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The lack of anchoring as we grapple relations of globalization with new technologies, promising wider forums of practice is disorienting, leaving the local, at best, as a confounding variable. Hence, it is useful to architect social interaction between the artifact and the person through the anthropologizing of context. After all, acting globally can be seen as an impossibility, as the social act is endemically localized. So, what is up for debate is the nature of intent, interaction and consequentiality. Thereby, ethnography allows for a deeper exploration of human activity, connecting it to broader social ecology within which cultures, cyber and otherwise contest, circulate and cooperate.

Escobar puts forth some compelling ethnographic questions that current anthropologists should be concerned with when exploring new technology: How do people relate to their technoworlds? What are the discourses and practices that are generated around computers? Will notions of community, fieldwork, the body, nature, vision, the subject, identity, and writing be transformed by the new technologies?

Mantra: an open method for object and movement tracking

What continuities do the new technologies exhibit in relation to the modern order? What kinds of appropriations, resistances, or innovations in relation to modern technologies for instance, by minority cultures are taking place which might represent different approaches to and understanding of technology?

What happens to non-Western perspectives as the new technologies extend their reach? Escobar et al. Further, it is believed that the production of subjectivities that accompany the study of new technology can only be assessed ethnographically Turkle, More specifically, the study of how people relate actively to new technology is seen as being revealed most effectively through the ethnographic process. Thereby, ethnography examines the admixture of people, artifacts and techniques that make up the technosocial event.

However, if the intent is to capture the politics of movements as not that of typicality but of possibility, there is a chance of representing complexity more faithfully. After all, no research methodology is authentic in portraying a complete reality. In this study therefore, the event is the sum of social interaction encountered as well as representations of movements, time, space and text. Moving through context and community, we come now to conduct.

Within such asymmetry of spaces, there is a range of relationships and enactments that needs to be brought forth.

Dot com mantra: Social computing in the Central Himalayas

It concerns the process by which newcomers become part of a community of practice. A person's intentions to learn are engaged and the meaning of learning is configured through the process of becoming a full participant in a sociocultural practice. This social process includes, indeed it subsumes, the learning of knowledgeable skills. Local is neither autonomous nor discrete, but that which is situated within interconnected spaces and topographies of power.

Ashwaroodha Mantra

Of course we cannot assume that the local will employ all of this knowledge. This study aims to create a meaningful pastiche of social learning with new technology, making concrete the translocal, institutional and global discourses on new technology. This work bridges the micro-political with the macro-political through ethnography of computers in Almora. Human Ingenuity, Technology and Development in India His workshop floor is a swamp of cardboard strips hacked from salvaged boxes. Laborers scoop them up, work them over and give them new life as smaller boxes, which Khan then sells to stationery and packing companies.

In another warehouse a few doors down, dozens of rubber soles cut from discarded shoes also await a second chance. Next to these, a mountain of plastic castoffs -- toys, computer keyboards, car parts -- is separated by squatting workers, to be melted down into tiny pellets before being reborn in some new form. One man's junk is another's fortune - Los Angeles Times Chu, Gandhian self-sufficiency and human creativity finds its image in the Indian entrepreneur.

Entrepreneurship is not bound so much by social good but survival.


Desperation and innovation converge to a winning combination. This is manifested through the umpteen types of bazaars - markets of goods, people and information, big and small that mark the Indian economy.

They are seen to perceive opportunity and act on it in a myriad of creative ways. Opportunity begets opportunity. They are celebrated as the backbone of the Indian society, performing their day-to-day miracles with or in spite of government institutions and agencies. Entrepreneurship is hardly new terrain.

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High trade barriers, taxes and draconian regulation of private enterprises were emblematic of post-independence days, argued to be mitigated by liberalization reforms of the late s Panagariya, Under the leadership of Rajiv Gandhi, the then Prime Minister and Manmohan Singh, his financial minister and current Prime Minister of India, the stranglehold on entrepreneurship is said to have been finally eased.

This struggle was no small feat. This led to a dangerous compromise - the License Raj: Gandhi distrusted technology but not businessmen.

Textiles and leathers

Nehru distrusted businessmen but not technology. Instead of sorting out the contradictions, India mixed the two up and created holy cows. Das, , p. Citizenship and nationhood entered into a long-standing marriage, bound by the hands of science and technology.

Predictably, State education became the grounds for such socialization. Participation has found its friend in enduring Indian entrepreneurism. Gandhian localism and Nehruvian technocratic Statehood comes together once again. The intent is to open up the realm of possibilities for e-government, e-literacy, telemedicine, e-commerce and other information services by leveraging on advances in ICT, particularly in remote towns and villages in India.

This massive undertaking is founded on a public-private partnership of the State, technology corporations, transnational agencies and foundations, NGOs, and local governing bodies or panchayats coming together. Village entrepreneurs are expected to sustain these centers by sensitizing to the needs of the local community.

Simultaneously, multiple experiments are being generated at the local to State level in areas of technological capacity and connectivity, content generation and knowledge dissemination, resulting in projects such as the digitalization of land records, healthcare and education to pensions. However, such a jump has to be by leaps and bounds to truly overcome the multiplicity of hurdles.

Hobart & Surrounds

These barriers are daunting. Whilst the average growth rate of urban India is about 20 per cent, the rural countryside is a mere per cent per year. Almost every field has abysmal ratings: in education, 25 per cent of the teachers skip work, and when they do show up, half do not teach at all. Since most of the educational budget goes to teachers, this kind of absenteeism is a tremendous barrier in creating educated youth.

In healthcare too, there appears to be little accountability with 35 per cent of doctors and nurses not showing up at local hospitals. In this climate, it is natural to be distrustful of government-initiated technological schemes. Hence, an expensive lesson is learnt: the embracing and diffusion of new technologies comes at the acceptance and willing adoption of users.

This ideology was deeply embedded in the British psyche to the point where they imposed broadcasting in villages by linking radio programmes with loudspeakers all through the day.

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  5. There was little escape from colonial altruism. With all this effort, it was found that such programmes proved highly unpopular and such schemes resented by many. That said, there are genuine reasons to see new technology as a serious actor in the betterment of human development. These tools come with their own deliverances and promises in the form of new vaccinations and remedies to new media expressions.

    In this light, how should we perceive computers for development? Yet, the scaling and usage of computers in India in recent years have led to some positive results. Connection of the central government to its local counterparts and the provision of online government registrations, pensions, land records, legal proceedings and taxes are beneficial, particularly given the reputation of corruption amongst the Indian bureaucracy. Some success however, has been achieved. The national digitalizing of passenger reservations by the Indian Railway system, online registrations through the CARD initiative and municipal tax collection online in Andhra Pradesh, online custom declarations, digital land records in Karnataka through their new Bhoomi centers and more are seen as having reduced corruption dramatically across these States.