Tag Archives: Economy


Today, the engineering profession, more than any other, seems to embody the transformations which affect contemporary India. It simultaneously symbolizes the rise of the hypothetical « middle classes » and the positioning of India as an emerging power in the international job market, since the country has become one of the preferred destinations of large technological firms. Each year, India awards 3,50,000 engineering degrees. Continue reading

Article : The historical roots of our engineering obsession

by Aparajith Ramnath

“The birth anniversary of M. Visvesvaraya (September 15) is marked each year as Engineer’s Day. As another Engineer’s Day arrives, the now-familiar statistics will be rolled out again: lakhs of engineering graduates are produced in India each year from the thousands of engineering colleges that dot the country. This should lead us to examine some questions. What is the secret behind Indians’ love affair with engineering? Are there socio-cultural factors that make the Indian particularly suited to engineering, or that make engineering particularly desirable to Indians?… “

Continue reading here : http://www.thehindu.com/thread/reflections/article9110857.ece


Book : The Indian Middle Class – OUP 2016


Part of Oxford India Short Introductions

Surinder S. Jodhka & Aseem Prakash

Who exactly are the middle classes in India? What role do they play in contemporary Indian politics and society, and what are their historical and cultural moorings? The authors of this volume argue that the middle class has largely been understood as an ‘income/ economic category’, but the term has a broader social and conceptual history, globally as well as in India. It is this conceptual and social history of the Indian middle class that the book analytically elaborates.


Review Essay : A New History of India’s Railways

By Ian J. Kerr, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada

The publication of Ritika Prasad’s (2015b) Tracks of Change: Railways and Everyday Life in Colonial India marks the maturation of a trend present in the historiography of South Asian railways since the turn of the current millennium. This trend has seen some historians give much more attention to the multidimensional ways in which the railways were central to the making of modern India. Some of the new studies mentioned below are in the form of recently completed PhD theses which, I expect—because they all represent impressive examples of interesting scholarship—to emerge as good books during the next couple of years or so. As an impressive corpus of new research and writing the books, articles and theses that populate this trend deserve to be labelled a new history of India’s railways.

See more at: http://www.epw.in/journal/2016/19/review-article/chugging-unfamiliar-stations.html#sthash.nZeQMRVM.dpuf

Publication: Consulting Engineers

 Odile Henry, Les guérisseurs de l’économie. Socio-genèse du métier de consultant (1900-1944), Paris, CNRS Éditions, 2012

“Véritables « médecins des affaires », les ingénieurs-conseils évaluent l’état de santé d’entreprises privées comme d’institutions publiques, et proposent des « thérapies » visant à corriger les dysfonctionnements constatés. Mais derrière leur prétention scientifique à l’objectivité, ces diagnostics et remèdes sont autant d’affirmations normatives sur le monde économique. Mis en oeuvre par les dirigeants, ils deviennent même constitutifs des réalités sociales.

À travers une histoire structurale de la profession de consultant et une analyse de l’émergence du management, Odile Henry nous emmène donc au coeur de l’incessant processus de production symbolique et idéologique de l’ordre social.

Placée, dès le début du xxe siècle, au centre de rivalités entre État et domaine civil, imprégnée de saint-simonisme, nourrie des apports conflictuels du taylorisme et de la doctrine administrative, la profession est l’objet d’âpres luttes d’influence. Elle trouve ensuite, dans le régime de Vichy et son nouvel ordre juridique, un « nouvel espace des possibles », éclairant le rôle décisif de l’État dans la constitution de son autorité.

Un grand ouvrage de sociologie historique.”

Book review:

Marc Mousli, “Les guérisseurs de l’économie. Ingénieurs-conseils en quête de pouvoir”Alternatives Économiques, n°319, 2012


Book: ICTs and Economic Development

Ashwani Saith and M. Vijayabaskar (eds), ICT and Indian Economic Development. Economy, Work, Regulation, New Delhi, Sage Publications, 2005

“This book evaluates the recent phenomenon of Information technology communication (ICT) development in India, and discusses such questions as: Can the growth be sustained? How far can an ICT revolution go towards modernising India’s economy? What could be the capacity of ICTs to induce rapid social transformation and change? Can India navigate all the pitfalls and hazards and retain its current comparative advantage in the field of ICT?

– Provide a systematic overview of the major developments and trends in the Indian ICT sector;

– Investigates the dynamism of the IT sector and whether it has contributed to wealth creation in any significant measure; and whether Bangalore, in its area of special strength-software-is a dynamic leader or merely a Silicon Valley follower;

– Assess the role of the State and of government policy, especially with regard to the opportunities for shaping the future of this sector;

– Explore the processes of the restructuring of work and employment in the wake of the IT revolution;

– Set the Indian experience in a wider context through a discussion of the Chinese experience, along with a comparative analysis of ICT clusters in the two countries.”