Just today I was seeing a news piece - 90% in CBSE is considered average!!! When I cleared CBSE X (2002), 90% was considered very good. This time, students of my alma mater, 15 students got >90% (out of 30 odd students). Goes to show that to match the standards of state boards, CBSE standards have fell!!!
So what students now have is less syllabus but they still don't learn or understand anything. Its just become easier for them to cram up - there's less syllabus. Basics, well the "Question Banks" are the basic. I know of students who hadn't even read the prescribed Text-books but managed 95%. Few years back the government proclaimed that the text-books would include more basic stuff (when the actual motive was undoing what the previous government had changed in the text-books). The argument that going back to basic in education will help falls flat in an atmosphere where understanding matters far less than the score achieved (which btw, doesn't require understanding because of the question banks and the "sample papers" released by the board). Did the easing of syllabus lead to the child being more active in other fields? NO. Did it aid anyone? NO.
CBSE started off with a good initiative of declaring the grade and not rank. I feel that should be extended to doing away with scores at all. When 90% = 95% (I really feel it is), the kid will probably try to understand more because he anyways can't get better than an A+. If not that, at least he'll spend his time not cramming up question banks but for some other interest or hobby.
High time students, parents and the boards realised that the grades and marks are all but one and must I say, unimportant part of the education the child receives. More important is what he learnt from it. Anyone can identify pictures of different strokes in swimming and score a cent percent but when at sea, the only stroke that'll work is what can make you survive till help is at hand.