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). Engineers in the public works and railways played a crucial role as officers of the colonial state, as revealed by debates on Indianisation in these sectors. Engineers also enabled the emergence of large industrial enterprises, which in turn impacted the profession. Previously dominated by expatriate government engineers, the profession expanded, was considerably Indianised, and diversified to include industrial experts. Whereas the profession was initially oriented towards the imperial metropolis, a nascent Indian identity emerged in the interwar period. Throughout, the thesis studies British and Indian engineers in parallel. It also underscores the importance of studying the history of science, technology and medicine in twentieth-century India in relation to the heterogeneous, evolving colonial state. Finally, the focus on practitioners complements the existing historiographical emphasis on intellectuals’ debates on science, colonialism, modernity and nation. »

See Also :

Aparajith Ramnath, « Provincialisation, Indianisation, and the Ideal Public Works Engineer, 1900-40 », Paper presented at Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Mohali, 2012

Aparajith Ramnath, « A New Institution for Engineers: Change and Continuity in the Profession in India, c. 1900-1935 », paper discussed at the 4th European South Asia PhD Workshop, Heidelberg University, 2010

List of publications available online.

Publication : Gender, Status and Migration of Nurses in India

 Nair Sreelekha, Moving with the Times. Gender, Status and Migration of Nurses in India. New Delhi : Routledge, 2012

« This book is an attempt to penetrate the silence that surrounds the lives of nurses as migrant women. It offers a perceptive understanding of the trials faced specifically by women from the state of Kerala, in their personal and professional spheres, in the challenges posed to single women migrants as such, and the lower status ascribed to the job. In highlighting aspects of their lived experiences, it reveals how the identities of gender, class and ethnicity unmask the realities behind claims of egalitarianism and equal citizenship. Nurses from Kerala form one of the largest groups of migrant women workers in the international service sector along with Filipinos and Sri Lankans. Comparatively better salaries, work opportunities and financial independence, along with a desire to travel across the world, are often the reasons behind these migrations. For many of these women, the professional choice of nursing is usually the first step towards migration, while finding employment in Delhi, the urban capital of India, is intended as a transition point before they migrate abroad, a trajectory which may remain unrealised. In focusing on nurses who choose to work in Delhi, the author recounts how the patriarchy of the original place is recreated and relived in destination cities. In as much as traditional stigmatisation of nursing (as a ‘dirty’ profession), deeply entrenched gender prejudices, and status and role anxieties act as deterrents, these women remain undaunted in the face of adversities and treat their exposure to, and experience of, technology and nursing care in the bigger hospitals in Delhi as part of the training that is required to apply abroad. Through extensive empirical research, case studies and personal interviews, Moving with the Times illustrates nurses’ lives in Delhi, providing an account of the dynamics — between traditional patriarchy, norms and associated identities, low professional status and marginality coupled at once with the sense of personal freedom, a new career and space — that migration compels these women to negotiate. This book will appeal to scholars of sociology, gender and women’s studies, nursing and healthcare, and those interested in migration and identities. »

Contents :

« Introduction 

1. Beyond Well-being: Development of Nursing as a Modern Profession in Kerala

2.Status of Nursing: The Sword of Damocles?

3. Choice of Nursing: A Life Strategy

4. Migration: Delhi as a Transit Residence

5. Reconstructing Identities: Diasporic Politics and Gender in Delhi 

Conclusion « 

Books : Environmental History in South Asia

Guha Ramachandra, The  unquiet woods (Twentieth Anniversary Edition): Ecological Change and Peasant Resistance in the Himalaya, New Delhi : Orient Blackswan, 2010

« Popular initiatives to halt deforestation in the Himalaya, such as the Chipko movement, are globally renowned. It is less well known that these movements have a history stretching back more than a hundred years. A proper understanding of this long duration within the forests of submontane North India required the marriage of two scholarly traditions: the sociology of peasant protest and the ecologically oriented study of history.
Twenty years ago there appeared on this subject an unknown author’s first book: The Unquiet Woods (1989) by Ramachandra Guha. Fairly quickly, the book came to be recognized as not just another study of dissenting peasants but as something of a classic which had willy nilly opened up a whole new field— environmental history in South Asia. While the monograph has as a consequence been continuously in print within India and in the West since then, its author has become a biographer and historian of international stature. In celebration of its twentieth year in print, The Unquiet Woods is now reissued with additional material: a new reflective preface by the author on the genesis and limitations of the book which set him off on the path of writerly success, as well as three freshly commissioned critical essays by major academic specialists. Taken together, this additional material situates the monograph and its influence within environmental history in India, Europe and Latin America, and the USA. This is a book for anyone interested in the history of India’s environment, forests and their dwellers, the varieties of colonial rule, and the specificities of rural rebellion. And it is a book for anyone interested in the writings of Ramachandra Guha. »

 

Laine Nicolas & Subha T.B. (eds), Nature, Environment and Society: Conservation, Governance and Transformation in India, New Delhi : Orient Blackswan, 2012

« The future of humanity lies uncertain as nature falls prey to the loot and plunder initiated in the name of development, growth and progress today. As the vast riches of the earth continue to be endangered, a global consciousness regarding the importance of natural resources, biodiversity, etc. is on the rise. Given such a scenario, what is required is further understanding of man’s interaction with the environment. This contributory volume examines the interrelationship between nature and society in South Asia. It focuses on four points: perception of natural resources during colonial rule, conservation of nature, role of governments in administering environment, and transformation of nature as a result of development or industrial projects. The book divided into three broad themes, analyses the major decisions taken in India with regard to environment after Independence and their consequences; the relationship between communities which consider natural environment as an essential part of their identity, and as a key factor for social, political and economical issues; and the urban explosion and/or the construction of infrastructure such as dams or roads that have impacted the relationship between different social groups and their territory. It also examines the set-up (policy and stakes), process and consequences (often the displacement of populations) of such projects in three different states of India. Offering a wide variety of case studies representing a large panel of approaches and methodologies from Sociology, Economics, History, Anthropology, and Development Studies, this volume will be an useful read for students and scholars of environmental studies, and NGOs working towards conserving nature. »

 

See Also :

Gadgil Madhav & Guha Ramachandra, This Fissured Land : An Ecological History of India, New Delhi : Oxford Unersity Press, 1992

Grove Richard, Damodaran Vinita & Sangwan Satpal, Nature and the Orient : The Environmental History of South and Southeast Asia, New Delhi : Oxford University Press, 2000

 

Books : Nuclear Power in India

Mathai Manu, Nuclear Power, Economic Development Discourse and the Environment. The Case of India, London ; New York : Routledge, 2013

« Nuclear power is often characterized as a « green technology. » Technologies are rarely, if ever, socially isolated artefacts. Instead, they materially represent an embodiment of values and priorities. Nuclear power is no different. It is a product of a particular political economy and the question is whether that political economy can helpfully engage with the challenge of addressing the environmental crisis on a finite, inequitable and shared planet. For developing countries like India, who are presently making infrastructure investments which will have long legacies, it is imperative that these investments wrestle with such questions and prove themselves capable of sufficiency, greater equality and inclusiveness. This book offers a critique of civilian nuclear power as a green energy strategy for India and develops and proposes an alternative « synergy for sustainability. » It situates nuclear power as a socio-technical infrastructure embodying a particular development discourse and practice of energy and economic development. The book reveals the political economy of this arrangement and examines the latter’s ability to respond to the environmental crisis. Manu V. Mathai argues that the existing overwhelmingly growth-focused, highly technology-centric approach for organizing economic activity is unsustainable and needs to be reformed. Within this imperative for change, nuclear power in India is found to be and is characterized as an « authoritarian technology. » Based on this political economy critique the book proposes an alternative, a synergy of ideas from the fields of development economics, energy planning and science, technology and society studies. »

 

Ramana M.V., The Power of Promise. Examinig Nuclear Energy in India, New Delhi: Penguin India, 2013

« Nuclear power has been held out as possibly the most important source of energy for India. And the dream of a nuclear powered India has been supported by huge financial budgets and high level political commitment for over six decades. Nuclear power has also been held out as safe, environmentally benign and cheap. Physicist and writer, M.V. Ramana shows that nuclear power has been more expensive than conventional forms of electricity generation, that the ever-present risk of catastrophic accidents is heightened by observed organizational inadequacies at nuclear facilities, and that existing nuclear fuel cycle facilities have been correlated with impacts on public health and the environment. He offers detailed information and analysis. »

 

Anderson Robert S., Nucleus and Nation. Scientists, International Network and Power in India, Chicago, Chicago University Press, 2010

« In 1974 India joined the elite roster of nuclear world powers when it exploded its first nuclear bomb. But the technological progress that facilitated that feat was set in motion many decades before, as India sought both independence from the British and respect from the larger world. Over the course of the twentieth century, India metamorphosed from a marginal place to a serious hub of technological and scientific innovation. It is this tale of transformation that Robert S. Anderson recounts in Nucleus and Nation. Tracing the long institutional and individual preparations for India’s first nuclear test and its consequences, Anderson begins with the careers of India’s renowned scientists—Meghnad Saha, Shanti Bhatnagar, Homi Bhabha, and their patron Jawaharlal Nehru—in the first half of the twentieth century before focusing on the evolution of the large and complex scientific community—especially Vikram Sarabhi—in the later part of the era. By contextualizing Indian debates over nuclear power within the larger conversation about modernization and industrialization, Anderson hones in on the thorny issue of the integration of science into the framework and self-reliant ideals of Indian nationalism. In this way, Nucleus and Nation is more than a history of nuclear science and engineering and the Indian Atomic Energy Commission; it is a unique perspective on the history of Indian nationhood and the politics of its scientific community. »

 

See Also :

Singh Swaran, « India’s Nuclear Problem », The Hindu, 09 April 2013. Available online.

Singh Swaran, « India’s Nuclear Policy : Emerging New Trends », Debats Asie, CAPE Paris, 28 March 2011. Available online.

Sovacool Benjamin,  Valentine Scott Victor, The national Politics of  Nuclear Power. Economics, Security and Governance. London ; New York : Routledge, 2012

Talk : From Local Technologies to New Forms of Global Governance

Balaji Parthasarathy, Reversing the flows of ideas? From local technologies for the marginalised to new forms of global governance. Tiffin Talk, Australia India Institute, 28 March 2013.

« For decades, largely agrarian, previously colonial, developing countries were the recipients of technologies, in domains ranging from medicine to transportation. The technologies also came embedded in specific ideas about social organisation and governance mechanisms, such as bureaucratic or market rationality. Lately, there is evidence of changes to the direction of flow as developing countries have become adept late-industrialisers who produce technology. There are also “emerging markets” that are significant consumers, even if an estimated 4 billion people in these markets are socio-economically underprivileged. This talk focuses on how and why serving this population demands insights into the development of novel technologies, especially contemporary information and communication technologies, and their relevance even for developed markets. It touched on the implications of the efforts to incorporate the underprivileged, into the technological and economic mainstream, for new norms and forms of governance by drawing on research in India. »

Soundcloud : Reversing the flow of ideas?

More information and soundcloud available on the Australia India Institute website.

 

Book: The Untiring Indian

 Shashi K. Gulati, 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. Each of us needs to select our role model(s) with care, thought and due deliberation, and not just get stuck with those that are thrust at us day in and day out by a relentless, omnipresent media.India has produced many worthy statesmen, civil servants, entrepreneurs, industrialists, traders, teachers, philosophers, journalists, artists, entertainers, sportspersons, managers, lawyers, doctors, scientists and engineers. In their life times, their indomitable spirit and sustained diligence became an example for many around them to emulate. They are the worthy role models whose lives need to be documented so that in posterity, they continue to inspire.In this story of The Untiring Indian, readers, especially those involved in engineering a vibrant future for India – engineers, civil servants, diplomats, managers, teachers, entrepreneurs – will find a most worthy role model in Mr. N.D. Gulhati, a technocrat nonpareil. »

About the Author:

« Shashi K.Gulhati the youngest child of Mr. N.D. Gulhati, graduated from MIT and returned to India to join the faculty of IIT Delhi (IITD) from where he retired seven years ago after serving for 40 years – 28 as Professor. He served as Head of Civil Engineering, as Dean of Students, as a member of IITD’s Board of Governors. A highly regarded professional, he served as a member of AICTE and President of the Indian Geotechnical Society. On leave from IITD, he served as the CEO of Educational Consultants India Ltd. (EdCIL)– a Government of India enterprise and transformed it into an efficient, professional, service oriented organization. EdCIL’s turnover increased multi-fold during his 5-year term. He has worked internationally as an engineer, an academician and also as an educational consultant. Currently, he consults and enjoys writing on issues in Education – his book on The IITs Slumping or Soaring, Macmillan 2007 has been highly acclaimed. »

Contents:

« Part 1: Rising Scion of the Family • Lalaji and Bebeji • The Diary

Part 2: The Dependable Patriarch • Bringing up Kunti and the Kids • Kunti’s Ninjan • Boundless intellectual horizon • Do the right thing • Keep the mouth shut and eyes and ears open • Delighted and foresighted • Vacations are not for work • You Can Do It • Friend In Need • Gem Indeed

Part 3: Creatively Constructive • Brick by Brick • International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage • Indian Geotechnical Society • Sunder Nagar Association • The Gulhati Trust • Short Sentences and as Many as Needed • The ABC of good conduct • The Profile of an engineer • Corruption in India

Part 4: An Engineer Par Excellence • Throughput and Output • Negotiating with Pakistan and Others • A functional approach • The negotiators • On his fingertips • The fine points • A view worthy of respect • Happy to go back • No axe to grind • The press, the politician and the public • Treaty of five decades – Not a dispute • More Throughput and Output • Utilizing A very Valuable National Resource • Democracy in inaction • Bureaucracy in haphazard action • Nipping in the bud »

 

Review: Scholars and Prophets

« The Fascination for India », La Vie des idées, 11 March 2013

Review by Jules Naudet (Translated by Rohini Rangachari)

Roland Lardinois, Scholars and Prophets. Sociology of India from France 19th-20th Centuries. New Delhi: Social Science Press, 2013

« Since the 18th century, India has been portrayed in contradictory ways. While scholarly knowledge is based on the philological study of texts, literary Orientalism expresses its fascination for a society well-known to preserve the values of order and hierarchy. For Roland Lardinois the anthropology of Louis Dumont illustrates the ambiguity of these discourses. »

Continued: http://www.booksandideas.net/The-Fascination-for-India.html?lang=fr

 

Books: Dams and Development in South Asia

Sanjeev Khagram, Dams and Development. Transnational Struggles for Water and Power. New York, Cornell University Press, 2004

« Big dams built for irrigation, power, water supply, and other purposes were among the most potent symbols of economic development for much of the twentieth century. Of late they have become a lightning rod for challenges to this vision of development as something planned by elites with scant regard for environmental and social consequences—especially for the populations that are displaced as their homelands are flooded. In this book, Sanjeev Khagram traces changes in our ideas of what constitutes appropriate development through the shifting transnational dynamics of big dam construction. Khagram tells the story of a growing, but contentious, world society that features novel and increasingly efficacious norms of appropriate behavior in such areas as human rights and environmental protection. The transnational coalitions and networks led by nongovernmental groups that espouse such norms may seem weak in comparison with states, corporations, and such international agencies as the World Bank. Yet they became progressively more effective at altering the policies and practices of these historically more powerful actors and organizations from the 1970s on. Khagram develops these claims in a detailed ethnographic account of the transnational struggles around the Narmada River Valley Dam Projects in central India, a huge complex of thirty large and more than three thousand small dams. He offers further substantiation through a comparative historical analysis of the political economy of big dam projects in India, Brazil, South Africa, and China as well as by examining the changing behavior of international agencies and global companies. The author concludes with a discussion of the World Commission on Dams, an innovative attempt in the late 1990s to generate new norms among conflicting stakeholders. »

 

Daniel Klingensmith, One Valley and A Thousand: Dams, Nationalism and Development. New York: Oxford University Press, 2007

« By the end of the twentieth century, more then 45,000 large dams were built world wide displacing millions of people, and dramatically altering both ecosystems and social systems centered on rivers. A majority of these dams were constructed after 1945. This book seeks to explain the enormous global investment in dams since 1945 and explores their connections to political ideologies. It shows the lack of concern and awareness of policymakers and electorates about the human tragedies. It also sheds light on the disappointing performace of many river valley projects. The author traces the history of the politics and the political culture that influenced economic and technical decisions in the creation of particular dams in India and the United States. In doing so, he contributes to a broader discussion on the politcal significance of dams worldwide, and of the connections between development and nationalism.’

 

 

Patrick McCully, Silenced Rivers: the Ecology and Politics of Large Dams. London: Zed Books, 2001

Entirely updated in light of the recent World Commission on Dams Report, and responding to it, this new edition of Patrick McCully’s now classic study shows why large dams have become such a controversial technology in both industrialized and developing countries. He explores the wide-ranging ecological impacts of large dams, the human consequences, the organization of the dam-building industry, and the role played by international banks and aid agencies in promoting it. He also looks as the extensive technical, safety, and economic problems associated with large dams. New in this edition, the author tells the story of the rapid growth of the international anti-dam movement, and suggests alternative methods of supplying the services supposedly provided by large dams.

 

Satyajit Singh, Taming the Waters: The Political Economy of Large Dams in India. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1997

‘This study of India’s large dams is set in the dual context of state politics and social classes. It argues that efforts to spend public resources on these dams are not only uneconomical and non-sustainable, but have been monopolized by a privileged few. In confronting issues of water control, the book also examines larger environmental concerns. »

 

 

 

See Also:

Joel Cabalion, “For a sociology of dam-induced displacements: state-managed dispossession and social movements of resettlement in a region of Central rural India (Maharashtra)”, Symposium on Social movements and/in the postcolonial: dispossession development and resistance in the global south, Centre for the Study of Social and Global Justice, School of Politics and International Relations, University of Nottingham, England, 24th June 2008. Available online.

Rohan D’Souza, Drowned and Damned: Colonial Capitalism and Flood Control in Eastern India. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2006

J.Dreze, M. Samson & S. Singh (eds), The Dam and the Nation: Displacement and Resettlement in the Narmada Valley. Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1997

Books: Urban Governance in India

Joël Ruet, Stéphanie Tawa-Lama Rewal, Governing India’s Metropolises, New Delhi: Routledge, 2009.

« Urban governance today is characterized by a multiplicity of actors involved in the management of local affairs. The questions for inquiry are: who are the individuals and institutions, public and private, who actually plan and manage urban affairs? In what ways do they do so? Whose interests are accommodated, and under what conditions can co-operative action be taken? And, more generally, in what ways are interactions between the many actors of urban governance patterned? This volume, based on a series of case studies from Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Hyderabad, discusses the governance of Indian metropolises with these questions in mind. It analyses the changes that have taken place in governance over the last 15 years as a result of liberalization and decentralization, focusing on six collective services: primary education, healthcare, subsidized food, slum rehabilitation, water and sanitation, and solid waste management. The book documents the continued appropriation of the state by an enlarged elite (including the vast middle class) and an incomplete democratization of urban local bodies (evident in the lack of empowerment of municipal councilors), which goes along with a new economic regime as defined by new modes of engagement between the private sector and the state. Also, the concept of governance as it is operationalized in this volume highlights the importance of class in interactions between actors. By disentangling formal elements of governance (legitimized by the state) from informal ones (involving actors who are beyond the recognition of the state) the book ultimately reveals various power equations at play. This volume will be of interest to scholars and students of sociology, political science, development studies, development economics, urban planning, and public policy studies. »

 

 Dominique Lorrain (ed.), Métropoles XXL en pays émergents, Paris : Presse de Sciences Po, 2011. 

« Ingouvernables ? Les très grandes métropoles, de 5 à 20 millions d’habitants, se multiplient ; la majorité d’entre elles se situent dans les pays émergents, accroissant les défis : peut-on en effet gouverner de vastes ensembles complexes et divisés par des inégalités ? La recherche a souvent répondu par la négative. Cet ouvrage développe une approche de la ville matérielle et de ses institutions. La prise en compte des réseaux urbains et des institutions qui permettent de les piloter montre que, sans élaborer de grande théorie, les responsables urbains ont inventé les mécanismes d’un gouvernement ordinaire. Ils l’ont fait à partir de la résolution de problèmes pratiques et irrépressibles : fournir de l’électricité, de l’eau potable, assainir, permettre les déplacements etc. Trois résultats ressortent : les réseaux techniques contribuent à structurer les villes et font office de dispositifs de cohérence. Les métropoles sont d’autant plus gouvernables qu’il existe un pouvoir légitime de rang supérieur capable de faire des arbitrages. Enfin, l’urbanisation anarchique trouve ses causes dans les régimes de propriété foncière, dans une insuffisante planification urbaine et dans les pratiques des promoteurs et des acteurs locaux qui s’enrichissent par la production du bâti. Par la nouveauté de ces hypothèses, la précision des analyses conduites à Shanghai, Mumbai, Le Cap et Santiago du Chili, ce livre s’adresse à tous ceux qui travaillent sur la ville : élus, fonctionnaires territoriaux et fonctionnaires d’État, cadres des firmes urbaines, citoyens et étudiants. »

 

 I.S.A. Baud and J.De Wit (eds), New Forms of Urban Governance in India. Shifts, Models, Networks and Contestations. Delhi : Sage Publications, 2009.  

« This work looks at the impact of decentralization on local governance arrangements and citizen participation in urban democracy processes in India. To analyse the various issues, it includes case studies from the major cities throughout the country. New Forms of Urban Governance in India: Shifts, Models, Networks and Contestations examines how local governments work together with other actors in governing mega cities in India, especially in view of globalization and internal transformation processes. It analyses whether new forms of governance open up opportunities for more participatory urban governance and improved service delivery, with positive implications for poor groups in the cities. The articles in the collection deal with two major processes—bringing the government closer to citizens through decentralization, and working with private sector and civil society groups in providing urban services. Participation of the rich and the poor in local democratic processes, and the relations between local and city planning are focussed. Students and academics involved in Urban Studies, Economics and Development Studies and the study of Local Governance will find the work valuable. »

 

See Also:

Richard C. Crook and James Manor, Democracy and Decentralization in South Asia and West Africa. Participation, Accountability and Performance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998

Jonathan Shapiro Anjaria and Colin McFarlane, Urban Navigations. Politics, Space and the City in South Asia. Delhi: Routledge, 2011

K.C. Sivaramakrishnan, Revisioning Indian Cities. The Urban Renewal Mission. Delhi: Sage Publications, 2011

Stéphanie Tawa Lama-Rewal and Marie-Hélène Zérah, « Urban Democracy: A South Asian Perspective », South Asia Multidisciplinary Academic Journal, 5/2011. Available online.

Stéphanie Tawa Lama – Rewal, Marie-Hélène Zérah and Véronique Dupont, (Eds) Urban Policies and the Right to the City in India: Rights, Responsibilities and Citizenship, UNESCO, Delhi, 2011. Available online.

Marie-Hélène Zérah and Loraine Kennedy, « Villes indiennes sous tutelles? Une réflexion sur les échelles de gouvernance à partir des cas de Mumbai et Hyderabad. », Metropoles, 9/2011. Available online.

 

Publication: Scholars and Prophets

Roland Lardinois, Scholars and Prophets. Sociology of India from France 19th-20th centuries. New Delhi: Social Science Press, 2013

« Scholars and ProphetsSociology of India from France 19th – 20th centuries is being translated from L’invention de I’ Inde. Entre ésotérisme et science, and deals with the historical genesis of the long and rich scholarship on India in France since the beginning of 19thcentury, with particular reference to the work of Louis Dumont. It considers the works of scholars and the essayists, poets, or esotericists who published on India and shows that Dumont has been influenced by both groups. This understanding illuminates the main criticism that is still addressed to Homo hierarchicus, that in this book Dumont mistook the internal Brahminical view point on the caste system for a sociological view. In the last chapter, the book contrasts Dumont’s work with issues raised by McKim Marriott’s project and the Subaltern Studies from India. It defends that the core issue dealt with by all scholars is the epistemic status given to scientific knowledge of Indian society. In the course of explaining the French intellectual tradition, the author relates many fascinating interactions and little known anecdotes of famous men and women which capture the intellectually vibrant climate of the time. Both scholars and students of the social sciences will find this book very useful. »

Contents:

Introduction: Genesis of the sociology of India
Prologue: René Daumal and the autofiction of the cultural field
Part One
The Genesis of a Savant Milieu (1795-1927)
Chapter 1. The struggle for academic legitimacy
Chapter 2. Orientalist knowledge and prophetic discourses
Chapter 3. The Struggle for institutional autonomy
Part Two
Scholars and Prophets (The interwar period)
Chapter 4. The field of scholarship on India in the 1930s
Chapter 5. Scholarly practices
Chapter 6. Prophetic strategies
Chapter 7. Hinduism as a disciplinary issue
Part Three
Social Science and Indigenous Science
(Second half of the 20th century)
Chapter 8. Louis Dumont and the indigenous science
Chapter 9. Louis Dumont and the cunning of reason
Chapter 10. The Avatara of scholarship on India
Conclusion. Sociology put to the test of India
Postscript. Note on the construction of a research subject
Appendix: Multi Correspondence Analysis
Postface to the English-language edition
List of documents, tables, figures
Sources and bibliography
Index
Acknowledgments

Reviews:

Jules Naudet, « The Fascination for India », La Vie des idées, 11 March 2013. Available online.

Rosane Rocher, « New Perspectives on the History of Indian Studies in Continental Europe », Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 129, N.4, Oct.Dec. 2009. Available online.

François Leclercq, « Roland Lardinois, L’invention de l’Inde: Entre ésotérisme et science », South Asia Multidisciplinary Academic Journal, January 2010. Available online.

Gisèle Sapiro, « Roland Lardinois, L’Invention de l’Inde. Entre ésotérisme et science« , TRANSEO, Ausgabe 01 – January 2009. Available online.

Book: Social Mobility

Jules Naudet, Entrer dans l’élite. Parcours de réussite en France, aux Etats-Unis et en Inde. Paris: PUF, 2012

« Cet ouvrage analyse la manière dont des personnes originaires de milieux modestes et ayant accédé aux positions les plus prestigieuses du secteur privé, de la haute fonction publique et de l’université, parviennent à s’ajuster à leur nouveau statut social. Réussissent-elles à se « convertir » à leur nouveau groupe ? Cherchent-elles à conserver des liens forts avec leur milieu d’origine?? Comment gèrent-elles la contradiction de cette double appartenance ? Jules Naudet répond à ces questions en s’appuyant sur une enquête menée en France, en Inde et aux États-Unis, où il a recueilli près de 160 récits de vie de personnes ayant connu une ascension sociale exceptionnellement forte. Tandis que les Indiens témoignent avant tout d’un attachement profond à leur milieu d’origine, les Américains minimisent le contraste, donnant l’impression que la réussite « va de soi ». Enfin, les Français opposent deux mondes profondément différents, voire irréconciliables. Pour mener à bien l’analyse de ce riche matériau empirique, Jules Naudet propose un renouvellement de la problématique de la mobilité sociale et des outils théoriques traditionnellement mobilisés par les chercheurs travaillant sur cette question. »

 See Also:

Jules Naudet, « Castes, untouchability and social success in India », Books & Ideas, 18 March 2010. Available online.

Jules Naudet, « Paying Back to Society. Upward Social Mobility among Dalits. », Contributions to Indian Sociology, Vol. 42, n°3, Oct. 2008

S. M. Dubey, Social mobility among the professions: study of the professions in a transitional Indian city, Bombay, Popular Prakashan, 1975.

Rajeshwari Desphande, Suhas Palshikar, « Occupational Mobility: How much does caste matter? », Economic and Political Weekly, vol. 43, n°34, 2008

C. Rajagopalan, Jaspal Singh, « The Indian Institutes of Technology: Do They Contribute to Social Mobility? », Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 3, N°14, 1968

Books: India’s New Middle Classes

Leela Fernandes. India’s New Middle Class: Democratic Politics in an era of economic reform, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2006

« Leela Fernandes digs into the implications of the growth of the middle class in India and uncovers—in the media, in electoral politics, and on the streets of urban neighborhoods—the complex politics of caste, religion, and gender that shape this rising population. Using rich ethnographic data, she reveals how the middle class operates as a proponent of economic democratization.  »

Book reviews:

Mark Jackson, « Leela Fernandes, India’s New Middle Class: Democratic Politics in an era of economic reform. », Canadian Journal of Sociology Online, Sept-Oct 2007. Available here.

Murayama, Mayumi, « India’s New Middle Class: Democratic Politics in an Era of Economic Reform – by Leela Fernandes », The Developing Economies, Vol. 47, Issue 2, June 2009

 

Amita Baviskar, Raka Ray (eds). Elite and Everyman: The Cultural Politics of the Indian Middle Classes, New Delhi: Routledge India, 2011

« This book examines the middle classes — who they are and what they do — and their influence in shaping contemporary cultural politics in India. Describing the historical emergence of these classes, from the colonial period to contemporary times, it shows how the middle classes have changed, with older groups shifting out and new entrants taking place, thereby transforming the character and meanings of the category. The essays in this volume observe multiple sites of social action (workplaces and homes, schools and streets, cinema and sex surveys, temples and tourist hotels) to delineate the lives of the middle classes and show how middle-class definitions and desires articulate hegemonic notions of the normal and the normative. »

 

See Also:

Timothy Scrase. « The « New » Middle Class in India. A Re-assessment », 16th Biennial Conference of the Asian Studies Association of Australia in Wollongong, 26 June – 29 June 2006. Available here.

Ruchira Ganguly-Scrase, Timothy Scrase. Globalisation and the Middle Classes in India. The Social and cultural impact of neoliberal reforms. London: Routledge, 2009

Christophe Jaffrelot, Peter van der Veer (eds). Patterns of Middle Class Consumption in India and China. New Delhi: Sage Publications, 2008

Books: Indian Institutes of Technology

Shashi K. Gulhati, The IITs: Slumping or Soaring, New Delhi, Macmillan, 2006

« Many parents dream that their child will go to study at an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and thereafter be a great success. IITs and success are viewed as synonymous because IIT alumni have amply established this link. Will the IITs continue to graduate winners? Can we expect more – will they generate knowledge to make India a leader in the new knowledge economy? Or, have the IITs enjoyed their day of glory and are now slumping? If so, can we arrest the slump and get them soaring? The IIT system is under massive strain: its autonomy is being eroded, its physical infrastructure is wearing thin; laboratories are getting out-dated; faculty is depleting; and the competition for admission is pushing aspirants into an unhealthy grind. IITs fortunately have a major strength in their alumni – they want to see their alma mater excel. The book considers each threat and suggests the way forward. It calls for major changes in how to select students, attract the best to join as faculty and, most important, proposes a new governance system with diminished role for Government and an enhanced one for the alumni. The time to chart out a new course is now! The advantage to be reaped is enormous!! The nation cannot afford to let the IITs slump!!! »

See Also:

Rohit Manchanda, Monastery, Sanctuary, Laboratory: 50 years of IIT Bombay, New Delhi, Macmillan Publishers India, 2008

E.C.Subbarao, An Eye for Excellence. Fifty Innovative Years of IIT Kanpur, New Delhi, Harper Collins, 2008

Sandipan Deb, The IITians: The Story of a remarkable Indian Institution and How its Alumni are Reshaping the World, New Delhi, Viking Penguin India, 2003

Rangan Banerjee and Vinayak P. Muley, Engineering Education in India, Bombay, IIT Bombay, 2008. Available here.

Narayana Jayaram, « Toward World-Class Status? The IIT System and IIT-Bombay », in Philip G. Altbach and Jalmi Salmi (eds), The Road to Academic Excellence. The making of World-Class Research Universities. Washington, The World Bank, 2011. Available here.

Roli Varma, and Deepak Kapur, « Access, Satisfaction, and Future: Undergraduate Education at the Indian Institutes of Technology », Higher Education 59: 703-717, 2010. Available here.

Ross Bassett, « Aligning India in the Cold War Era: Indian Technical Elites, the Indian Institute of Technology at Kanpur, and Computing in India and the United States ». Technology and Culture 50: 783-810, 2009. Available here.

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.