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(ARCHIVE) VOL. XXII No. 11, September 16-31, 2012
The Murugappa Madras Quotient Quiz 2012
By Vincent D'Souza

Thirty questions for a final slot

After a set of nerve-wracking final rounds, the team 'It's OK machi finals-la pathukkalam' (comprising Vishnu, Adithya and Abhinava from Vidya Mandir) emerged champions in the 2012 edition of the Murugappa Madras Quotient Quiz recently. Team 'Why this vetri veri da?' (comprising Arjun, Pranav Hari and Sankrith from PS Senior Secondary School) and Team 'The Dark Night rises, so does our petrol prices' (comprising Ram Ananth, Vigneshwara and Makesh from Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan, Nungambakkam) were the runners-up.

From an entry of about 250 teams, 212 teams from 63 schools across Chennai participated in the written preliminary round, from which six teams were shortlisted for the Grand Finale. Several members of the audience won prizes for the various questions asked by Quizmaster Dr Navin Jayakumar. There were also rounds where the members of the audience could send in their answers by SMS and win prizes.

The prizes for the slogan contest were also given away. (Click here for prize-winning entries.)

Organised by the Murugappa Group as part of its contribution to the Madras Week celebrations, the 2012 edition of the Murugappa Madras Quotient Quiz was organised for the second year running. Chairman of the Murugappa Group, A. Vellayan, announced to rousing cheers that the event would be held every year on the first Saturday of September.

The following are the questions asked in the elimination round, the top team getting 23 of the answers correct. Though each school was allowed to enter as many teams as it wanted, only its highest scoring team remained in the reckoning for the final round.


  1. Once, when cine artiste and musician Chittoor V. Nagiah was returning home after a concert in Mylapore one evening in 1944, he saw several rasikas waiting at a bus stop in pouring rain to catch a bus to T'Nagar. He then felt that a sabha was necessary for the then growing residential area that had been developed in the 1930s. Which sabha was organised as a result of this?
  2. The city of Chennai is divided into 155 divisions in 10 zones. These divisions go by a term often associated with hospitals. What term?
  3. After which Prime Minister of India is the Government General Hospital in Chennai named?
  4. What are the names of the couple that reside at 12 North Mada Street, Mylapore, Madras?
  5. This physical feature literally means 'hill of the foreigner'. What is the local name of this place and what is the English name?
  6. . G.M.R. Vasavi's 200 MW Diesel Power Plant, the first private sector power plant in Tamil Nadu, is located here. Where is this place, which is the first station a person encounters a few minutes away from Chennai Central Station?
  7. Sholavaram was the home of the Madras Motor Sports Club before the new Irungattukottai track opened. What was the Sholavaram track originally, when created during World War II?
  8. Which place was the birthplace of the Saint Sri Ramanuja in the 11th Century and the home of Hyundai in the 20th Century?
  9. Which road in Chennai gets its name from an educational institution set up by the British called The _________ of Fort St. George, where the Presidency's civilians were taught the local languages and the art of administration?
  10. The oldest body of its kind in the Commonwealth, outside of the UK, it was formed on September 29, 1688 by Royal Charter on the advice of the East India Company to control the powers of the Governor of Madras, Elihu Yale. It had 12 Aldermen in all – three Englishmen, three Portuguese, three Jews and three Hindus. What was this body?
  11. Moore Market, Gandhi Illam and Spencer's – What structure joined this tragic list earlier this year?
  12. September 18, 1949 saw a landmark in the history of Tamil Nadu at Robinson Park in Royapuram. What happened there?
  13. Gold coins with images of Hindu deities were issued by the Madras Mint in the 1690s. What were they called?
  14. Which are the only two Test playing nations that haven't played a Test in Chennai?
  15. Who was the person controversially asked to quit Kalakshetra of which she was the director till recently?


  1. Which aquatic snake gets its name from the Tamil term meaning "elephant killer"? The name was first used in the English language in 1768 by a certain R. Edwin in a colourful description of a large snake found in Ceylon, most likely a reticulated python. The account, which explains how the snake crushes and devours tigers, is full of popular misconceptions, but was much read at the time, and so gave rise to the myth of this snake of Ceylon.
  2. Which shopping district in Chennai sounds like it is named after a Union Territory but was in fact originally named after W.P.A. Soundarapandian Nadar? There is a statue of him near the entrance to this area.
  3. What local word, originating from the Hindustani word meaning "two languages", referred to interpreters and middlemen who worked for the English East India Company?
  4. Which personality, in whose name you can find a hall in Egmore used for various exhibitions and functions today, was the first Mayor of Madras in 1933*?
  5. 136.1 is a yoga centre in Chennai with branches in Nungambakkam, Alwarpet and Tiruvanmiyur. Its unusual name refers to the sound of something. What?
  6. Which cool place was the summer capital of the Madras Presidency?
  7. The only Gold Medal in the 2010 Commonwealth Games for Tamil Nadu came from which sport?
  8. Under the provision of Delivery of Books and Newspapers (Public Libraries) Act 1954, every publisher in India has to compulsorily send a copy of each publication to the four national Book Depository Centres. Three of these are: Asiatic Society of Bombay in Mumbai, National Library, Calcutta, and Delhi Public Library, Delhi. Which is the fourth?
  9. The Little Theatre group was started by Ayesha Rau in Chennai in 1991. What specific type of theatre production do the children put up every year during the Christmas season?
  10. It is the largest bus terminus in South Asia and serves as the bus terminus for all outstation buses to and from Chennai. Where is this located?
  11. Before Madras was established, the East India Company traded out of two places in Andhra Pradesh – Masulipatnam and Durgarayapatnam (Armagon). Stiff competition from which country's company caused the British to put down roots in Madras?
  12. Which is the oldest building in Fort St. George, built between 1678 and 1680?
  13. What institution, started by Edward Balfour in 1855, was originally located on the Egmore Museum premises till 1861 when it moved to Park Town, where it remained till 1985?
  14. Which well-loved Governor of Madras died of cholera in 1827 and was mourned by all citizens of the city? He was so revered that many people named their children (l/r) appa after him. He was the subject of may folk tales and ballads and was even worshipped by some!
  15. Which "landmark" was constructed by the Governor to provide relief to a famine-stricken Madras in 1876-1878?
Murugappa Quiz Quotient Answers

Part 1: 1. Thyaga Brahma Gana Sabha also known as Vani Mahal; 2. Wards; 3.Rajiv Gandhi; 4. Kapaleeswarar and Karpagambal; 5. Parangimalai / St. Thomas Mount; 6. Basin Bridge; 7. An airstrip; 8. Sriperumbudur; 9. College Road; 10. The Madras Corporation; 11. Khalsa Mahal (Chepauk Palace). Heritage structures lost to fire; 12. Formation of DMK announced; 13. Pagodas;14. Zimbabwe and Bangladesh; 15. Leela Samson.

* * *

Part 2: 1. Anaconda from "anai kolra"; 2. Pondy Bazaar; 3. Dubash from the Hindustani phrase "dho bhasha" meaning "two languages"; 4. Raja Sir Muthiah Chettiar (*Editor's Note: This was when he was Kumararaja); 5. Sound of "Om"; 6. Ooty; 7. Table Tennis (Sharath Kamal); 8. Connemara Public Library; 9. Pantomime;10. Koyambedu; 11. Holland (Netherlands); 12. St. Mary's Church, where Robert Clive married Margaret Maskelyne; 13. The zoo!; 14. Thomas Munro; 15. Buckingham Canal, named after the Governor, the Duke of Buckingham and Chandos.

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In this Issue

Lurching from crisis to crisis
If Anna Arches, why not other heritage buildings?
China can help us connect
Luminaries of our High Court
Looking back on Madras Week
Tracing the City's Old Wall
New facts learnt...
Zooming in on a changing Chennai
The Murugappa Madras Quotient Quiz 2012

Our Regulars

Short 'N' Snappy
Our Readers Write
Quizzin' with Ram'nan
Dates for your diary


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