Tag Archives: Engineers

Book: The Birth of an Indian Profession. Engineers, Industry and the State, 1900-1947, by Aparajith Ramnath

The Birth of an Indian Profession. Engineers, Industry and the State, 1900-1947.

by Aparajith Ramnath

Oxford University Press, India, 2017

Charting the development of the engineering profession in India from 1900 to 1947, The Birth of an Indian Profession is the first synoptic history of engineers in modern India. Through detailed case studies of public works, railways, and industrial engineers, this book argues that changes in the profession were both caused by and contributed to industrialization in the country.

https://india.oup.com/product/the-birth-of-an-indian-profession-9780199469871

Review article: Bangalore and its IT Industry (EPW, June 2017)

Review article: Bangalore and its IT industry. A changing landscape of work and life in urban India. By Michael Baas.

Askew—A Short Biography of Bangalore by T J S George, New Delhi: Aleph Book Company, 2016 (hardback).

Reengineering India—Work, Capital, and Class in an Offshore Economy by Carol Upadhya, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2016, pp xiii + 384, ₹995 (hardback).

Encoding Race, Encoding Class—Indian IT Workers in Berlin by Sareeta Amrute; Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2016, pp x + 268, price not mentioned (paperback).

See more at: http://www.epw.in/journal/2017/24/book-reviews/bangalore-and-its-it-industry.html#sthash.L9M1xnQu.dpuf

 

Was your (great-) grandfather a Bombay PWD engineer during the colonial period? Share documents, images and stories

As part of an Indo-French project on the history and sociology of Indian Engineers, I am working on the Indian personnel of the Public Works Department of the Bombay Presidency from c. 1850 to c. 1950.

If your (great-) grandfather happened to be an engineer in this Department (please check the following table which lists the names, dates of birth, etc. of engineers employed in the PWD at that time), I will be happy to share with you the details I have collected in the archives about his career. And I would also be more than interested to learn about your family history.

Please feel free to contact me at the following address: vanessacaru@hotmail.com for more information and to circulate this call. Thank you!

Photography: Bust of C. M. Murzban, Murzban Colony, Tardeo, erected in 1936 ©AbodhAras  Continue reading

Seminar : Elites of Modern Japan: Translators, Doctors, Engineers, and Architects

Élites du Japon moderne : traducteurs, médecins, ingénieurs et architectes
Journée d’étude internationale organisée par

Nicolas Fiévé (CRCAO/EPHE) et Aleksandra Kobiljski (CRJ/EHESS)

Jeudi 4 juin 2015 de 9h15 à 18h30
EHESS, Salle 640, 6e étage
190 avenue de France, 75013 Paris

9.15 Welcome and introduction
Aleksandra Kobiljski & Nicolas Fiévé

9.30-10.30 Concepts and frameworks

Guillaume Carré (EHESS, CRJ), Social Margins and the Notion of Elite in Early Modern Japan
Shimizu Yuiichirō (Keiō University), Reformatting Elite in Modern Japan

10.30-12.00 Translators

Chair: Fabien Simon (Université Paris Diderot, ICT)
Annick Horiuchi (Université Paris Diderot, CRCAO), Translators of Dutch Books in the Early Nineteenth-century Japan: the Emergence of an Elite
Ruselle Meade (University of Tōkyō), Translators as Elites in Meiji Japan: The Case of Yamagata Teisaburō
Discussant: Fabienne Jagou (EFEO, IAO) Continue reading

ENGIND Seminar : Etienne Gérard – National and international spaces of engineering : the case of Mexico

Le quatrième atelier de l’ANR ENGIND – Ingénieurs et société en Inde coloniale et post-coloniale se tiendra le 1er Juin 2015

de 14h à 16h30, en salle 640, CEIAS-EHESS, 6e étage, 190-198 avenue de France, Paris. 
Métros : Bibliothèque (ligne 14) ou Quai de la gare (ligne 6)
L’espace national d’ingénierie : un miroir de la division du marché international de la formation ? Le cas des ingénieurs mexicains du Système national des chercheurs

Cette présentation tentera de montrer, dans le cas du Mexique, ce que produit la division du champ international de la formation sur la structuration du “champ” de l’ingénierie. À l’aide des données de la base du Système national des chercheurs (SNI) mexicains, dont est membre notre population de référence, nous tenterons de mettre en évidence les dynamiques de regroupement des ingénieurs sur la base de leurs formations. Nous verrons ainsi que, si le champ international de la formation est hiérarchisé en pôles d’inégales attractivité, spécialisation disciplinaire et influence, le Mexique lui-même est « divisé » en fonction des pôles de formation de ses chercheurs, en l’occurrence ingénieurs. À la division internationale du champ de formation correspond, en miroir, une division de “l’espace de l’ingénierie » au Mexique. Ce constat nous conduira à explorer, par l’analyse des lieux de formation et institutions dans lesquelles exercent les ingénieurs du SNI, distingués par sous-disciplines, l’hypothèse d’une existence de réseaux entre institutions étrangères de formation et institutions mexicaines d’ingénierie. Nous verrons notamment que les liens entretenus entre les pôles professionnels mexicains d’ingénierie recherche et les pôles étrangers de formation ont tous les traits d’un « effet réseau » entre les ingénieurs et des écoles étrangères de formation, non moins que ceux d’une « chaîne scientifique » entre institutions étrangères de formation et institutions mexicaines de recherche en ingénierie. En un sens, l’affiliation commune des ingénieurs à une « culture » étrangère donnée constitue le creuset de « collectifs professionnels » au Mexique. Ces collectifs apparaissent ainsi davantage comme le produit de la division du champ international de formation, davantage que celui d’une construction politique de l’ingénierie mexicaine.

ENGIND Seminar : Bérénice Girard – Controversies on a sacred resource. The engineers and the management of the Ganga. Religion, Environment and Development.

IMG_2601Le troisième atelier de l’ANR ENGIND – Ingénieurs et société en Inde coloniale et post-coloniale se tiendra le 20 Avril 2015

de 14h à 17h, en salle 638, CEIAS-EHESS, 6e étage, 190-198 avenue de France, Paris. 
Métros : Bibliothèque (ligne 14) ou Quai de la gare (ligne 6)

Bérénice GIRARD (Doctorante – CEIAS – ENGIND)

Discutante : Olivia Aubriot (Centre d’Etudes Himalayennes – CNRS)

Controverses sur une ressource sacrée : les ingénieurs et la gestion du Gange, entre religion, environnement et développement.  

English below

La situation environnementale dégradée du Gange émerge comme un objet de politique publique lorsque Indira Gandhi, Premier Ministre, demande la réalisation d’une étude complète sur l’état du fleuve. Le contexte politique est favorable, la conférence de Stockholm a eu lieu en 1972, le Water (Prevention and Control of pollution) Act a été voté en 1974 et le gouvernement d’Indira Gandhi investit la question environnementale. De manière concomitante, la première association de protection du Gange est créée en 1982 à Bénarès, proche du Parti du Congrès. Le premier projet de lutte contre la dégradation environnementale du fleuve, le Ganga Action Plan, est lancé en 1986 par le nouveau Premier Ministre, Rajiv Gandhi, depuis Bénarès.

Le champ se structure alors autour de la question de la pollution du fleuve, alors que la construction de barrages (non seulement sur la Narmada, mais aussi sur la Bhagirathi, la construction du barrage de Tehri ayant commencé en 1978) fait l’objet de nombreux mouvements d’opposition en Inde. Tout un ensemble de controverses entourent la question de la pollution, et les débats se structurent principalement autour de questions scientifiques et techniques. Au début des années 2000, le contexte politique et environnemental, lié au Gange, évolue.

Continue reading

Séminaire EHESS : Les ingénieurs face à la société, un jeu de miroirs, XIXe-XXe siècles

Claudine Fontanon, maître de conférences, EHESS 

Irina Gouzevitch, ingénieure d’études, EHESS

2e et 4e vendredis du mois de 10 h à 12 h (salle 2, RdC, bât. Le France, 190-198 av de France 75013 Paris),du 8 novembre 2013 au 13 juin 2014. Pas de séance le 9 mai

L’interaction de l’ingénieur avec la société est un élément identitaire fort de la profession. D’une part, les ingénieurs cherchent à se positionner par rapport à la société et à s’y faire une place appropriée en élaborant des modes d’affirmation de leur statut social propre et en se fabriquant une image qu’ils souhaitent renvoyer. Pour ce faire, d’une part ils créent des associations professionnelles aptes à défendre leurs intérêts mais de l’autre, ils investissent d’autres branches d’activité où ils essaient d’appliquer et de faire valoir leurs méthodes rationnelles d’intervention, de règlementation et d’efficacité.

Publication : Engineers in India : Industrialisation, Indianisation and the State, 1900-47

Aparajith Ramnath, Engineers in India : Industrialisation, Indianisation and the State, 1900-47. Ph.D. Thesis. Imperial College London,  2013

“This thesis offers a collective portrait of an important group of scientific and technical practitioners in India from 1900 to 1947: professional engineers. It focuses on engineers working in three key sectors: public works, railways and private industry. Based on a range of little-used sources, it charts the evolution of the profession in terms of the composition, training, employment patterns and work culture of its members. The thesis argues that changes in the profession were both caused by and contributed to two important, contested transformations in interwar Indian society: the growth of large-scale private industry (industrialisation), and the increasing proportion of ‘native’ Indians in government services and private firms (Indianisation). Continue reading

Book: The Untiring Indian

Shashi K. Gulhati, The Untiring Indian : Lifestory of Mr. N. D. Gulhati: A Visionary Water Resources Engineer, New Delhi: MacMillan Publishers India, 2011

“A developing nation such as India is built by the untiring effort of thousands, rather, hundreds of thousands of its citizens. Sometimes circumstances demand that everyone work in concert, as Indians did under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi in their quest for independence from colonial rule. Most other times, however, it is groups of various sizes or just individuals who work untiringly in their respective sphere of activity. In a large, diverse and growing country like India, there are many spheres of activity that need nurturing to build the nation. Nation building does require that we work with national development as the prime objective. It calls for us to sacrifice, to shun smaller, self-serving goals and to focus on larger causes. It demands that we work with integrity, commitment and a genuine concern for others. Those that do are, or ought to be, our national heroes. It is they who should be our youth’s ‘role models’. Role models play a very significant role in modeling our lives.The shape that a nation takes is determined by the role models it chooses. Continue reading

Books: Indian and Chinese Engineers in the Silicon Valley

Anna Lee Saxenian, Yasuyuki Motoyama, Xiaohong Quan, Local and global networks of immigrant professionals in Silicon Valley. San Francisco : Public Policy Institute of California, 2002. 

“Foreign-born entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley are becoming agents of global economic change, and their increased mobility is fueling the emergence of entrepreneurial networks in distant locations. In this report, AnnaLee Saxenian investigates this development by drawing on the first large-scale survey of foreign-born professionals in Silicon Valley. Focusing on first-generation Indian and Chinese immigrants, the report compares their participation in local and global networks both to one another and to that of native-born professionals. The results indicate that local institutions and social networks within ethnic communities are more important than national or individual characteristics in explaining entrepreneurial behavior. The report also suggests that the so-called brain drain from India and China has been transformed into a more complex, two-way process of “brain circulation” linking Silicon Valley to urban centers in those countries.” 

 

Bernard P. Wong, The Chinese in Silicon Valley. Globalization, Social Networks, and Ethnic Identity. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2005.

“The Chinese in Silicon Valley examines the complex and ever-growing role of Chinese American scientists and engineers in Silicon Valley. Globalization brings workers from many different countries and cultures together, impacting more than just their work environments. The Chinese who settle in Silicon Valley must learn to prosper despite changes in cultural identity, family life, and often citizenship. They learn how to utilize new social networks and make sense of a shifting ethnic identity. The Chinese community in Silicon Valley is being developed with the advantages and constraints of many factors: the new global economy, technology, the Chinese immigrants’ traditional culture, and the American host culture. Bernard Wong shows that the formation of Chinese American ethnic identity and community is a result of this globalization and transnationalism. This informative book presents important new knowledge on the connection between Chinese ethnicity and highly-skilled labor and entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley. Secondary statistical data combined with primary personal interview data makes this a detailed and interesting study of globalization, social networks, and ethnic identity.”

 

Shenglin Chang, The Global Silicon Valley Home. Lives and Landscapes within Taiwanese American Transpacific Culture. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2006.

“The economic boom of the 1990s that led to the rapid rise of computer hardware and software companies (on both sides of the Pacific Rim) also led to the rise of a trans-Pacific commuter culture, a culture in which thousands of Taiwanese-born high-tech engineers realized that they could greatly increase their career opportunities by establishing a life-style that allowed them and their families to regularly commute between two homes, one in Silicon Valley and the other in Taiwan. The Global Silicon Valley Home takes a close look at how participants in the jet-set, wired-to-the-Net, trans-Pacific commuter culture have invented new ways of thinking about how their homes reflect their personal identities.”

 

See Also:

Anna Lee Saxenian Silicon Valley’ s new immigrant entrepreneurs. San Francisco : Public Policy Institute of California, 1999.

S. S. Kshastriy. Silicon Valley greats. Indians who made a difference to technology and the world. Delhi : Vikas, 2003.

Books: German Engineers

Kees Gispen, New Profession, Old Order. Engineers and German Society, 1815-1914. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990

“New Profession, Old Order explores the creative tension between modern technology and preindustrial Germany. It offers an explanation of why the engineering profession is so successful in transforming the physical world, did not achieve the professional power, cohesion, and prestige that its technological accomplishments would seem to have warranted. On the one hand, engineers were agents of modern instrumental rationality, specialization, practical knowledge, and entrepreneurial capitalism – forces antiasthetical to the quasi-aristocratic world of Bildung and bureaucracy that was the life blood of the preindustrial social hierarchy. On the other hand, it was this latter universe in which engineers had to survive and by whose standards they were judged for membership in the educated middle class or for access to prestigious careers. The result was an orientation that combined the old and the new in ways that were at once uniquely German and paradigmatic for modern industrial society.”

See Also:

Peter Lundgreen, André Grelon (eds), Ingenieure in Deutschland, 1770-1990. Frankfurt & New York: Campus Verlag, 1994

Marie-Bénédicte Daviet-Vincent, “Anciennes et nouvelles élites dans l’administration sous la République de Weimar: Trois fronts contre le monopole des juristes”, in Alain Chatriot, Dieter Gosewinkel, Figurationen des Staates in Deutschland und Frankreich 1870-1945. München; Oldenburg Wissenschaftsverlag, 2006

C.W.R. Gispen, “German Engineers and American Social Theory: Historical Perspectives on Professionalization”, Comparative Studies in Society and History, Vol 30, N°3, July 1988

Kees Gispen, “The Long Quest for Professional Identity: German Engineers in Historical Perspective, 1850-1990.”, in Peter Meiksins and Chris Smith, Engineering Labour. Technical Workers in Comparative Perspective. London and New York: Verso, 1996

Books: M Visvesvaraya

Dilip M Salwi, M Visvesvaraya: Engineer & Nation Builder, New Delhi, Rupa Publisher, 2003

“Today, there are few engineers who can match the vision, administrative capability and patriotic zeal of M. Visvesvaraya. He was not only a pioneer civil engineer whose painstaking efforts led to the modernisation of independent India but was also a social revolutionary who set rolling several programmes for the propagation of technical education, women’s education and family planning which are in progress even today.”

 

See Also:

M Visvesvaraya, Reconstructing India, London, P.S.King & Son, 1920. Available here.

M Visvesvaraya, Nation Building, Bangalore, The Bangalore Press, 1937. Available here.

M Visvesvaraya, Memoirs of my working life, Bangalore, Visvesvaraya, 1951. Excerpts (Chapter IV: Work as Chief Engineer, Mysore) available here.

Dhruv Raina, “Visvesvaraya as an Engineer-Sociologist and the evolution of his techno-economic vision”, NIAS Lecture 1, 2001

Chandan Gowda, “Visvesvaraya, an Engineer of Modernity”, The Hindu, September 15, 2010. Available here.

Books: Engineers Abroad

Devesh Kapur, Diaspora, Development, and Democracy: The Domestic Impact of International Migration from India, Princeton: NJ, Princeton University Press, 2010

” What happens to a country when its skilled workers emigrate? The first book to examine the complex economic, social, and political effects of emigration on India, Diaspora, Development, and Democracy provides a conceptual framework for understanding the repercussions of international migration on migrants’ home countries.

Devesh Kapur finds that migration has influenced India far beyond a simplistic “brain drain”–migration’s impact greatly depends on who leaves and why. The book offers new methods and empirical evidence for measuring these traits and shows how data about these characteristics link to specific outcomes. For instance, the positive selection of Indian migrants through education has strengthened India’s democracy by creating a political space for previously excluded social groups. Because older Indian elites have an exit option, they are less likely to resist the loss of political power at home. Education and training abroad has played an important role in facilitating the flow of expertise to India, integrating the country into the world economy, positively shaping how India is perceived, and changing traditional conceptions of citizenship. The book highlights a paradox–while international migration is a cause and consequence of globalization, its effects on countries of origin depend largely on factors internal to those countries.

A rich portrait of the Indian migrant community, Diaspora, Development, and Democracy explores the complex political and economic consequences of migration for the countries migrants leave behind.”

Devesh Kapur is associate professor of political science and holds the Madan Lal Sobti Professorship for the Study of Contemporary India at the University of Pennsylvania.

 

Xiang Biao, Global “Body Shopping”: An Indian Labor System in the Information Technology Industry, Princeton: NJPrinceton University Press, 2006

“How can America’s information technology (IT) industry predict serious labor shortages while at the same time laying off tens of thousands of employees annually? The answer is the industry’s flexible labor management system–a flexibility widely regarded as the modus operandi of global capitalism today. Global “Body Shopping” explores how flexibility and uncertainty in the IT labor market are constructed and sustained through concrete human actions.

Drawing on in-depth field research in southern India and in Australia, and folding an ethnography into a political economy examination, Xiang Biao offers a richly detailed analysis of the India-based global labor management practice known as “body shopping.” In this practice, a group of consultants–body shops–in different countries works together to recruit IT workers. Body shops then farm out workers to clients as project-based labor; and upon a project’s completion they either place the workers with a different client or “bench” them to await the next placement. Thus, labor is managed globally to serve volatile capital movement.

Underpinning this practice are unequal socioeconomic relations on multiple levels. While wealth in the New Economy is created in an increasingly abstract manner, everyday realities–stock markets in New York, benched IT workers in Sydney, dowries in Hyderabad, and women and children in Indian villages–sustain this flexibility.”

 

Binod Khadria, The Migration of Knowledge Workers. Second-Generation Effects of India’s Brain Drain, New Delhi, Sage Publications, 1999

“This book encourages strategies for turning the “brain drain” of educated professionals to India’s advantage.

Binod Khadria argues that “first generation” losses of human resources from India can be compensated by making use of the finance, technology and manpower of Indian expatriates. In this way, the long-term average productivity of workers at home can be raised helping make good gross domestic product losses — the “second generation” effects of brain drain.”

 

 

 

 

 See Also:

Binod Khadria, Migration of Highly Skilled Indians: Case Studies of IT and Health Professionals. STI Working Papers 6, April. Paris, OECD, 2004. Available here

Roli Varma, Harbingers of Global Change. India’s Techno-Immigrants, Maryland, Lexington Books, 2006

Book: Engineers in the Maghreb

Eric Gobe (ed.), L’ingénieur moderne au Maghreb: XIXe – XXe siècles, Paris, Maisonneuve et Larose, 2004

“Au Maghreb, la figure de l’ingénieur moderne est née dans la première moitié du XIXe siècle. Les souverains tunisiens d’abord et marocains ensuite ont fait appel à des experts étrangers pour mettre en place les réformes administratives et techniques qui devaient leur permettre de rivaliser avec l’Europe conquérante. Mais au bout du compte, ces efforts de modernisation se sont révélés insuffisants pour empêcher la France coloniale de prendre pied au Maghreb. La colonisation va constituer un frein à l’industrialisation des pays conquis et donc à l’accroissement du nombre d’ingénieurs. Au fondement du pacte colonial, on trouve l’idée qu’il est indispensable de ne pas créer de concurrence aux industries françaises et que les colonies doivent se spécialiser dans la production de denrées agricoles destinées à la métropole. Les quelques ingénieurs ” indigènes ” voient leur possibilité de carrière réduite au profit des ingénieurs coloniaux issus de la métropole. Avec les indépendances, les problématiques changent. Il s’agit désormais pour les pays nouvellement indépendants de remplacer les ingénieurs français par des cadres techniques nationaux et de mener un développement industriel planifié par un Etat qui va rapidement devenir le premier employeur des ingénieurs. À partir des années 1980, la majorité des économies arabes entre dans un cycle nouveau. La figure dominante de l’ingénieur d ‘Etat entre en crise alors que les pays du Maghreb mettent en place des programmes d’ajustement structurel. Aujourd’hui, la libéralisation de l’économie modifie les pratiques professionnelles et entraîne de nouvelles segmentations dans la profession.”

See also:

Elisabeth Longuenesse (ed.), Bâtisseurs et bureaucrates, Ingénieurs et société au Maghreb et au Moyen-Orient, Lyon, Maison de l’Orient Méditerranéen, coll. Etudes sur le Monde Arabe, n°4, 1990

Book : The Engineers and the Price System

Thorstein Veblen, The Engineers and the Price System (With a New Introduction by Daniel Bell), New York, Harcourt, Brace & World, 1963.

“In his The Engineers and the Price System, originally published in 1921, Veblen observes that World War One demanded industrial innovations, and he was among the first to predict the need for changes in managerial structure. Veblen saw that industrial output was more dependent upon technocrats-managers and capital innovators-than financiers. In The Engineers and the Price System, Veblen applies economic theory to modern industrial society. He demonstrates that revolutionary change can be advanced by managers and engineers upon whose “brains and skills” the state of industrial arts depends.During the “red scare” when federal agents arrested radical suspects and deported anarchists, Veblen wrote: “Men, who make up the general staff of the industrial system have not drawn together into anything like a self-directed working force.” He denied the possibility of a Bolshevik revolution in the United States, predicting that, given the means, the managerial class would invigorate American economic growth. In his uniquely comprehensive introduction, Daniel Bell discusses the associations and attitudes that mark Veblen as the prophetic outsider he remained most of his life”.

The First Edition of The Engineers and the Price System is available online: https://archive.org/details/engineersandpri01veblgoog