Seminar: Solar Photovoltaic Technology Development in India: A Critical Analysis of Culture of Science and Science Policy Making

Seminar: Solar Photovoltaic Technology Development in India: A Critical Analysis of Culture of Science and Science Policy Making

Speaker: Dr. Deva Raj P


              With the recent policy approach Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission Plan (JNNSM), the technology development in Solar Photovoltaic (SPV) research has been revived and reemerged in India. Despite early start in 1960s, India has been lacking in the process of development and deployment of SPV technologies. The present study examines the interaction of culture of science and science policy making in SPV research and technology development. It attempts to explore the factors affected the SPV research and technology development programmes. Employing in-depth and semi-structured interviews, the study had collected data from social actors like public research laboratories, in-house R&D, and academic institutions engaged in production of application oriented knowledge. The study points out that the problematic conditions of SPV research are mediated by the problematic construction of policy making. This produced multiple effects like lack of academic-industry interactions, crisis of SPV science, alienation of scientific community and discontinuous political commitment to SPV research. The phenomenological experience of the scientists expose how the high handed approach to policy making concurrently played an important role in discontinuous production of knowledge and kept SPV technology and industrial development stagnant during 1990s. The study concludes that SPV was considered as inappropriate science in India and consequently failed to develop the strategic and commercial area of research like silicon. 

Brief note on the speaker:

       Dr. Devaraj. P is presently working as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT-ISM), Dhanbad. Previously he worked as an Assistant Professor in the Prime Minister Rural Development Fellow (PMRDF) Scheme at Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Hyderabad. He has completed his M.A., M. Phil, and Ph. D in Sociology from University of Hyderabad. He has also qualified for the prestigious UGC Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) in 2009 and Post-Doctoral Radha Krishnan Fellowship in 2015 in Sociology. His research interest is in Sociology of Science and Technology and Innovation Studies. He has published his research papers in well reputed international journals in the area of Sociology of Science and Technology. Recently, his book proposal titled as “Solar Photovoltaic Technology Development in India” has been accepted by the prestigious Publisher Routledge (India and UK). Eventually, he is presently engaged in writing his first book that questions the way India has nurtured the technology development programmes in Solar photovoltaic. Apart from this, he has recently received a consultancy project from Coal India Limited (CIL) in collaboration with Department of Environmental Science and Engineering at (IIT-ISM) Dhanbad. 

Event Date: 
Wednesday, 19 April 2017 - 11:00am
Seminar Hall, Department of HSS
IIT Bombay, Powai, Mumbai