Name Drop While I Can

I was picked up at the Delhi airport by a government car. I made the official whose car it was visibly happy when I enquired whether he was IAS (Indian Administrative Service: entry to which is by very competitive examinations). He was very happy to inform me that he was, indeed, an IAS officer. We had a very pleasant conversation afterward.

Still, his self-satisfaction got under my skin a bit. I couldn't resist telling him that I got my undergraduate degree from IIT Madras. If I lived in India instead of Oklahoma, I would probably be name dropping my alumni institution into every conversation ...

But talking about IIT, the paper today reported that six more IITs have been approved. In 1989, there were only 5. Now there are something like 10. So, soon, there will be 16. And get this: the new IITs are so deficient in staff and infrastructure that one of the original IITs is supposed to be "mentor" each of the new ones. What are the chances that the value of an IIT degree will get totally debased?

I should probably get my name-dropping in when I can. In a few years, no one will be impressed.

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