ZCO: Is it fair??

@all heard about the issues at today’s ZCO. Technical Problems.Again?
This is becoming a serious issue now ; IARCS committee has to look into it. This is the past 3 year scenario:
ZCO 2015:
I gave ZCO 2015 and back then also i faced same issues: website crashes, session expired etc. and after the time got over they mail and informed that time has been extended by half an hour. Now who is supposed to look at mail at that point of time. And about the announcement of website:for that the website should have load up. And they thought it was fair.
ZCO 2016:
Last year(ZCO 2016) they granted qualification to all students and thought it was fair.But the question is : Is it really fair for all?
ZCO 2017:
Now this year this will be a serious issue as back at my time one could have opted for ZCO or ZIO inclusively. But this year it is exclusive or. So if they grant qualification to all the ones giving ZCO it will be unfair for the ones who are giving ZIO. If they grant to all what is point of having this at all.

So this is not supposed to go fair. It has been 3 years same issues; Same suggestions of shifting it to some already existing Online Judges:such as codechef. But still no progress. This is to request you all to mail IARCS in as much amount as possible.And if someone here on codechef is in contact with the organizing committee please request them. Because it seems as if they are not at all learning from the past experiences.

Edit: Great to hear that IARCS has chosen to switch to codechef for INOI; hope that they do the same for ZCO from next year.


I totally agree with you. Concentration and a steady flow of thought is very crucial for solving demanding problems. But instead if a student has to deal with non relevant but performance hampering issues then how can he/she give their optimal performance? Then what is the point in conducting an exam that has the sole purpose of bringing out the talent of those who have it! Not all perform the same in certain situations but that does not mean they have a limiting skill set. It must be a fair and just exam to serve its purpose fully.

IMO ZCO should be re-conducted in a more streamline platform where the participants can give their possible best.


Why isn’t ZCO conducted on codechef? :confused:

who knows. If ICPC regionals can be conducted than ZCO can also be conducted.


I think that because they are not able to conduct ZCO for so many people, they have the following options-

  1. Codechef could conduct it.
  2. Just cancel this ZCO and let everyone give ZIO.
  3. Improve their quality.

I got a reply fom IARCS committee, they said that all the ZCO participants present on that day will be allowed to sit for the INOI in January. Although this is a good news for all the ZCO 2017 candidates but still I think that they must look into the hosting platform a bit more seriously so that the same thing does not happen at INOI again.


It might be a good thing for ZCO participants but it is unfair for ZIO participants.

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And I guess it’s not even a good thing for ZCO participants because they could not get the following benefits of ZCO which they should have got-

  1. A coding environment
  2. Practice
  3. A sense of achievment
  4. Now what’s the use of qualifying unless you also qualify for IOITC.

The IDEs need to be developed, especially for Java.
One may argue that Java is not suitable for CP but still it has some great applications elsewhere (Web & Mobile Apps).

And someone like me who has just taken a drift into CP from soft dev., bearing such an insolent performance of Java platform in ZCO is a torment. I could have shifted to C++ with my mere knowledge, the programs were easier this time, but you’re Pre-registered to a language which cannot be changed during the exam.

The other issues are mentioned in link text https://www.quora.com/How-was-ZCO-2017

I have even seen ZIO participants in Kolkata centre face problem this time. And yes, their case should be reconsidered too.

Well here are my set of suggestions for improving the ‘TERRIBLE’ ZCO ,

  • Switch the pcs from windows to linux (probably to some easy flavor like ubuntu) , it is lighter , man.
  • Then provide a text editor (gedit with plugins is wonder) cause we are not developing software , its competitive programming , we need things that work faster
  • Gedit also includes a inbuilt terminal plugin, which makes it a lot easier to debug code
  • Allow students to copy and paste testcases , we need speed fool
  • Please include staff who knows something about programming , not just some nonsense fools running all around the hall , if I can I would have thrashed all the staff members present at Kolkata center and that also one by one
  • And please use a standard platform for conducting the exam , not your shitty experiments


Wow , they seriously took the suggestions ,

alt text


I completely agree with you. I gave ZCO for the first time this year. I had heard about the technical difficulties that the participants had faced last time and how they were given direct chance to give INOI. I had not expected that this would happen again this year, but what can be done? What bothers me is how is IARCS going to maintain its prestige? I mean its supposed to be the biggest Association for CS in India…

What is most unfair is for the ZIO guys. They worked hard and got selected for INOI in terms of merit, while everyone who gave ZCO is being allowed to give INOI. Where is fairness?

You answer me. You said that this is the third year that they are doing this. After this, who would want to give ZIO?

I know about 3 years.there can even be more. and the problem intensifies as every year the participation increases. but the mistake might be that probably our complaints aren’t reaching the right persons or in right amount. As in my case i got an completely irrelevant/no reply to my mails.
So I requested all of you to write a mail. The problem is not a one time issue. It is the repetition which is the cause of unfairness . for a time even i won’t mind granting qualification to all but not again and again.