When the Tale isn’t All in the Num­bers!

The Economic Times - - Breaking Ideas -

Those in In­dia with­out a head for head for num­bers are at a se­ri­ous dis­ad­van­tage at present. Not only is the dis­sec­tion of the elec­toral ver­dict be­ing marked by proxy sta­tis­ti­cal bat­tles rag­ing par­tic­u­larly across cy­berspace, var­i­ous ex­am­i­na­tion bod­ies have also weighed in with the re­sults for classes X and XII at the same time. Em­pa­thy for those leery of num­bers is mer­ited. The rel­a­tively new form of ex­am­i­na­tion re­sults has con­founded gen­er­a­tions used to sim­ple marks at least here in In­dia, im­mor­talised in pop­u­lar cin­ema of yore by suc­cess­ful stu­dents wav­ing news­pa­per re­ports of their per­cent­ages. Now with in­scrutable grade point av­er­ages on the one hand and near-per­fect scores on the other, many are left won­der­ing whether their Pappu passed or not. The an­nounce­ment of the re­sults of the 2014 elec­tions have ob­vi­ously also thrown up de­bates about pass per­cent­ages of an­other sort, thereby in­creas­ing the be­wil­der­ment of those for whom num­ber crunch­ing is anath­ema. More so as the con­tro­versy cen­tres on ab­struse is­sues such as to­tal vote share, sam­pling in­ad­e­qua­cies and pro­por­tional rep­re­sen­ta­tion. Even as num­ber war­riors con­tinue to lunge and parry over dec­i­mal points, the elec­torate can per­haps be for­given for won­der­ing whether there were any Pap­pus passed in these five-yearly ex­am­i­na­tions as well.

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