Tue . 19 Jun 2019

Science and Technology Studies in India

Science and Technology Studies STS aka Science, Technology and Society Studies is a fast growing field of academic inquiry in India since the 1980s STS has developed in the country from the science movements of the 1970s and 1980s as well as the scholarly criticism of science and technology policies of the Indian state Now the field is established with at least five generations of scholars and several departments and institutes specialising on science, technology and innovation policy studies/STS


  • 1 Origin and Development
  • 2 Institutes and Departments
  • 3 Academic Programs
  • 4 See also
  • 5 Notes
  • 6 For Further Reading
  • 7 External links

Origin and Development

The field has a long history in India that goes back to the late 1970s, with the works of JPS Uberoi, Ashis Nandy, Vandana Shiva, Claude Alvares and Shiv Visvanathan However, there is a first generation of scholars from the 1970s who looked at science and technology generally from a Marxist perspective and not from the purview of post-Kuhnian STS such as Dharampal, Abdur Rahman, Debiprasad Chattopadhyaya, and SN Sen Works of JD Bernal and Joseph Needham had a strong influence on the Indian STS in its formative years The New Social Movements of the 1970s and 1980s in India contributed immensely to the emergence of the discipline, as these movements and activists groups influenced by Marxist, Gandhian and deep ecological perspectives could not avoid engaging with modern science and the modernization project in the post-colony An important turning point was the creation of two institutions to study the social relations of science: Center for Interaction of Science and Society, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi estd 1970, and the National Institute for Science, Technology and Development Studies NISTADS, New Delhi estd: 1980 However, the Center for Interaction of Science and Society was closed down in the late 1970s by the state, finding it too critical of the nuclear energy/weaponry policies of the Indira Gandhi regime In the 1990s, the field became vibrant with the intervention of a group of social historians of science inspired by postcolonial studies such as David Arnold, Deepak Kumar, Dhruv Raina, S Irfan Habib, Itty Abraham, Gyan Prakash and Zaheer Baber Works of sociologists like VV Krishna, E Haribabu and Binaykumar Patnaik also are significant to the development of the field, along with the philosophical enquiries of Prajit K Basu and Sunder Sarukkai Extensive research carried out by Rajeseswari S Raina on agricultural knowledge systems and developmental practices, and Neelam Kumar's work on women and science also must be noted

S Irfan habib, Deepak Kumar, Dhruv Raina, and VV Krishna

Scholars such as Abha Sur, Amit Prasad, Esha Shah, Gita Chaddha, Indira Chowdhury Jahnavi Phalkey, Kaushik Sunder Rajan, Kavitha Philip, and Pratik Chakrabarti represent the next generation of scholars in the field who became active in the 2000s There is also a new generation of scholars who is actively involved in developing the field in the second decade of the millennium, ensuring that Indian STS has a bright future ahead

Institutes and Departments

Several departments of science policy studies were launched in the new millennium with a strong foundation in STS such as Center for Knowledge Culture and Innovation Studies CKCIS, University of Hyderabad 2006, and Centre for Studies in Science, Technology & Innovation Policy, Central University of Gujarat, Gandhinagar 2009 The revamping of the Centre for Interaction of Science and Society at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, under the new name of Centre for Studies in Science Policy CSSP in the year 2000 was the first among this The Humanities of Social Sciences Departments of many of the Indian Institutes of Technology IITs and Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research IISER have several faculty members trained in the field, and the number of scholars specializing on STS is steadily increasing in the country

Academic Programs

  • MPhil-PhD Programme in Science Policy Studies, Center for Studies in Science Policy, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
  • MPhil-PhD Programme in Studies in Science, Technology and Innovation Policy, Central University of Gujarat, Gandhinagar
  • PhD Programme in Science, Technology and Society Studies, Centre for Knowledge Culture and Innovation Studies, University of Hyderabad
  • MPhil-PhD Programme in Education History of science and technical education, Zakir Husain Centre for Educational Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
  • PhD programme in Policy Studies, Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi

See also

  • History of science and technology in the Indian subcontinent
  • Science and Technology in India
  • Science, Technology and Society
  • STS Wiki Project


  1. ^ Uberoi, JPS 1978 Science and Culture New Delhi: Oxford University Press 
  2. ^ Uberoi, JPS 1984 The other mind of Europe : Goethe as a Scientist New Delhi: Oxford University Press 
  3. ^ Nandy, Ashis 1980 Alternative Sciences: Creativity and Authenticity in Two Indian Scientists New Delhi: Allied Publishers 
  4. ^ Nandy, Ashis 1988 Science, Hegemony and Violence: A Requiem for Modernity Tokyo: United Nations University 
  5. ^ Shiva, Vandana 1988 Staying Alive: Women, Ecology and Survival in India New Delhi: Kali for Women 
  6. ^ Alvares, Claude 1980 Homo faber : Technology and Culture in India, China and the West from 1500 to the Present Day The Hague: Nijhoff 
  7. ^ Alvares, Claude 1992 Science, Development and Violence: The Revolt against Modernity New Delhi: Oxford University Press 
  8. ^ Visvanathan, Shiv 1985 Organizing for Science: The Making of an Industrial Research Laboratory New Delhi: Oxford University Press 
  9. ^ Visvanathan, Shiv 1985 A Carnival for Science: Essays on Science, Technology and Development New Delhi: Oxford University Press 
  10. ^ Dharampal 1971 Indian Science and Technology in the Eighteenth Century Delhi: Impex India 
  11. ^ Rahman, Abdur 1972 Trimurti: Science, Technology and Society: A Collection of Essays Delhi: People's Publishing House 
  12. ^ Rahman, Abdur 1977 Triveni: Science, Democracy and Socialism Simla: Indian Institute of Advanced Studies 
  13. ^ Rahman, Abdur 1977 Science Polcy Studies in India: A Status Report New Delhi: CSIR 
  14. ^ Chattopadhyay, Debiprasad 1977 Science and Society in Ancient India Calcutta: Research India Publications 
  15. ^ Chattopadhyay, Debiprasad 1982 History of Science in India, Vol 1 & 2 New Delhi: Editorial Enterprises 
  16. ^ Sen, SN 1966 "Changing Perspectives in the History of Sciences" Science and Culture 31 5: 214–219 
  17. ^ Raina, Dhruv 2015 Needham's Indian Network: The Search for a Home for the History of Science in India 1950-1970 New Delhi: Yoda Press 
  18. ^ Sharma, Dhirendra "Confronting the nuclear power structure in India" PDF Retrieved 2016-04-17 
  19. ^ Kumar, Deepak 1995 Science and the Raj: New Delhi: Oxford University Press 
  20. ^ Raina, Dhruv 2003 Images and Contexts: The Historiography of Science and Modernity in India New Delhi: Oxford University Press 
  21. ^ Raina, Dhruv; Habib, S Irfan 1999 Situating the History of Science: Dialogues with Joseph Needham New Delhi: Oxford University Press 
  22. ^ Raina, Dhruv; Habib, S Irfan 2004 Domesticating Modern Science: A Social History of Science and Culture in Colonial India New Delhi: Oxford University Press 
  23. ^ Abraham, Itty 1998 The Making of Indian Atomic Bomb: Science, Security and the Postcolonial State' London: Zed Books 
  24. ^ Prakash, Gyan 1999 Another Reason: Science and the Imagination of Modern India Princeton: Princeton University Press 
  25. ^ Zaheer Baber 1996 The Science of Empire State University of New York Press, New york
  26. ^ Krishna, Venni Venkita 1994 SSBhatnagar on Science, Technology and Development, 1938-54 New Delhi: Wiley Eastern Ltd 
  27. ^ Krishna, Venni Venkita; Shinn, Terry; Spaapen, J 1995 Science and Technology in a Developing World Sociology of Sciences Year Book 1995, The Netherlands: Kluwer Publications 
  28. ^ Patnaik, Binaykumar 1992 The Scientific Temper: An Empirical Study New Delhi: Rawat Publications 
  29. ^ Sarukkai, Sunder 2002 Translating the World: Science and Language Lanham: University Press of America 
  30. ^ Abha Sur 2011 Dispersed Radiance: Caste, Gender, and Modern Science in India Navayana, New Delhi
  31. ^ Amit Prasad 2014 Imperial Technoscience: Transnational Histories of MRI in the United States, Britain, and India MIT Press
  32. ^ Esha Shah, 2017 Who is the Science Subject: Affective History of the Gene Routledge, New York
  33. ^ Indira Chowdhury 2015 Growing the Tree of Science: Homi Bhabha and the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research Oxford University press, New Delhi
  34. ^ Jahnavi Phalkey 2013 Atomic State: Big Science in Twentieth Century India Sonepat, Permamnet Black
  35. ^ Kaushik Sunder Rajan 2006 Biocapital: The Constitution of Post-Genomic Life Duke University Press
  36. ^ Kavita Philip 2003 Civilizing Natures: Race, Resources and Modernity in Colonial South India, Rutgers University Press; Orient Longman Asia/UK edition 2004
  37. ^ Pratik Chakrabarti 2004 Western Science in Modern India: Metropolitan Methods, Colonial Practices Permanent Black, Sonepat
  38. ^ See for example, the works of Sambit Mallick, Aparajit Ramnath, Biswanath Dash, Girija KP, Naveen K Thayyil, Nupur Chowdhury, Pankaj Sekhsaria, Richa Kumar, Shiju Sam Varughese, Sunandan N, Sunita Raina, and Suvobrata Sarkar
  39. ^ Sen, Nirupa 25 June 2001 "Revival of the Center for Studies in Science Policy at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi" PDF Current Science Retrieved 2016-04-17 

For Further Reading

  • Dhruv Raina, Purabi Pattanayak, Vungliankim Valte A Study in the Social-epistemology of “Science and Society” Education at Indian Universities and Technical Institutes Zakir Husain Center for Educational Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, 18122009
  • Shiv Visvanathan: A Celebration of Difference: Science and Democracy in India
  • Shiv Visvanathan: The Future of Science Studies

External links

  • Science, Technology and Society Journal
  • Indian Journal of Science Communication
  • Indian Journal of History of Science
  • Knowledge in Civil Society Forum
  • A critique of postcolonial science studies by Alan Sokal

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Science and Technology Studies in India

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