In post-independence India, technology has emerged as a crucial sector that has driven the country's development. In his recent book, Midnight's Machines: A Political History of Technology in India, Arun Mohan Sukumar provides an engaging account of India's technological evolution to unpack the various success and failures that have played a pivotal role in transforming India into a leading power.

Arun Mohan Sukumar will trace the history of technoloy in India, based on the book. This will be followed by a panel discussion with Susmita Mohanty, Rajeev Gowda, and Jahnavi Phalkey, moderated by Anu Singh.


6:00 to 6:30 p.m.

Welcome Tea and Coffee

6:30 to 6:35 p.m.

Introductory Remarks by Anu Singh

6:35 to 6:50 p.m.

Talk by Arun Mohan Sukumar

6:50 to 7:30 p.m.

Panel Discussion and Q&A


Arun Mohan Sukumar

Arun Mohan Sukumar is a PhD candidate at the Fletcher School, Tufts University, and a junior fellow at the school's Centre for International Law and Governance. He formerly headed the Technology Initiative at the Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi.

Susmita Mohanty

Susmita Mohanty is a spaceship designer and the only space entrepreneur in the world to have started companies on three different continents. She is the chief executive officer of EARTH2ORBIT, India’s first private space start-up (2009-ongoing). She has cofounded two other companies, MOONFRONT in San Francisco (2001-07) and LIQUIFER in Vienna (2004-ongoing).

Rajeev Gowda

Rajeev Gowda is a member of parliament in the Rajya Sabha, representing Karnataka and a Spokesperson for the Congress party. Until recently, he was Professor of Economics and Social Sciences at the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore and a Director on the Central Board of the Reserve Bank of India. He has also been a post-doctoral fellow at the University of California, Berkeley and taught at the University of Oklahoma.

Jahnavi Phalkey

Jahnavi Phalkey is a filmmaker and historian of science and technology. Formerly at King's College London, she is now the founding director of Science Gallery Bengaluru and the Sir Asutosh Mukherjee Visiting Professor at the National Institute of Advanced Studies. Previously, she was a fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin (2013-14) following which she was on secondment to the Science Museum London as external curator (2013-2015). Jahnavi is the author of Atomic State: Big Science in Twentieth Century India (2013) and has recently coedited Science of Giants: China and India in the Twentieth Century (2016). She is also on the editorial board for the British Journal for the History of Science and History and Technology. She is the director of the documentary film Cyclotron (2017).


Anu Singh

Anu Singh is deputy director of Carnegie India. She has a wide range of experience in the area of education. Most recently she has worked as associate dean of academic affairs for the undergraduate program at Ashoka University.