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

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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.




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), 382–390.

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