In the last year of the sports marks scheme, at least 2,174 Class 10 students have been granted 25 extra marks for sports in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), according to the latest data from the sports department.
At around the same time last year 1,077 students had been given the 25 marks. Figures for this year are still being tallied by the sports department and a final tally is likely to be available after a month.
The sports marks scheme, introduced in 2008, grants 25 extra marks to students who play a sport at the state level and above. However, with scores touching 100% and students signing up for a few months to play an unknown sport simply for marks, the government last year changed the policy for 2013 onwards. This will be the last year of the marks bonanza, as the government has decided to award them only to those who fail.
"The number of associations has grown, and with it the number of students claiming the 25 marks," said an official from the sports department.
Of the four district sports offices (DSOs) that come under MMR, the maximum beneficiaries are from Thane, with 965 Class 10 students getting the sports marks. The Mumbai city DSO has seen 345 students claim the marks, while the Mumbai suburban office has 400 and Raigad DSO 464. "Thane covers the largest area, but Thane also has the largest number of associations for bogus games," said the official.
Factions within the associations have only caused more problems for students. Two sets of associations for karate and taekwando, claiming to have the same name, are slugging it out in court. In the case of the karate association, the Bombay High Court last week directed the sports office to decide on the matter.