Mr. Swaran will present his APS as per the detail below:

Date: Thursday, 29th of September, 2022

Time: 1100 hrs.

Venue: CTARA Conference Room No.1

Topic: The shaping and reshaping of small millets dehuller - An STS inquiry 

Guide: Prof. Pennan Chinnasamy

RPC Members: Prof. Satish B. Agnihotri, Prof. D. Parthasarathy, Prof. Srijit Mishra


Come 2023, the world will be celebrating the International Year of Millets following a declaration by the UN General Assembly in March 2021. Previous years' work showed the vicissitudes of millets in the Indian context and the circumstances that led to a renewed interest in them. It also detailed how small millets were differentially marginalised among the marginal millets and why they are differentially getting highlighted in the revival discourse of millets. The study now takes a Science, Technology and Society (STS) turn to understand one particular aspect of small millets i.e. de-hulling. Historical analysis, as well as observations from the fieldwork in Southern Odisha, shows that the decision of farmers/consumers on the cultivation and consumption of small millets are often contingent upon their ability for de-hulling.

Desktop/Countertop dehuller is the latest in the long lineage of machines developed to tackle this challenge. Drawing on literature I argue STS could be an appropriate lens to understand the development of knowledge, processes and discourses around the dehuller. Further, I present preliminary results on applying the co-production framework of STS in the case of a mini-millet dehuller. The objective is to see what the individual understanding of dehuller is among the different stakeholders, whom I identify as the engineer, tester, operator, user and evangelist, and how the co-production of the idea of dehuller occurs through these identities. In light of this information, prior attempts to develop small millet dehullers are scrutinized.

Further work will be to put these results together to develop an understanding of the mutual shaping of socio-technical arrangements and agri-food systems, in the context of small millets. Together with the previously done Longue durée on millets in India, it hopes to create insights into the evolution of millets in India over two centuries and what we could expect in the near future along with their implications on the agri-food system of the country.

Event Date: 
Thursday, September 29, 2022 - 11:00 to 12:30