- E-Health Research Centre (EHRC)
- Machine Intelligence & Robotics CoE (MINRO)
- Centre for IT & Public Policy (CITAPP)
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- Centre for Accessibility in the Global South (CAGS)
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- Advanced Wireless Communications Lab
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- About Us
Education : Ph.D. (University of California Berkeley)
Janaki Srinivasan’s research examines the political economy of information technology-based development initiatives. She uses ethnographic research to examine how gender, caste and class shape the use of such technologies. Her work has explored these interests in the context of Indian digital inclusion initiatives focussed on community computer centres, mobile phones, identity systems and open information systems. Currently, she is exploring privacy, algorithmic control and the role of intermediaries in digital transactions, with an emphasis on the domains of financial inclusion and work automation. Janaki has a PhD in Information Management and Systems from UC Berkeley and Masters degrees in Physics and in Information Technology from IIT Delhi and IIIT Bangalore.
- Research Interests:
- Honors and Awards
- Selected Publications
- Research & Consulting
- Other Information
Political economy of information-based development, privacy, critical social theory, algorithmic management of work, politics of work automation, situated learning at work, development theory, financial inclusion, ICTD, politics of identity systems
- Centre for Effective Global Action, UC Berkeley (2022-24)
- Institute for Money, Technology & Financial Inclusion (IMTFI) Research Grant (2015-16, 2012-13)
- Strengthening Information Society Research Capacity Alliance (SIRCA) III Grant (2015 – 2017)
- UC Berkeley Graduate Division Summer Grant (Summer 2010 and 2011)
- Fellow at the UC Berkeley Summer Institute for Preparing Future Faculty (Summer 2010)
- Peter Lyman Graduate Fellowship in New Media, UC Berkeley (Summer 2009)
- UC Berkeley School of Information Management and Systems Fellowship (2005 – 2007)
- International House Berkeley Fellowship (2005 – 2006)
- World Summit on Information Society-Gender Caucus Research Grant (Spring 2005)
Peer-reviewed journal papers
- Chaudhuri, Bidisha; Meenakshi D'Souza and Janaki Srinivasan. 2022. “Bringing the missing women back: CS education for women in India's engineering institutions.” Communications of ACM 65(11): 65-67.
- Srinivasan, Janaki and Elisa Oreglia. 2020. “The Myths and Moral Economies of Digital ID and Mobile Money in India and Myanmar.” Engaging Science, Technology, and Society 60, 215-236. DOI:10.17351/ests2020.276
- Oreglia, Elisa and Janaki Srinivasan. 2020. “Human and Non-Human Intermediation in Rural Agricultural Markets.” Journal of Cultural Economy 13(4), 353-367. DOI: 10.1080/17530350.2018.1544918
- Srinivasan, Janaki; Savita Bailur; Emrys Schoemaker and Sarita Seshagiri. 2018. “The Poverty of Privacy: Understanding Privacy Trade-Offs From Identity Infrastructure Users in India.” International Journal of Communication 12, 1–20.
- Srinivasan, Janaki; Megan Finn and Morgan Ames. 2017. “Information Determinism: The Consequences of the Faith in Information.” Information Society 33 (1).
- Oreglia, Elisa and Janaki Srinivasan. 2015. “ICT, Intermediaries, and the Transformation of Gendered Power Structures.” MIS Quarterly.
- Srinivasan, Janaki and Jenna Burrell. 2015. “On the Importance of Price Information to Fishers and to Economists: Revisiting Mobile Phone Use Among Fishers in Kerala.” Information Technologies & International Development Vol. 11 (1).
- Srinivasan, Janaki. 2012. “Looking Beyond Information Provision: The Importance of being a Kiosk Operator in the Sustainable Access In Rural India (SARI) Project, Tamilnadu.” Information Technologies & International Development Vol 8: 101-114.
- Parthasarathy, Balaji and Janaki Srinivasan. 2008. “How the Development of ICTs Affects ICTs for Development: Social Contestation in the Shaping of Standards for the Information Age.” Science Technology & Society 13: 279-301.
Peer-reviewed conference papers
- Petelka, Justin; Elisa Oreglia; Megan Finn and Janaki Srinivasan. 2022. “Generating Practices: Investigations into the Double Embedding of GDPR and Data Access Policies.” Proceedings of the ACM Human Computer Interaction 6, CSCW2 (November), 1-26.
- Hanbal, Rajesh Dinesh, Amit Prakash, and Janaki Srinivasan. 2020. “Who Drives Data in Data-Driven Governance? The Politics of Data Production in India’s Livelihood Program.” In ACM Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Theory and Practice of Electronic Governance, ICEGOV 2020, 485–493.
- Chaudhuri, Bidisha; Purnabha Dasgupta; Onkar Hoysala; Linus Kendall and Janaki Srinivasan. 2017. “Actor-Networks and Practices of Development: Impact of a Weather Information System in West Bengal.” In 14th International Conference on Social Implications of Computers in Developing Countries (ICT4D), Yogyakarta, Indonesia. IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology Vol 504: 809-81.
- Chaudhuri, Bidisha; Linus Kendall; Janaki Srinivasan; Onkar Hoysala, and Purnabha Dasgupta. 2017. “Understanding capabilities through everyday practice: The case of a weather information system for farmers in West Bengal.” In ACM Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development (ICTD ’17), Lahore, Pakistan.
- Johri, Aditya and Janaki Srinivasan. 2014. “Aligning with Data: Populating the ‘Unique Identity’ Infrastructure in India.” In ACM Proceedings of the Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW), Baltimore.
- Finn, Megan; Janaki Srinivasan and Rajesh Veeraraghavan. 2014. “Seeing with Paper: Government Documents and Material Participation.” In IEEE Proceedings of the 47th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS), Hawaii. Awarded the Best paper award in the Digital and Social Media track.
- Srinivasan, Janaki and Jenna Burrell. 2013. “Revisiting the Fishers of Kerala, India.” In IEEE Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies for Development, Cape Town.
- Srinivasan, Janaki and Aditya Johri. 2013. “Creating Machine Readable Men: Legitimizing the ʻAadhaarʼ Mega E-Infrastructure Project in India.” In IEEE Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies for Development, Cape Town.
- Srinivasan, Janaki. 2010. “From Telecom Switches to Telecenters: Changes in the “Telecom for Development” Discourse in India (1947-1999).” In IEEE Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies for Development, University of London.
- Srinivasan, Janaki. 2007. “The Role of Trustworthiness in Information Kiosk Projects.” In IEEE Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies for Development, Bangalore, 345-352.
Book chapters and reports
Srinivasan, Janaki. 2022. The Political Lives of Information: Information and the Making of Development in India. Information Society Series. MIT Press.
Srinivasan, Janaki. 2021. “The Social Meaning of Mobile Money: Navigating digital payments, savings and credit in the Global South.” In V. Sridhar (ed.). Data-centric living: Algorithms, Digitization and Regulation. Routledge.
- Chaudhuri, Bidisha; Janaki Srinivasan and Onkar Hoysala. 2021. “Learning as Participation: Open Practices and the Production of Identities.” In Arul Chib, Caitlin M. Bentley and Matthew L. Smith (Eds.) Critical Perspectives on Open Development. Empirical Interrogation of Theory Construction. MIT Press, 81-101.
- Fairwork. 2022. Fairwork India Ratings 2021: Labour Standards in the Gig Economy. Bangalore, India; Oxford, United Kingdom.
- Fairwork. 2021. Fairwork India Ratings 2021: Labour Standards in the Gig Economy. Bangalore, India; Oxford, United Kingdom.
- Fairwork. 2020. Fairwork India Ratings 2020: Labour Standards in the Gig Economy. Bangalore, India; Oxford, United Kingdom.
Courses I teach at IIITB
Privacy in the Digital Age (Graduate) with T K Srikanth and V Srihdar
Ethnographic Research Approaches (Graduate)
Technology in Development (Earlier called The Digital and its Discontents) (Graduate)
Technology and Society (Graduate) with Bidisha Chaudhuri
Detailed syllabi of the courses I currently teach at IIITB are here.
Recent and ongoing research projects
- “My data or yours?” Unraveling Privacy Among Consumers of Digital Credit in India with V.Sridhar (IIITB), T.Srikanth (IIITB) and Consumer Unity and Trust Society (CUTS), funded by Centre for Effective Global Action, UC Berkeley, 2022
- COVID Data Infrastructure Builders: Creating Resilient and Sustainable Research Collaborations with Amelia Acker (UT Austin), Bidisha Chaudhuri (IIITB), Ryan Ellis (North Eastern, Boston), Megan Finn (UW Seattle), funded by NSF, 2021
- Recovering Food Narratives and Reimagining Health: Digital documentation of cultural practices around food, farming, dietary transitions and nutrition in western Avadh, Uttar Pradesh, India with civil society group Sangtin (Sitapur) and Richa Kumar (IIT Delhi), 2020-2021
- Fairwork Foundation: Towards Fairwork in the Platform Economy with Balaji Partahsarathy (IIITB), funded by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Germany and Oxford Internet Institute, 2019-2022
- Humanising Automation with Sachit Rao and Bidisha Chaudhuri (IIITB), funded by Govt. of Karnataka and IIITB's Machine Intelligence and Robotics Centre, 2018-2023
- Data and Algorithmic Fairness in Public Policies and Services with Sachit Rao and Bidisha Chaudhuri (IIITB), funded by Govt. of Karnataka and IIITB's Machine Intelligence and Robotics Centre, 2018-2023
- Identities with Sarita Seshagiri (IIITB) and Savita Bailur (Caribou Digital), funded by Caribou Digital and Omidyar Networks, 2016-17
- Open and/or Apolitical? A critical re???examination of Open Information Systems with Bidisha Chaudhuri (IIITB), funded by Singapore Internet Research Centre and IDRC, 2015-17
- Intermediaries, Cash Economies, and Technological Change in Myanmar and India with Elisa Oreglia (SOAS University of London), funded by The Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion, UC Irvine, 2015-16
Book talks October 2022 onwards
- School of Information, UC Berkeley, Wednesday, October 12, 4:10 pm to 5:30 pm PDT. More details here
- School of Education and Information Studies, UC Los Angeles, Thursday, Oct 13, 3 pm PDT
- Institute for Practical Ethics & South Asia Initiative, UC San Diego, Friday, Oct 14, 11 am to 1 pm PDT
- School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University, Monday, 17 October, 1 pm to 2 pm EDT. More details here
- George Mason University, Tuesday, 18 October, 11 am to 12 noon EDT
- MUSE, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Wednesday, 19 October, 12 noon to 1 pm CDT. More details here
- Department of Management Studies, IIT Delhi, 15 November, 3pm IST (Virtual)
- Microsoft Africa Research Institute (MARI), Wednesday, 26 November, 2 pm to 3 pm EAT (Virtual)
- Seminar on Critical Computing, University of Toronto, Wednesday, 30 November (Virtual)
- Association for Information Systems and Technology (ASIS&T) Meet the Author series, Thursday, 10-11 am EST (Virtual). More details here.
- LaborTech Research Network Speaker series, Fri, March 17, 10-12pm EST (Virtual). More details here
Here‘s a wonderful conversation I had about the book with Jen Hoyer of the New Books Network Podcast series.
Maya Dodd’s review of the book is now available in the Oct-Dec 2022 issue of Biblio:A Review of Books (and currently linked here).
Conference Panels and Invited Talks
Srinivasan, Janaki. 2022. “No one knows Kannada there”: The mediated nature of “direct” platform services.” Paper at “The Platform Economy and Its Contradictions in South Asia” panel, 50th Annual Conference on South Asia, University of Wisconsin Madison, October 21.
Srinivasan, Janaki. 2022. “Privacy in Digital Communication.” Visiting Professor class for students of the Communication program at Universitas Diab Nuswantoro, Semarang, Indonesia, 30 June.
Srinivasan, Janaki. 2022. “Unseeing the pandemic: The making of “missing” data and the Indian state.” Paper presented at the Digital India and State Making Virtual Workshop, 28-29 June. University of Pennsylvania’s Center for the Advanced Study of India (CASI).
Srinivasan, Janaki; Mounika Neerukonda and Amruta Mahuli. 2022. “One Platform, Many Worlds: The Precarity of Platform Workers in India.” Paper at the “Infrastructure, Innovation and Telecommunications: Evidence From the South(s)” panel. 72nd Annual International Communication Association conference, May 30.
Ryan Ellis, Janaki Srinivasan, Megan Finn, Bidisha Chaudhuri, Stacey Wedlake, Amelia Acker and Youngrim Kim. 2021. “Data Care During Crisis: A Comparative analysis of COVID data infrastructure builders in India and the USA.” Paper at the “Data / Care: Relations, Affects, Practices” panel, Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) Annual Meeting, Toronto, October 6-9.
Srinivasan, Janaki. 2021. Invited speaker on “The Politics of Data Production in the MGNREGA programme,” Talks@Tandem series. January 8.
Srinivasan, Janaki. 2020. Invited panelist to discuss the book “Inclusive Innovation: Evidence and Options in Rural India,” IndiaLICS Webinar Series 3 on Inclusive Innovation: Problematizing The State and S&T in Rural India. October 31.
Taduri, Pradyumna and Srinivasan, Janaki. 2020. “Weapons of the Weak in a Digital Age? The Case of Food Delivery Workers in Bangalore, India.” Paper at the “Taming Platform Capitalism: Struggles from the Global South meet struggles from the Global North” panel, Association of Internet Researchers conference, October 5. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5210/spir.v2020i0.11111
Srinivasan, Janaki and Chaudhuri, Bidisha. 2020. “The Creativity of ‘Routine’ Work: The Case of Data Labellers in Bangalore, India.” Paper presented at the “Codifying Knowledge or Disembodying Work? Cases of Work Practice from India” panel, Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) Annual Meeting, virPrague, August 18-21.
Taduri, Pradyumna and Srinivasan, Janaki. 2020. “The Gig Lane” game presented at the “Making and Doing” session, Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) Annual Meeting, virPrague, August 18-21. Game available at https://www.thegiglane.com/
Srinivasan, Janaki and Elisa Oreglia. 2019. “China, India, and the Legacies of Western Techno-Colonialism.” Paper presented at the “Uncovering Histories of Techno-Optimism: Energetic Futures and the State” panel, Society for the History of Technology Annual Meeting, Milan, October 24-27.
Srinivasan, Janaki. 2020. Invited speaker on “Ethnography in Information Systems research,” Rendezvous with Information Systems Researchers Talk Series. Co-hosted by AIS India Chapter and the Centre for Software & Information Technology Management, IIM Bangalore. August 18.
Srinivasan, Janaki. 2020. Invited speaker on panel “Machine Intelligence for Decision-makers: Novelty, Opportunities, Challenges and Impact.” IIITB Machine Intelligence and Robotics (MinRO) Webinar Series. June 8.
Srinivasan, Janaki. 2019. Invited talk on “Data or an anti-politics machine?” at Towards an Ethical Digital Society: From Theory to Practice. 4th edition of the IIITB Winter School. Bangalore, December 9-11.
Srinivasan, Janaki. 2019. Invited speaker on “Digital Economy: Education, Knowledge and Learnings” at the Human Future in Digital Era workshop. National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), Bangalore, August 5.
Invited session on “Who is the Human at the Centre of Human-Centred AI?” ACM SIGCHI Summer School on Expanding the Horizons of Human-Centered AI. India Habitat Centre, Delhi, July 24-27, 2019
Srinivasan, Janaki. 2019. Invited panelist at the "Suitability for consumer data use and product design" panel, Regulating Data-driven Finance.4th Dvara Research Conference. Dvara Research, April 4-5.
Srinivasan, Janaki. 2019. Invited panelist at the “Public Policy and Public Administration Education in South Asia/India: Challenges and Opportunities” plenary, Governance in an Era of Inequality: Training the Next Generation of Policy Practitioners in South Asia conference. NASPAA and Jindal School of Government and Public Policy, February 25.
Srinivasan, Janaki. 2019. Invited speaker at the “Preferable Futures” panel, UnBox 2019 Design Festival, Bangalore, February 16.
Srinivasan, Janaki and Elisa Oreglia. 2018. “Placeless and Faceless in Asia?: Mythmaking and Moral Economies in the Digital Age.” Paper presented at the Techno-Optimism Within and Beyond Silicon Valley conference, UC Berkeley Centre for Science, Technology, Medicine and Society, October 19-20.
Srinivasan, Janaki. 2018. Invited speaker at the “What can MobileHCI learn from the Global South?” panel, MobilHCI conference, Barcelona, September 4-7.
Rao, Sachit; Bidisha Chaudhuri and Janaki Srinivasan. “To Bot or Not to Bot, that’s the question.” Paper presented at the "Artificial Intelligence and Cognition as Social Praxis" panel, Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) Annual Meeting, Sydney, August 29 -September 1.
Srinivasan, Janaki and Bidisha Chaudhuri. 2018. “What is the future of work in the technology sector?” Question Marks Seminar. Australia India Institute, Melbourne, August 28.
Srinivasan, Janaki. 2018. “Seeing Invisibility: Technology in Development.” Invited talk at Centre for Budget and Policy Studies, Bangalore, June 28.
Srinivasan, Janaki. 2017. “Unique or Just Another ID?: Seeing the State with (U)IDs in India.” Paper at the Technology, Politics and Governance in India panel of the 46th Annual Conference on South Asia, University of Wisconsin Madison, October 26-28.
Srinivasan, Janaki. 2016. Invited participant at the International Research Seminar on Family Empowerment in South Asia, Chittagong, October 1. Asian University for Women.
Srinivasan, Janaki and Elisa Oreglia. 2016. “Digital Myths and the Making of a Moral Economy.” Paper presented at the 28th Annual Conference of the Society for Advancement of Socioeconomics (SASE), Berkeley, June 24-26.
Srinivasan, Janaki. 2015. Invited participant at the Expert Group Meeting on Women and ICT Frontier Initiative (WIFI) Programme, Incheon, 7-8 May. United Nations Asian and Pacific Training Centre for Information and Communication Technology for Development.
Oreglia, Elisa and Janaki Srinivasan. 2015. “Re-embedding Market Information Systems: Thoughts on Design.” Poster presented at the iConference, Newport Beach.
Srinivasan, Janaki; Megan Finn and Morgan Ames. 2015. “Beyond Information Determinism to Information Orders: A New Framework for Policy.” Poster presented at the iConference, Newport Beach.
Burrell, Jenna and Janaki Srinivasan. 2014. “Revisiting the Fishermen of Kerala, India.” Talk at the Energy and Resources Group Colloquium, University of California Berkeley, March 5.
Srinivasan, Janaki and Rajesh Veeraraghavan. 2013. “Recording Work, Anchoring Politics: The Role of ‘Muster Rolls’ in Public Work Schemes in India.” Paper at the 42nd Annual Conference on South Asia, University of Wisconsin Madison, October 20.
Finn, Megan; Lilly Irani; Christo Sims and Janaki Srinivasan. 2013. “Information and Communication Technologies, Aspiration and Identity.” Panel at the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) Annual Meeting, San Diego, October 9 -12.
Srinivasan, Janaki. 2013. “Mobiles and Mobility: The Use of Mobile Phones by Fishers in Kerala, India.” Talk at the Human Computer Interaction Seminar Series,Virginia Tech, April 26.
Duguid, Paul; Megan Finn; Ashwin Mathew and Janaki Srinivasan. 2011. “The Informational State: Paradigm Or Paradox?” Panel at the iConference, University of Washington, Seattle, February 8-11.
Srinivasan, Janaki. 2010. Invited participant at the Indo–UK Roundtable Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development, Bangalore, January 11 – 13. British High Commission and IIITB.
Burrell, Jenna; Padraig Carmody; Anita Gurumurthy; James Murphy and Janaki Srinivasan. 2010. “How can ICT Research Better Inform and Communicate Theories of Development and Globalization? New Challenges and Promising Directions” Panel at the 4th International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies for Development, London, December 13–14.
Kuriyan, Renee; Joyojeet Pal; Aishwarya Ratan; Isha Ray and Janaki Srinivasan. 2008. “Information And Communication Technologies and Development.” Panel at the 23rd South Asia Annual Conference, Berkeley, February 14 – 16.
Parthasarathy, Balaji and Janaki Srinivasan. 2006. “Innovation and its Social Impacts: The Role of Ethnography in the Evaluation and Assessment of ICTD Projects.” Paper presented at Globelics India 2006- Innovation Systems for Competitiveness & Shared Prosperity in Developing Countries, Trivandrum, October 4. Center for Development Studies, Trivandrum and Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore.
Workshops (co) organized
Qualitative Research in Information Systems: Tools & Tips Virtual Workshop, November 9-10, 2020 (with Association for Information Systems India Chapter; and Department of Management Studies, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi).
Identity Unconference at IIIT-Bangalore, July 10-11, 2018 (with IEEE and Internet Identity Workshop (IIW))
Online Platform Labour Workshop at IIIT-Bangalore, July 5, 2018 (with Fairwork Foundation, UK).
No Cash, No Intermediaries? Workshop at IIIT-Bangalore, November 11, 2016 (with support from Institute for Money Technology and Financial Inclusion, University of California Irvine)