A minister in the Union government (looking after 'human resource development', too) has remarked critically on the habit that school-leaving examination bodies like the CBSE and CISCE have acquired of awarding astronomically high exam. scores to candidates: see this. 100 on 100 in mathematics, maybe, he's said, but in languages and history, too? How is that even possible, what sense does it make?
I have been teaching high-school students since the late 1980s, and I can vouch that this pernicious practice took off around then, but accelerated into cloud-cuckooland only since the early 2000s. The minister, who is 63, reminisces that when he scored 73% overall in his board exams, he was the regional topper, and I, who am 55, scored 'only' 87.5%, something that would be considered pretty pathetic today when tens of thousands routinely score in the 90s! But two things have happened - I know for a fact that those who go on to score in the 90s in the boards rarely got more than 70% in the tests I gave them (and that despite the fact that I have perforce become far more open-fisted with marks than I was 25 years ago), and after a brief euphoria over their 'fantastic achievement' (which serves no greater purpose than fuelling their mothers' preening at kitty parties), they come up against the harsh reality that the few decent colleges have upped the ante so much at admission time that even with 95%-plus scores they are often turned away from the gates, and have to queue up before the ever-mushrooming private colleges, which are eager to sell dubious degrees to everybody for big or small mountains of cash... who is fooling whom, and who is really gaining anything from all this?
The said minister wants the boards to take a good, hard look at the way exam. papers are being marked. Will his request/order be taken up seriously, or given a quiet burial?