Internet Infrastructure and Subjectivity in India
Ram Bhat is undertaking his PhD research on the National Fiber Optic Network in India - a crucial part of the so-called Digital India initiative that seeks to 'wire' up all 250,000 villages in India. Rapid transformation of the social and economic base through high speed connectivity intersects with a hardening of social relations towards Hindutva, and against minority groups. Ram Bhat's research attempts to focus on internet infrastructure as a site that embodies the tensions accompanying such huge infrastructure projects. His research will use ethnography to capture people's practices and engagement with internet infrastructure to reveal the dialectic relationship between political values encoded in infrastructure and individual/group subjectivities.
Supervisor: Dr. Shakuntala Banaji and Dr Wendy Willems
Ram is the co-founder of an arts and media collective called Maraa (maraa.in) located in Bangalore and Delhi, India. He is also currently serving as the President of AMARC Asia Pacific (World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters). He has consulted with a wide range of government agencies, donors, NGOs and other civil society agencies across a range of media related issues cutting across policy and practice. His professional interests lie in working around the intersection of media and broader notions of public interest, including but not limited to, spectrum allocation, mobile telephony, internet infrastructure, white spaces, community media and public service broadcasting.
Through LSE scholarship support, Ram completed with Distinction, a MSc in Media, Communication and Development from the LSE in 2014-15. He is currently pursuing his PhD, also fully supported by an LSE scholarship.