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Shikha Nehra

Shikha Nehra's profile image

Shikha Nehra

Second Year Cohort
Research Interests: 
digitalization of bureaucratic work, state practices, and the politics of citizenship and identification in India.


My doctoral research examines how digitalization of bureaucratic work affects the implementation of welfare provisions, people’s experience of citizenship, and documentation practices of the state in India. I focus on two broad, but interrelated questions: a) how are digital technologies, from management information systems to biometric identification technologies, embedded within the apparatus of government; and b) how does digitalization of bureaucratic work and documentary practices affect the state’s powers and functioning. In doing so, I would like to critically engage with the discourse on transparency, accountability, surveillance, privacy, corruption, and efficacy of digital technologies in promoting development. In a nutshell, I seek to illuminate how a digitally-mediated state is imagined, built, and enacted, and what does it mean to live in one.

I hold a B.A. in Journalism from University of Delhi, and an M.A. in Development Studies from Ambedkar University, Delhi. I worked between 2014-2017 as a public policy researcher studying various state welfare provisions for food security and health in India. Before coming to Stanford, I earned my second M.A. in Anthropology from Brandeis University.