The battle for the top spot


“Which South Indian city did Chinese traveller Hiuen Tsang visit in the seventh century?” The answer sent gasps through the P.B. Siddhartha College of Arts and Science auditorium here.

“Vijayawada,” quipped the quizmaster, at the city round of
The Hindu in School
Inter School Quiz recently.

Winning both preliminary and final stages, Pavan Tummala and Pavan Bappunuri of the Teja Vidyalaya in Kodad, Telangana, bagged the trophy, and will face 10 teams from different cities in the finale in Kolkata on August 31.

With 350 students from the city, Bhimavaram, Gannavaram, Srikalahasti and Renigunta, the quiz saw participation of 40 schools.

Stooping over the table, and hovering hands over the buzzer, almost touching it, the winner duo, in the seven rounds of the final, pressed it every time quicker than the other five teams.

The first round involved guessing a previous day’s event based on newspaper headlines from different years. A jittery student conferred with his teammate in a whisper, lest opponents heard them, before mentioning the event a day before November 1, 1984 in New Delhi.

“Assassination of Indira Gandhi,” he uttered.

“Right answer,” said V.V Ramanan, the quizmaster. And the teammates erupted into a mini celebration, clapping and almost jumping from their seats.

To a question on how many test centuries Sachin Tendulkar had scored at the Lord’s, one of the two Delhi Public School teams’ members, twiddling with a pencil, hurriedly answered, “10, maybe?” Another team’s member uttered, “zero”, which was the right answer.

Once in a while, an eager student from the audience shouted the answer, invoking titters. “Blackbuck,” uttered confidently by a student to a question to the audience, before she introduced herself, sent everyone into peals of laughter.

During a break between the two stages, students swarmed around their accompanying teachers, to have the last word before going for the final round.

At the event, powered by the National Insurance Company Limited, its Assistant Manager of Vijayawada Division P. Sridevi said, “Sitting in the audience, I could answer some questions, but most were tough. The quiz covered varied topics, and especially the questions on Vijayawada were interesting. Being among students is always a learning experience for me.”

Questions relating to the region included “Which was the highway to Chennai from Kolkata that passed through the city?” and the “State formed on October 1,1953?”

The winners, with 200 points, were much ahead of the runners-up, the Delhi Public School (DPS), which scored 98 points.

The winner duo has emerged victorious in more than 10 competitions in the past year, including the newspaper’s Young World quiz in January. Their trainer, Prasanna Kumar, a physics teacher, said students’ access to the Internet and the library, and the willingness of the school to send them outstation for competitions had ensured success.

Gurrehmat Raj Singh and Ambica Govind of the DPS said one couldn’t acquire knowledge in a day and it was important to read voraciously. Nehanth and Sowhith, students of the Nirmal Hruday School in Chillepally, bagged the third prize.

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