Singh, Ashveer Pal


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Grad Status: 
In the Field

I am a social and cultural anthropologist engaging with the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), which has recently launched a program, Aadhaar, to distribute biometric identification cards to every Indian resident. My focus is on the impact of this national project on governance and bureaucracy in the state of Punjab and its welfare distribution apparatus. I bring to this project my interest in the ways in which the Indian state imagines pasts, presents, and futures for its polity. I endeavor to to contribute to scholarly conversations about science and technology studies and governance; the logic of state planning and development in India; the conditions of knowledge production within the Indian bureaucracy; and the impact of such expertise on the state of Punjab in particular. My project is motivated by my interests in cultural anthropology, identity and power, and in Punjab and its diasporas, which I cultivated first as an undergraduate in the anthropology department at UC Berkeley, and subsequently at the University of Chicago, where I earned my MA in the social sciences.