quiz north zone prelims began pretty well. Arrangements were good, participation was even better. After a long time, it was a quiz where corporate teams were practically competing among themselves, not with the students & vice versa.
Some student and corporate teams formed cartels in order to maximize their chances of qualifying for the finals. Teams were openly discussing the answers during prelims. Quizzers indulging in such a glorified behavior included regulars on the NCR circuit. I myself reprimanded them once but was told to mind my own business. I brought the same to the notice of the organizers in the middle of the prelims but the reply I got said it all:

“Sorry, we are not concerned”.

As soon as the prelims got over and the answer sheets were being collected, I spoke to both the quizmasters about the cheating being done; I got a very responsible answer from even more responsible quizmasters:

“It’s a tough quiz; even if four teams do it together they won’t qualify”

Even a 2 yr old knows that four quizzing souls are any day better than two quizzing souls and when these souls are regulars on the circuit, they are a threat to other quizzers participating irrespective of the difficulty level of the quiz. If the quiz was a tough one, it was tough for everyone and in no way gives one the license to cheat.
When prelim results were announced, we miraculously qualified for the finals along with the cheating student and corporate teams. Because the cheating teams qualified, a lot many deserving teams (NTPC, IIM-A etc.) failed to qualify. The only question is “Did the teams which qualified (some even won eventually) deserved to be on the stage”?

Sail throughout the quiz prided itself on the fact that the quiz was conducted by its own internal band of quizmasters unlike NTPC electron etc; but the same fact made the quizmasters ignorant of the cheating being done in the hall and tarnished Sail’s image rather than add to it. Some quizzers are materialistic and given a chance will always cheat to win but isn’t it the responsibility of the quizmaster to act responsibly especially after the act was brought to their notice by other teams. Isn’t protecting the integrity of a quiz the most important job of a quizmaster?
Eventually a quiz is only as fair as the quizmaster. Unfortunately, quizmasters Jaggi & Jacob failed to act even after repeatedly being reminded of the cheating happening in the hall. I spoke to other teams in the hall and all agreed on the same but were incapable of doing anything.
Finally the questions were really good, quizmasters witty and if the cheating part taken out, it would have been a great quiz overall. After the zonal round was over, I made a quick exit.
The North zone and Sail employees quiz questions will be posted in two days time.