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The Government of India seems hell bent on applying technology to everything it can lay its hands on. From agriculture to disease management, financial services to drones, it feels like there is a technology solution being developed for all interactions with the government. But as much as it might feel like the government has gone overboard with its embrace of all things technology, this enthusiasm is relatively recent.
When the first Prime Minister of newly Independent India sat down to chart out the course for the country he had before him a blank slate. He had the opportunity to guide the country down a path that would allow it to come on par with the other nations of the world. But the path we trod was long and winding and it was almost only by accident that we ended up where we are.
Why did it take so long for India to develop into the technology powerhouse that it is today? What were the decisions that we took along the way that sent us down the path we finally followed? And how has all this influenced the way in which technology has changed Indian society?
In this episode of Ex Machina, I discuss the history of Indian science and technology with Jahnavi Phalkey, science historian and filmmaker and Arun Sukumar, a lawyer and PhD student at the Fletcher School at Tufts University. We get into some of the early decisions and all that happened along the way to get us to where we are.