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Apps, maps and war rooms: on the modes of existence of "COVtech" in India

Datta, A; Aditi, A; Ghoshal, A; Thomas, A; Mishra, Y; (2021) Apps, maps and war rooms: on the modes of existence of "COVtech" in India. Urban Geography , 42 (3) pp. 382-390. 10.1080/02723638.2020.1807165. Green open access

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Abstract

This paper on the SARS-CoV-2 crisis in India examines the emergence of ”COVtech” as a range of public sector-led technologies of surveillance, management and containment of the virus. COVtech lends itself to examination of what Simondon calls ”concretisation” of technical objects. We argue that COVtech initiatives have different modes of existence in India – first as the redeployment of existing technologies assembled across urban, regional and federal scales of governance; second, as current technologies curated within translocally situated networks which are mobilised to provide relief and support to vulnerable groups locked out/in Indian cities. We conclude by proposing that a progressive mode of existence of COVtech rests not with the ‘what’ and ‘where’ of the disease monitored by the apps, maps and War rooms of the State, but in addressing the ‘who’ and ‘how’ of its impacts mobilised by civil society and non-state actors.

Type: Article
Title: Apps, maps and war rooms: on the modes of existence of "COVtech" in India
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/02723638.2020.1807165
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/02723638.2020.1807165
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: SARS-CoV-2, India, technology, disease surveillance; smart cities
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Geography
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10104600
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