Bashing the Bihar Toppers is a fad. Let's look at CBSE Practical Scores

posted Jun 19, 2017, 11:23 PM by Prashant Bhattacharji   [ updated Jun 21, 2017, 4:29 AM ]
It has become a fad for folk to bash the Bihar toppers. Bihar gets so much attention only because, well, it is Bihar.

Here's the histogram of practical scores in Physics and Computer Science in CBSE. Nearly everyone gets either a full score of 30 or a nominal one or two marks short of it. And yet, if you try to hire, you can't find folk who can build a trivial circuit or program or even write a single paragraph without making serious grammatical mistakes. Then there's ICSE where the pass rate which hasn't dropped below 98% for 4-5 years.
ISC Pass rate has never dropped below 95 in the past five year.

There is a compounding cost to all this inaccurate assessment and score inflation. Have a few key stage assessments but get them right. The folk will go on to enroll in shady colleges, then probably do some name-sake post graduate degree too - when in reality, just a high-school education would have been sufficient to reach that standard, if the bar had been kept sufficiently high. It is easy to make fun of Bihar. But at least their toppers have scores in the high eighties at max, unlike CBSE/ISC where the centum is the limit.

Now, the CBSE is pretending to hold an enquiry into all these marking snafus.
As long as a steady stream of reporters and journalists keep discovering the magic of data uploaded our old blogs, these folk are not going to have an easy time specially now that people are freaking out all over the country. Such a massive examining body (also running critical entrance exams now) should have been run by a team of assessment professionals, academics and statisticians. Definitely not some UPSC officer suddenly shunted into an academic body when his prime competence is most likely dishing out orders to semi-educated folk in rural areas.

Prashant Bhattacharji,
Jun 19, 2017, 11:23 PM