The following comment was recently posted by an anonymous writer about the Incredible India Quizzes:
"This quiz sucks!!!4 teams from or school got selected and these selfish people didn't even take 1...this quiz sucks!!!seqc yu suck to the core!!!!"
I am keen that people who come to this blog are aware of what happened, so I'm posting this response on the blog itself, besides having responded to the comment.
From the comment, I assume the writer is from the Navy Children's School (NCS), whose teams had this fate befall them. Let's look at the facts:
1. No team from NCS qualified for the Schools quiz. The scores of the same students during the Schools quiz prelims, which was far easier than the Open edition, were in the range of 5 to 8 points, against the 11 or 12 points that they uniformly scored in the Opens prelims. On the other hand, other NCS teams, including students whose quizzing prowess we have witnessed at other events, did much better in the Schools prelims, including one which just failed to make the cut.
2. During the Schools quiz prelims, we had segregated the teams so that no two teams from the same school sat next to each other. This was almost certainly why the Schools prelims more accurately reflected the ability of these students. During the Open quiz prelims, it was not possible to ensure such separation, and neither did we think it would be necessary.
3. In comparing the answer sheets of the four teams from the school that 'made the cut' in the Open edition, as many as 5 to 8 incorrect answers were common to the different papers, in addition to those which were correct. I would say this is statistically almost impossible, unless the answers were shared among the teams.
4. On two separate occasions during the prelims, I warned the teachers who were with those teams -- and who were, amazingly, complicit in the cheating -- not to let the teams consult with each other. I even had to make the announcement from the podium when they continued to flout my warnings.
Given these facts, it was clear to me that these teams only qualified by cheating, which is shameful. In particular, I find the conduct of the teachers who accompanied the teams on the day appalling.
Neither I nor any other member of SEQC has anything against NCS as such, and we would not stand to gain anything from discriminating against the school. Neither am I suggesting through this post that all NCS students or teachers are cheats -- only the ones that were part of this 'scam'. At least two students of the school (whom I know personally and like) are regular members of our club, and have been a part of teams that have done well in several other schools quizzes that we have organised, including winning the Football Quiz that I conducted at the Vidya Vikas Academy in Margao in mid-July.
Annie Sen Gupta