As India commemorated 75 years of independence, HT School also celebrated ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ in its own unique way: A pan-India quiz for students, Smartacus 2022, The Hindustan Times National Interschool Quiz. The Selection Round of the quiz was conducted on August 15, 2022 between 02:00 PM (IST) and 03:00 PM (IST). It saw registrations from 45,127 students of Grades 5 to 12, from across India and six other countries, Canada, Israel, Bangladesh, Kuwait, USA and Romania. Smartacus 2022 is the perfect sequel to HT School’s ClassAct 2022, the record holder for ‘Maximum Participation in an Online School Quiz’. Now, Smartacus 2022, with a massive turnout from students all over the country, is on the verge of breaking many world records in the quizzing arena.
“I am amazed by the response of students from all over India. ‘Stay curious’ should be the mantra for young India,” says Dr. Navin Jayakumar, one of the quizmasters for Smartacus 2022.
Mr. Avinash Mudaliar, the quizmaster, hosting Smartacus 2022 along with Dr. Jayakumar, reiterates a similar spirit, saying, “I am super delighted with the response Smartacus received from school students across geographies. We want to celebrate every red-letter day in Indian history with a quiz. Every kid is a seeker and quizzing takes them on a knowledge quest. The record-breaking Selection Round is just the start and the journey of Smartacus 2022 will continue for the next few months, culminating in ClassAct 2023, The Hindustan Times Republic Day Quiz. This will ensure a strong foundation for our quiz ecosystem. What really matters is that the kids enjoy this journey of fun and knowledge, and not just focus on the destination.”
The Selection Round of Smartacus 2022 was conducted asynchronously on Quizizz, a popular teacher-powered learning and engagement platform which was the technology partner for the event. This 1-hour-long individual online session covered a wide range of topics, such as history, geography, sports, language and literature, science, arts and entertainment, culture and lifestyle, current affairs and general knowledge. What made the Selection Round so interesting was the interesting blend of its easy, medium, tough, tricky and funny questions. Here’s a sneak peek into some of them.
One of the easiest questions was, “Which is the northernmost of India’s Union territories?” While this question made the students quickly run through their geography lessons, there came one of the trickiest questions, “Which nut that is shaped like the human brain has also been shown to be good for the brain’s cognitive functions and improved mental abilities?” This question sure left many puzzled. The question, “Based on its visual resemblance, what is the common name for Beijing National Stadium, which was originally built for the 2008 Summer Olympics?” would have definitely floored sports enthusiasts. For movie lovers, the question, “Taapsee Pannu prepares extensively for the characters she essays on screen. Name the Indian cricketer she plays in this 2022 biopic” was an easy one indeed. Another question worth mentioning is, “Which Mughal is popularly credited with introducing the Persian white-on-white embroidery called Chikankari to India?” It was the perfect confluence of history and art. But the most brain-tickling question was perhaps this one, “Ustad Amjad Ali Khan created and named a raga in memory of an assassinated Indian leader, who was named thus by Rabindranath Tagore as “someone who looked at everything with kindness. Name the raga.” It resonated well with all the budding music and literature connoisseurs.
The top 20 contestants from the Selection Round, to be announced on the Smartacus 2022 website soon, will win exciting prizes. Following the Selection Round, 16 top-performing schools from each zone (North, South, East and West) will be invited to take part in the Preliminary Round (which will follow a knockout format) based on the scores of their individual participants. Here, the invited schools will compete in a team of five. Out of the 64 schools contending in the Preliminary round, four (one from each zone) will make it to the Semi-Finals. From there, only the top two schools will qualify for The Grand Finale and will fight for the coveted champion’s trophy and other exciting prizes worth more than INR 4 lakhs, apart from loads of publicity. It will be followed by the Quizzer of the Year round in which 20 students from the 4 Semi-Finalist teams will compete for the ultimate quizzers award. The Preliminary, Semi-Final, Grand Finale and Quizzer of the Year sessions will be conducted on Zoom. All contestants will also be rewarded with digital certificates of participation.
Passion for quizzing runs in the DNA of HT School. It aims to place India at the centre of the global quizzing map. So, alongside mega quizzing events such as Smartacus 2022 and ClassAct 2022, it has launched Quizverse, India’s first online quizzing community catering to school students. Quizverse is designed to be the ultimate one-stop destination for all budding quizzers. The aim is to take quizzing to the masses and encourage kids enjoy their learning experience through fun-filled interactions.