Never Knew I was Living in The World
I've moved to http://tech.shantanugoel.com and http://blog.shantanugoel.com

Well-designed hoax or genuine fraud?

Friday, February 25, 2005
I've moved to http://tech.shantanugoel.com, http://blog.shantanugoel.com and http://www.safercode.com/blog/
Shantanu's Technophilic Musings
Never Knew I Was Living In The World
Programming Safer Code (Secure Coding In C \ C++)

A few days ago, a news spread like wild fire all over the country. Every newspaper, TV channel, radio station screamed that this high school student "Saurabh, from Bihar had topped the "NASA" International Scientist Discovery examination. Reports further claimed that the same exam had been taken by the Prez APJ himself as well as Kalpana Chawla (For those who don't know, she's an alumnus of my college. I'm not very modest, u see.. :D ). The boy was hailed as the child genius all over the country and every newsgroup, forum, blog, webpage was flooded with "I'm proud to be an Indian and India is the best" messages.

People say I'm a bit too sceptical about everything that I hear/read from any kind of media. As always, it was a bit hard to digest for me. Not because I don't have faith in my countrymen, it was becaue there are just too much of this child prodigy stuff going on nowadays. Remember that "Tathagat Tulsi" scam? But when I read it everywhere I was forced to believe it was true. And proud indeed I was, of the feat of this young man.

Take Two:
Date: Feb 25, 2005
Venue: My bed
I woke up, got hold of the newspaper and what do I see? NASA refuses that Suarabh has topped the test, what the heck, they don't even have such a test, they never had. Rashtrapati Bhawan (President's office) says that Kalam never gave such test either. People of this child's village have taken to roads and are blocking highways, torching vehicles to protest against these reports and maintain that he has indeed won the award.

More reports pour in that actually he's won some award in an exam conducted by a universtity affilliated to an organisation called "NAASAA", God know what that is...

I don't know what to believe...Even the sceptical me is confused that where should my scepticicm be directed? Is the boy (and his family) innocent and they were just duped by some fraudulent organization or were they the active part of an elaborate hoax?

But one thing is for sure. My *faith* in the media has been restored, faith that it'll lap up anything and eveything that comes its way and project it to the world without even verifying the barest of the facts...

[Listening to: Knockin' on heaven's door - Guns'N'Roses - Best Ballads (5:44)]