Sunday, August 27, 2006

Telecom Grandmasters 2006, SITM

Harsh Ketkar & Arnab Pal attended the Telecom Grandmasters Quiz organised by Symbiosis Institute of Telecom Management. Here is Harsh's report:

Disclaimer: Any resemblance to a cinema awards function is purely coincidental and unintentional.

First, the official description:

"Telecom GrandMasters 2005 had touched new horizons; Telecom GrandMasters 2006 would be a leap across the horizon. We, at SITM, set the pace for others, we believe in transforming dreams into reality. We have done it time and again and this time by going online for the preliminary round of the event for the second consecutive year. The Final Event in 2005 was graced by presence of Ms. Diana Hayden and Mr. Abhay Deol.

TGM 2005 itself was a "grand success", with the team from VIT, Pune bagging the first prize. The celebrities who graced the occasion included Diana Hayden and Abhay Deol."

Now, the real one:

Over 750 corporate as well as student teams across 22 cities in India participated in the quiz. The first celebrity guest was Shreyas Talpade and he kicked off the award ceremony, uh, quiz. (oops… sorry it is a quiz). The quizmaster had forgotten his name and kept on referring to him as Iqbal. After a small Q&A session with Iqbal, in which he tried to market his latest venture, he left, apologizing that he had a function to attend. That kept his presence short, and more importantly, sweet.

The next one to come was Sharad Kapoor.

QM: How was it like working with Mallika Sherawat in Murder?
Sharad Kapoor: Umm... It could have been called "Lust" or "Trust".


QM(on the stage): How was it like working with Mallika Sherawat in Murder?
Sharad Kapoor: Don't you watch movies?
QM: I do.
Sharad Kapoor: Then go and watch "Murder". I am not in it.
QM: Umm... That's why I asked you about it. Well, how did you find Pune's roads?
(Participants on stage smiling to each other)
Sharad Kapoor: Quite good. They are better than Bombay roads.
A loud gasp from the audience follows. (The poor guy has probably not travelled much in Pune to know the current state of roads.)

Then the QM suddenly realized that he is conducting a quiz and asked Mr. Kapoor to throw a few questions at the audience. Every correct answer received by Mr. Kapoor was greeted by a comment "Mind-blowing… Baap re baap."

After 4-5 rounds, it was the turn of Ashmit Patel (Aha! The questions got mixed up! That explains the "Murder" part), Aaditya Dutt (famous for directing "Aashiq Banaya Aapne"), and Geeta Basra, a Bollywood debutante. Together they promoted their new film "Dil Diya Hai". They said it was going to be a "different" film. And then the usual informal chat followed.

Here it goes...

QM: Nowadays we get to hear lots of new names like Ashmit Patel, Geeta Basra, etc... all non Kapoor khandaan names. How was it for you to make it big inspite of not being from a star family?
Ashmit: Well, It wasn't easy. But I feel that it is easier for women to make make it big in Bollywood.
Geeta Basra (with an imbecile smile): What are you saying, Ashmit? We have to work equally hard!
QM, audience and others: HAHAHAAHAAA!!

This went on for around 10-15 minutes. The participants (us included) used the opportunity to visit the toilet. The finalists on the stage just sitting and grimacing wondering how much longer will they have to tolerate this nonsense.

Oh yes, we forgot to mention about the quiz altogether. Here are a few of the "too tough, crackers, and blasters (according to the QM)" questions.

1.Where will be the FIFA world cup be held in 2010? (The team, to which this was posed couldn't answer it!)
2.What is the name of the social networking website started by a Google employee, and named after him?
3.What is the next version of Windows, previously called Longhorn, called?
4.What is the torro scale used to measure? (We answered "Hurricane", but no, it was wrong. The QM wanted "Tornado".)
5.In which year were the departments of Post and telecommunication separated?
6.How many bones does the human arm have? 29,30 or 33?

What were these questions doing in the mains?

The rounds were strictly okay for a national level quiz. There was a round of infinite rebound (bounce), the usual buzzer round, two "choice of subject" rounds, including a rapid fire round and a three question round; and a normal passing round with no IR. But the questions were absolutely bad. We don't blame the QM. He tried his best. There were instances when we answered the questions and the audience did not applaud. The poor folks are not to blame. The questions, which were outright sitters (“sitters” is a very charitable description, mind you, they were worse) were to blame. They should keep the students away from setting the questions and allow only pure quizzers to set the questions. If not, then they should outsource it. And the QM and the quiz setter should be the same person. Even inter-collegiate quizzes in Pune and the ones held informally at BCQC are better by a factor of ten.

The QM was irritatingly stubborn at times. There was a connect round, and the answer was "Windows 95" The team answered it like this: "Windows 98, uh 95". The QM refused to award the points to them. Now this is childish. If they have got the funda, why not just give it to them? But the QM thought otherwise.

Quizzes conducted by B-Schools usually are very well managed but this time round the overall organization of the quiz was found wanting. Also the quiz stretched on for almost 3.5 hours, which is too long, thanks mostly to our celebrity guests. We also think that the organizers should stop inviting celebrities to the quiz. They seem hopelessly out of place. Finally, they should cut down on the protocol and formalities; they are simply not required. As quizzers we just want a good quiz, and nothing else.

So will we participate next year? Very unlikely.

1.Jayakanthan R & Venkatesh N.A.
TCS, Chennai (125 points + tie breaker).
2.Sumeet Kaul & Chandan Mohanty
Infosys, Pune (125 points).
3.Harshvardhan Ketkar & Arnab Pal
College: VIT, Pune (120 points).

:: Harsh

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Malhar '06 Quizzes

A personal report a.k.a why we sometimes need to think about a Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Quizzing And Quizzers.

Friday, August 04, 2006

The Techie Kaun Quizzes at SCIT


Day One:

Technology Quiz


Date: 1st Aug

Venue: SCIT Audi, Hingewadi.


QM: Suhel Banerjee, Google.



1st : Rohit Jain + 1 (SIBM) 100 Points

2nd: Siddharth Dani and Rashmi Vadanagare (VIT) 95 Points

3rd: Abhishek Nagaraj and Sudeep Pradhan (COEP) 93 Points



Technology was a bit of a misnomer. Mostly involved tech-business along with tinges of including movies and politics. QM was innovative and passed the litmus test called Siddharth Dani, who otherwise was in plein forme as far as expletives for people is considered. The best thing was the sense of BC informality to what was quite a big quiz. QM must be commended for saying stuff like "you might want to kill me after this", and then proceeded to give a quite arbit connection involving half-sisters and full monsters. nnovative rounds included using Google Trends (search volumes for specific keywords vs time) and mostly included us guessing why there was a spike in searches for a particular keyword at a certain time.


Main complaint has to be scoring system. Very very unfair, although included doubling something which I personally don't mind. However long connects has 30 - 15 D&P scoring, that never gave us a chance, and Siddharth + Rashmi were done in by negatives when they doubled. In conclusion, great quiz and enjoyed myself if only for the questions. But sir, next time please to have seamless IR.



Day Two:

Bizzy B - Business Quiz


Date: 2st Aug

Venue: SCIT Audi, Hinngewadi.


QM: Avinash Mudaliar, 3xUS.



1st : Rohit Jain + 1 (SIBM) 70 Points

2nd: (SPJAIN) 55(?) Points

3rd: (I forget) (i forget) Points






Firstly elims had negative scoring. Bad. Very very bad. Next, questions involved recently changed MDs, the various posts of Gopal Balakrishnan and dates from history and ranks of organizations in rich-lists. Bad. Very very bad. To be fair, the few good questions were overshadowed by their quite badly behaved friends. Add the usual symbiosis fundaes like, "This exam is like CAT", "You should have known how it works, you have given the CAT" and "OK, fine. If you did not know, good. Now it will help you when you give the CAT". But, I digress.


Here enters the QM. Now I have a feeling, the QM entered here figuratively as well because if the finals was anything to go by - there is no way the same person could have set the elims, or if I am mistaken it just showed an extreme apathy towards the elims. Anyway, the finals were quite excellent. There were fundaes, Shamanth style question asking, (but nowhere near as cool). However this quiz too was affected by the bane of all quizzes, showing smart-ass ads and asking what happens next, and indentify this ad. If the QM could have veered away from this temptation, the quality of questions would have been elevated greatly. The presentation was a bit too loud and 'showy' for our liking, but what to do.


In general, must say the guys at Symbi are improving as far as flexibility, choosing of QMs, and management in general is concerned. Now, if only Dani hadn't called them Quiz Nazis, I would've said, well done!