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
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Technology, technicians and the state in South Asia: political and social uses of technical knowledge
The 24th ECSAS (European Conference on South Asian Studies) will take place at the University of Warsaw (Poland) from 27 to 30 July 2016.
This panel invites reflexions and case studies on the political and social uses of technology in South Asia, to discuss its centrality in government policies. Technology is here understood in an extensive manner, to include different types of technical knowledge, practices and tools.
This panel invites reflexions and case studies on the political and social uses of technology in South Asia. Technology is here understood in an extensive manner to include different types of technical knowledge, practices and tools. The centrality of technology in government policies has been widely discussed in contemporary research. This panel would like to discuss this centrality while adopting a historical perspective on the evolving political use of technology and a specific focus on South Asia.
In the years following Independence, technology was conceived as a central tool to further the economic development and social policies of South Asian countries, and technical elites were offered important roles in the implementation of technocratic development programs. The present context of liberalisation and redefinition of the role of the State seems however to have brought both new uses and actors, as well as changes in the modes of interaction between States and technologies. We invite papers discussing this dynamic, and especially welcome case studies focusing on the specific use and place of technology in social policies. We further invite papers looking at processes of defining politically pertinent technologies, as well as detailed papers on the interaction and relationship between the different technical professional groups and the State. Finally, we also invite reflexions and case studies on how technology affects States’ prerogatives, balances of power and control over political territories and spaces in South Asia.
« Les mutations de la société indienne », La Vie des idées, 16 mars 2011
Review by Roland Lardinois
Antony F. Heath et Roger Jeffery (dir.), Diversity and Change in Modern India. Economic, Social and Political Approaches, The British Academy, Oxford University Press, 2010
“L’ouvrage édité par Antony Heath et Roger Jeffery offre une vue d’ensemble des transformations de la société indienne. Dominé par les contributions d’économistes et de politistes, il reflète l’état des sciences sociales en Inde, où la sociologie peine à se développer pleinement.”
Ashwani Saith, M. Vijayabaskar, V. Gayathri, ICTs and Indian Social Change. Diffusion, Poverty, Governance, New Delhi, Sage Publications, 2008
“This book is the first of its kind in putting together the optimistic voices of techno-idealists, critical social science perspectives on technology and a range of empirical material on the impacts of ICTs on the lives of people via its diffusion in the urban and rural spaces of work, consumption, e-governance and the new kinds of social identities it has fostered in India.
This volume views the diffusion of ICTs in India primarily from the socio-cultural realm. It provides an empirical and theoretical critique of some of the important premises that undergird these initiatives and brings together the voices of innovators in the ICT for development domain. It opens up an entire arena for dialogue between activists, technocrats, bureaucrats and academia on using ICTs to deliver development.”