Singh, Ashveer Pal


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Grad Status: 
Second Year Cohort

I am a social and cultural anthropologist engaging with the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), which has recently launched a national program, Aadhaar, to distribute biometric identification cards to every Indian citizen in order to better manage the distribution of welfare throughout the country. I bring to this project my interest in the ways in which the Indian state imagines pasts, presents, and futures for its minority communities. I intend to study, and hope to contribute to, ongoing 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 polity; and the impact of such expertise on the state of Punjab in particular. My project is motivated by long-standing interests in anthropology, identity and power, and in Punjab and its diasporas, interests 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.