Hi Codeforces, I am curious about some matters that I think our fellow CPers from India (or those who know the CP scene in India well) can help explain to me. I think these topics can be a bit sensitive to talk about, which is why I made a throwaway.
1. What is the typical motivation for someone to start doing competitive programming in India?
In many parts of the world, competitive programming comes with practically no prestige or career advantages; at least in the US, I'd estimate less than 10% of tech company recruiters or computer science majors know what Codeforces even is, and probably less than 1% knows whether a CF rating of 3000 is considered good or not. Being good at competitive programming certainly helps for interviews, but putting "I am Div 1 on CF" on your resume will impress practically no one. Admittedly, excellent (IOI or close) level performance helps for college admissions, but if you're not at that level it really doesn't help, and there are many other ways to "prove" yourself.
I ask specifically to our fellow Indian friends what their motivation was for doing CP, because my impression is that tech companies focus much more on CP ranking in India, which gives serious incentives for higher rating. This, to me, could explain the greater prevalence (or at least, perceived prevalence) of cheating among Indians in CP: in India, higher rating means a better shot at jobs and a stable livelihood; for many other parts of the world, higher rating really carries no benefit because CP was just a hobby anyways. Does this theory make sense? And I really mean to ask this with the utmost respect, and without spreading stereotypes of "India = cheating" and so on; if this really is the root cause of CP cheating in India then I can't blame them too much for it. Choosing between not cheating and not having a job is not easy...
As a followup, if tech companies really do care about CP ranking, do you think this is a good thing to emphasize? Even in the US, I think the emphasis on whiteboard interviews and algo questions is a bit silly...I feel like most tech jobs don't need more algo knowledge than "sort is $$$N\log N$$$, hash maps are $$$O(1)$$$" and should maybe place more emphasis on technical communication and "ability to read and work with crap code," for lack of a better way to put it.
2. (Admittedly this is pretty off-topic for Codeforces, but I'm very curious and don't know who else to ask...maybe I'll edit this out if it gets too heated) What do you think of Modi's India? From what I've read, he's made good progress tackling some problems (like public defecation and sexual assault) but his power to suppress and manipulate the media, and his stance toward Muslims, is very concerning. Are there certain groups (rich, poor, educated, less educated, etc.) that tend to support him more? Are others concerned with his nationalistic tendencies (it personally reminds me a bit of Trump in the US)?
I realize these are very sensitive topics that you may not want to reply to on your main account, but I really want to know your opinions, so please PM me or maybe comment on a throwaway if you could help me understand better.