Past Event

A talk by Janaki Srinivasan (IIITB)

October 17, 2022
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
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Monday, October 17, 2022

A talk by Janaki Srinivasan (International Institute of Information Technology Bangalore (IIITB))

"The Political Lives of Information: Information and the Production of Development in India"

Time: 1:00 - 2:00 PM
Location: International Affairs Building, Room 801

Organized by the Economic and Political Development Concerntation at the School of International and Public Affairs

Co-sponsored by the SIPA South Asia Association, South Asia Institute, TMaC Specialization

Abstract:  Information has fundamentally reshaped development discourse and practice. In this study, Janaki Srinivasan examines the history of the idea of “information” and its political implications for poverty alleviation. She presents three cases in India—the circulation of price information in a fish market in Kerala, government information in information kiosks operated by a nonprofit in Puducherry, and a political campaign demanding a right to information in Rajasthan—to explore three cases of information to support goals of social change. Countering claims that information is naturally and universally empowering, Srinivasan shows how the definition, production, and leveraging of information are shaped by caste, class, and gender.

Janaki Srinivasan is Associate Professor, International Institute of Information Technology Bangalore (IIITB), and an affiliate of the Institute’s Centre for Information Technology and Public Policy (CITAPP). Her research examines the politics of information technology-based development. Her work has shown how gender, class and caste shape Indian digital inclusion initiatives focused on community computer centres, mobile phones, identity systems and open information systems. Currently, she is exploring privacy, algorithmic control and the role of intermediaries in digital transactions. Janaki earned her PhD in Information Management and Systems from the University of California Berkeley. The Political Lives of Information is her first book.