I've always felt that exams and rankings are way too over-rated. For heaven's sake, how does it matter if you get the first rank or the last rank? Most often than not, being evaluated, compared and ranked lower than their friends make kids more depressed and at times even reluctant to try competing anymore.
I was fortunate enough to have parents who did not care much about me getting the first rank in class. Yes, they did praise the first-rankers and gave me not so subtle hints that they would have liked a child who came first in class but they never pressurized me really. Or maybe it was just my attitude of not giving anything too much of a damn. So I grew up a happy child who never minded being ranked 10 or in the worst case 16 in a class of 40. But there were others who were not so fortunate. They were taunted and ridiculed by parents, teachers, and friends alike for not studying as well as they should. Never mind they were good at something else. Slowly, these guys who were "average" to begin with became "dull" and even "failed" and were retained in the same classes while the friends of the same age progressed to higher classes.
Not anymore. There is now hope. A new Right to Education bill has been introduced in the parliament that forbids schools to fail children under class 8. What a fantastic way to ensure children get enough time to gear up and get on par with their peers without the impending axe of failure. I hope the bill gets passed!
You can read more about the bill here.