Monday, October 24, 2005

Sophia and Savitri

A few days ago, I came across this report in the Asian Age (no link available, though I know it appeared in the Delhi edition, on 20th or 21st of October) about some luncheon club started by St Stephen's alumni - a sort of old boys' network, intended for the specific purpose of 'networking'.

One of the founders apparently said (I forget the exact wording of the quote) that it was restricted to those who graduated in the 70s and 80s, because those who graduated before were too old to matter and those who came later weren't yet important enough.

I distinctly remember the use of the word 'important', and I distinctly remember that I reacted with a hoot of bemused laughter.

You graduate from an 'important' college, and you want to 'network' with only those people who are 'important'.

Of course, I always knew that this is how it is, but I was both taken aback and wildly amused by such an unashamed admission of ego and socio-economic snobbery.


Driven by this report about old boys' ganging up for the sake of 'importance' , I decided to run a check on my own alma mater. To check on just how low my importance quotient was.

Google told me, first thing, that Sophia Girls College, Ajmer, is ranked a B++ by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council.

This isn't so bad, actually.
Because I was wondering whether my degree was going to be worth the paper it was printed on. Nobody I know (barring fellow-sophians) has even heard of the university, and every time I mentioned Sophia College, people just assumed I was from the more hip college of the same name, in Bombay.

The girls there pronounced the name as an indulgently westernised 'So-fi-aa'. We stuck to a humiliatingly ordinary 'So-phee-aa'.

But what I was really worried about was the ranking given to Savitri College.

I would have died of horror and humiliation if Savitri College ended up with a better ranking, because the Savitri girls were matched equal to us in all the cultural and sporting events (okay, so they were better, sometimes... but we founded our own theatre club, so there!) and they used to darkly suggest that except for our proficiency in English, the Sophians - Sopheeians - were worse off, in every other respect.

And we, we who spoke in English, trembled inwardly at the possibility. Could it be...?

What was even more galling was that both So-phee-aa and Savitri were affiliated to the same university, and that it was rumoured that Savitri actually got more grants and concessions from the government, because it was Hindi-medium for the most part. (I can't vouch for this)

As it happens, to my immense relief and satisfaction, Savitri is ranked lower. They are only a B+, while we are a B++.

Left to us Sopheeans, they wouldn't even get a B; we think they're quite average, and a C+ is about all they deserve... which probably means there are no Sophia girls on the NAAC board.


1conoclast said...

Although I'm all for snobbery, here's my take. Just to burst their little bubble! Uncle's from Stephen's. He didn't do much except carry hockey sticks around with his friends wanting to beat up people.
That isn't totally descriptive of the creed, but they're not all good apples there either.
By 6 Sigma standards, they'd have far more defects than I care to count. Which means the Dabbawallas from Bombay run better processes than they do.
By the way did you notice that Lachoo Memorial College of Science & Technology in Jodhpur is ranked an A as opposed to Sophia, Ajmer? Sophiya's Bombay is an A college & Xavier's is an A+?
And that Stephen's isn't ranked at all...? ;-)

Hiren said...

This reminds you of the ability section that is there in some of Delhi's Schools. One should network on an individual to individual basis depending upon liking without worrying about importance or college affiliations.

Vijayeta said...

Hehehe...The B++ info made my day! Phew! And Savitri? How can you even write/talk/think about it in the same sentence as US higher beings! They should be happy their existence is even acknowledged...forget ratings!
LOL! Such fun doing this after so many many years!

Annie Zaidi said...

i noticed! lachoo memorial of all things!!
it is also rumoured, by the way, that in the avaluation done last time 5 years ago, bombay univ was set to lose its top-graded status. SNDT was actually evaluated better!
but to be fair to st stephens', none of the delhi colleges have been ranked or graded.
hiren, but of course!
and vijayeta... teehee too. just hoping none of the savitri girls are reading this. they were very strong and very mean, by the looks of it

Subramaniam Avinash said...

Truly a lady close to my heart. As an unimportant celebrity I feel most miffed that people don't network with me. Obviously. Must go and google my Institute to see where I stand in the 'food chain'. Cheers and nice post.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely hate academic snobbery. I've seen a lot of it as I've lived on an IIT campus for eighteen years. People are very nice when they're on the campus but I've seen some guys who study here turn into big snobs as soon as they were out of the campus.

4wD said...

my college, from pune, got an A. which is absolute sheetski, cos noone ever studies there. its a rat hole. And the first time i went there, all timid and all, 11th standard i found out that a guy got shot in the canteen. so there's naac for you.

Kavita said...

this should not be done. even I am a Sophian.Afterall we don't learn to make fun of others in our College. Isn't it?

Kavita said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

a sophian at heart here as well.. although i never went to sophia college.. before i could even finish my last year at the school, located right across from the college 7 years ago atleast, we moved to canada... :( i wish i would have had the chance to go to college..

the_tea_planters_daughter said...

Hey there fellow ex-Sophians. Just wanted to point out that since Mayo Girls popped up on the Ajmer scene Sophia has deteriorated to what could generously be considered a C-. On the other hand how about a club for ex-Sophians? Having grauated in the early 90's would absolutely positively recommend that that specific year be included ; )

Anonymous said...

Hey i knw it suckz.....becuase if u want to migrate abroad..sophia is not a recognised college at all. as maharishi dayanand university is not so.

Anonymous said...

Hey all SOPHIANS!!!!! do u really v need to bother bout this grading??? know its v couldnt get an A or a B,wat actually matters is dat every facet of life u realize dat v stand apart 4rm crowd coz of the "SOPHIANNESS" dat v hav in us n all THANX to our DEAR "SISTERS" b it a mayoite,savitrian or ne xyz.....DO YA REALLY CARE......NEIH......SONAL

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