ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Narratives of Technology and Society Visioning in India


The recognition that technological change is path dependent, and not preordained, on the unfolding race towards efficiency and productivity, brings forth an important problem in science and technology studies (STS). Once human agency is recognised in creating relationships between nature, science, technology and society, the institutional and epistemic routes through which pathways of technical changes are envisioned and publicly deliberated need to be debated and discussed. Various kinds of technology assessment techniques—including visioning, forecasting, horizon scanning, foresighting, participatory technology assessment, backcasting and constructive technology assessment—have been employed to assess not only the impact of existing technologies, but also (importantly) to imagine the futures with, and of, various technological trajectories.

Traversing a myriad number of disciplinary approaches, this institutionalisation of imaginings of new futures and emergent horizons brings forth a number of questions. These include, among others, mapping and historicising the significant public institutions that vision our techno-social futures, the techniques that they employ in such visioning, the value claims that they make of the present and of the futures that they hold to be desirable, the process(es) of science and technology (S&T) policymaking, including their performative functions. What is deemed evident in these visioning exercises, through what means, and how the truths made here are used to further the forging of techno-scientific rationality and state making, all become crucial to understand contemporary modernity in India.

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Updated On : 28th Aug, 2019
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