The latest issue of Current Science carries two responses [pdf] to the letter by my colleagues Prof. Diptiman Sen and Prof. S. Ramasesha on the inappropriate use of scientometric data to evaluate the contributions of individual scientists. Interestingly, both the responses are from IISc colleagues: Prof. Gautam Desireaju and Prof. M. Giridhar; they are worth reading in full , not least because they are friendly to people with a short attention span -- together, they occupy just one printed page.
This bit from Prof. Desiraju's letter is priceless:
At the lowest levels, h-indices are useful as criteria of eligibility and basic competence. They should be used as criteria of elimination and not as criteria of selection. They will always serve a purpose in Indian science, because it was possible, in the days before we had scientometric indicators, for committees of wise men to simply declare an incompetent as an outstanding scientist. This is no longer possible. [Bold emphasis added]