Filmmaker Kunal Kohli, who has hits like Hum Tum and Fanaa in his kitty, says he does not understand how success can be linked to one's academic results. His scoring an average 65% in Class 12 never came in the way of what he wanted to do in life.
"It is not about marks but where a student's interest lies. I always knew I wanted to make films, so I never really cared about my exam score," he said.
He did have classmates who scored 90%, but he never succumbed to the peer pressure.
"I knew my grades were not going to help me in achieving what I wanted to do in life. The thought helped save myself from sinking in disappointment. I joined college only because my parents wanted me to complete formal education," he said.
"I do not think India's education system really prepares you according to your aptitude. Emphasis on scoring well puts too much unnecessary pressure on children, which is totally avoidable," he added.
Kohli is not alone in having this opinion. "The kind of academics we have, especially in schools, hardly serves much purpose later in life. It is talent that counts and not marks in the long run," said Kartik Dhar, 25, a Delhi-based documentary photographer.
Dhar did face some troubles when he scored just 60% in his Class 12 examination.
"Initially, it was difficult to make people understand my desire to do something out of the ordinary. I myself was very confused initially and even joined a BPO for sometime. But then I stood my ground and once I realised where my interest lay, there was no looking back," he said.
He picked up photography as a hobby and gradually pursued it seriously and started shooting human interest features for magazines.
Last year, Dhar started Art for India Foundation-a non-profit organisation that organises art exhibitions and workshops in the city.
"We organise art exhibitions at least once a month and art workshops for underprivileged children. I don't see how good grades would have made any difference in my case," he said.
After scoring 58% in class 12, Shalini Kant (name changed on reques), 27, thought all was lost. Now 10 years later, she is heading the Delhi office of a multinational interior design firm. "I can't thank my elder brother enough. He stood by me when I had lost all hope. He found about this institute from where I did a three-year diploma course in interior designing,” she said.
“I worked really hard in those years and it has paid off. I earn more than many of my friends who did well in the boards," she added.