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date: 13 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter shows how India’s scientists played an important role in policy-making. As science evolved to play a prominent role in the functioning of the modern state, its practitioners also gained importance, particularly those involved in defence research. India’s independence and modernization overlapped with the growth of international technocracy, shaping the relations between politics, the laboratory, and international law. Indian scientists grappled with the nuclear Janus as much as their Western counterparts, and their leaders had to balance the use of science for development and to make weapons of war. The importance of technology to the nation-building project as well as the bitter memories of colonialism informed Indian policy on issues such as nuclear non-proliferation and missile development that remain with us today. In fact, it has become impossible to separate science from its policy implications in the modern state.

Keywords: India, science, nuclear non-proliferation, defence research, technocracy, weapons, development, colonialism

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