Sunday, January 11, 2009

Prank SMS penned to perfection

courtesy:Bangalore Mirror

Prank SMS penned to perfection.

Ask any student if he would prefer drawing with a pen or pencil and the answer would be the latter. So, when engineering students in the city used their pens for drawing during the recent semester exams, something smelt fishy. It turned out the students had fallen for a prank SMS.

A message that was obviously intended to create confusion caused a panic among students of VTU. Students who are busy preparing for another paper on Jan 19 are now all the more confused. All thanks to this message that urges the recipient to forward it to others. The SMS message goes thus: “According to a new VTU rule, students have to draw diagrams using pen. Diagrams drawn with pencil will be considered as rough work and will not be valued.” Varun, a student at VTU, says he got such a message and promptly forwarded it to his friends.

While it looks plausible, the message has ended up raising a lot of confusion. So, even as a few students claim the news to be true, others who had a doubt could not get it confirmed. “I was unsure if any such rule existed because no one could confirm it for us. When we asked our lecturers, they did not know for sure,” says Suhas. This, in the end, resulted in a few students actually following it.

Vikas, a student, explains, “I still used the pencil because it gets difficult to erase diagrams if we go wrong. It also gets more difficult and cumbersome to draw them. Now, after listening to claims that such drawings will not be considered, I am worried if I will get any marks at all.” Ram, another student remarks, “I initially drew diagrams using a pencil. When we were asked to re-draw the diagrams later, we all did just that. Though I did not forward the message, I eventually ended up following it.”

This is not the first time that messages have caused panic among students. As student Sharath says, “We have received messages informing us about exams getting postponed. We have even had these pranksters sending new timetables through SMSes. It gets really frustrating and scary when we cannot confirm the truth behind the message we have received. Can we have a proper communication channel, one where all our queries are addressed so that we don’t have to fall for any message in the future?”

A principal of a reputed engineering college says, “Students need not be worried if they have drawn with a pencil. No official information has come from the University on this.” Ramachandra, of the Engineering Teachers’ Association states, “I am not aware of any such rule. We do not approve of pen-drawn diagrams because it becomes very difficult for students to redraw them in the exam.”

So, why do students fall prey to prank SMSes? Noted psychologist and former Bangalore University vice-chancellor M S Thimappa offers this reasoning: “Some students get vicarious satisfaction in spreading such SMS. During exams, students become overly sensitive, highly vulnerable and susceptible. This is when negative elements like prank SMSes and rumours can easily perturb them. The first thing students have to do during such incidents is, relax. Before believing any SMS, they should realise that such rumours are not logically tenable (e.g. drawing with a pen). They must then verify the news with an authentic source, someone like the Registrar of Evaluation or the college principal.”

Visvesvaraya Technological University's Registrar (Evaluation) clarified, “We have not issued any such circular. It is a baseless rumour. Students have to use pencils only for drawing.” And so, while it's clear now on what you've got to use for drawing in your exam finale on Jan 19, the moral of the story is “Don’t fall for prank messages. Confirm it before you follow it.”

Friday, January 9, 2009

Model Question Paper for Engineerin Mathematics.

The model question paper can be downloaded from math1model.pdf . Thanks to one of our readers for providing with this invaluable content.