When Biopolitics Turn Digital: Transparency, Corruption, and Erasures from the Infrastructure of Rationing in Delhi

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Following the ratification of the National Food Security Act (NFSA) in 2013, the Indian state digitized its food rationing infrastructure, replacing paper‐based ration cards with digital rationing documents and other technologies of authentication. The shift from analog to digital documentary practices has rematerialized documents and devices to enable closer monitoring of the exchange of food entitlements in ration shops. Making biopolitics digital has enabled the state to exert greater control over rationing practices by rendering them more transparent. However, the state’s obsession with preventing practices of corruption has hindered, rather than facilitated, access to entitlements for some rightful beneficiaries of the NFSA.

This content has been updated on 12 February 2020 at 16 h 19 min.