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Culture of Science and Science Policy Making: A Qualitative Study of Solar Photovoltaic (SPV) Technology Development in India

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Employing Mode 2 science perspective, the present study attempts to understand the interaction of culture of science and science policy making in Solar Photovoltaic (SPV) research and technology development in India. Despite an early start, India has been lacking in the process of development and deployment of SPV technologies since the 1960s. The study explores the factors that affected the SPV research and technology development programmes in India. Using in-depth and semi-structured interviews, data were collected from scientists located in different academic and R&D institutions engaged in production of application oriented knowledge. The study points out that over time the conditions of SPV research have been mediated by the problematic construction of public policy making in the area of energy. Unimaginative and half-hearted approach to policy making contributed to discontinuous production of knowledge and made SPV technology and industrial development insignificant. This kind of ambience produced multiple effects like little or no interaction between academia-industry interaction, and crisis in the production of scientific knowledge, alienation of scientific community. The study concludes that SPV science and technology development was considered at one stage as inappropriate to the Indian context for various reasons, and consequently failed to develop the strategic and commercial area of research like silicon.

Affiliations: 1: Indian Institute of Technology Dhanbad ; 2: University of Hyderabad


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