Postdoctoral Scholar

Ranjit Singh

Ranjit has a doctorate in Science and Technology Studies (STS) from Cornell University. His research lies at the intersection of data infrastructures, global development, and public policy. He uses methods of interview-based qualitative sociology and multi-sited ethnography in his research. He examines the everyday experiences of people subject to data-driven practices and follows the mutual shaping of their lives and their data records. His dissertation research on Aadhaar, the national biometrics-based identification infrastructure of India, advances the public understanding of the affordances and limits of biometrics-based data infrastructures in practically achieving inclusive development and reshaping the nature of Indian citizenship.

He has published his research in venues such as the Journal of South Asian Studies and the ACM CHI Conference; he has presented his work at conferences including CSCW, 4S, AAA, and ECSAS. Beyond the dissertation, he has focused on two additional infrastructures: (1) the National Register of Citizens in Assam, India—an effort to differentiate citizens from illegal immigrants. (2) US Credit Scoring—the efforts of low-income individuals to improve their creditworthiness within the lending industry. In all these projects, his research is oriented towards understanding how data is increasingly used to imagine and develop new digital solutions for democratizing inclusion. He was also involved in developing the Digital Due Process Clinic, a clinical program at Cornell University, to study and support individuals in their struggles to secure fair representation in data infrastructures.