Is it OK to use `ranker’ to mean `top rank in an examination’?

This is a word one frequently encounters in the months of May and June in India. A student who does well in an entrance exam and gets a decent rank is immediately labelled a `ranker’. Proud parents distribute sweets claiming that their child is a `ranker’, and tutorial institutions take out ads claiming that they had X number of `rankers’ in this year’s exam. This use of the word `ranker’ to mean `top in the examination’ is Indian. Native speakers of English do not use the word in this manner. Dictionaries define the word “ranker” as a commissioned officer who has been promoted from the enlisted status. It has nothing to do with performing well in an exam.

Source: ‘Know Your English’ ( The Hindu) – June 12, 2006


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