By Ashwani Saith, M Vijayabaskar, V Gayathri
This ebook is the 1st of its style in placing jointly the positive voices of techno-idealists, severe social technological know-how views on expertise and a variety of empirical fabric at the affects of ICTs at the lives of individuals through its diffusion within the city and rural areas of labor, intake, e-governance and the hot different types of social identities it has fostered in India. This quantity perspectives the diffusion of ICTs in India basically from the socio-cultural realm. It presents an empirical and theoretical critique of a few of the real premises that undergird those projects and brings jointly the voices of innovators within the ICT for improvement area. It opens up a complete enviornment for discussion among activists, technocrats, bureaucrats and academia on utilizing ICTs to bring improvement.
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Extra info for ICTs and Indian Social Change: Diffusion, Poverty, Governance
With the historical distance, this is clear in the case of early industrialization in India, but a similar mindset continues to prevail in policy with new technologies, including the example of ICTs. Moreover, science and technology continue to be viewed as the central parameters of ‘development’ at the expense of other human activities, which are often dismissed as subjective and therefore irrational and arbitrary. The Culture of Technology: Offering Prayers to Machines Technology expresses itself through culture.
Even religious superiority was tempered by this acknowledgement of technology. David Livingstone looked upon railroads and telegraphs as God’s gift to the chosen Christian few. He also regarded these inventions as ‘breaking down barriers to Christian conversion’ (Adas, 1989: 206). The impact of such beliefs should not be understated. Adas points to the enormous influence which a few writers, who wrote extensively on India, exerted on British administrators and others. One can, in a sense, trace back the incoherent understanding of technology in India today to the skewed view of those powerful voices.
Since the aim of this essay is to understand the specific Indian experience with technology and the character of ‘Information Technologies (ITs)’, I shall only briefly touch upon these larger questions. In what follows, culture will stand for the domain of human activities of various communities. This includes their eating habits, dress codes, moral and ethical norms, religious and social rituals, private CULTURE OF TECHNOLOGY AND ICTS 35 and family values, and so on. All these human activities are mediated by specific historical, traditional, philosophical and cultural worldviews.