South Asia InSTITUTE Year in Review 2012-2013
Abbreviation Key FAS GSAS GSD HBS HDS HGSE HKS HLS HMS HSPH SAI SEAS
Faculty of Arts and Sciences Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Graduate School of Design Harvard Business School Harvard Divinity School Harvard Graduate School of Education Harvard Kennedy School of Government Harvard Law School Harvard Medical School Harvard School of Public Health South Asia Institute School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Cover photo 2012 Best Photo in South Asia Office of International Programs Photo Contest SAI Sponsored Prize Adela Kim, Harvard College Class of 2016, ‘Simplicity of Love,’ taken in Leh, Ladakh, India Photo at right: Tarik Adnan Moon, Harvard College Class of 2015 Cox’s Bazaar, Bangladesh
TABLE OF CONTENTS HIGHLIGHTS OF 2012-2013
IN THE NEWS
Director, South Asia Institute (SAI), Harvard University, Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor, Harvard Business School
Dear Friends, In its first ten years, the SAI played a steady role in raising the level of discourse about the Indian sub-continent at Harvard. In recognition of its recent accelerated growth and scholarly impact beyond the university, in December 2012, the Initiative was elevated to the status of Institute, signaling the University’s commitment to further expand the reach and impact of South Asian studies at Harvard. As a uniquely diverse and populous laboratory for learning, South Asia offers myriad opportunities to address complex social problems, in health, science, and technology; problems that demand innovative interdisciplinary participation in the humanities, design professions, social and hard sciences. This year, SAI added four exciting new members to its Steering Committee, bringing with them new learning and partnership opportunities in the areas of business and economic development, education, international relations, and neuroscience. What follows highlights our accomplishments from this year. SAI raised funds to support two post-doctoral fellowships beginning in the 2013-1014 academic year. One fellow will complement existing teaching in the Department of South Asian Studies. Another will focus on development issues related to Pakistan. SAI’s interdisciplinary seminar series includes topics on Humanities and the arts, Muslim Societies of South Asia, Public Health, Social Enterprise, Urbanization, and Water and Climate Change. SAI’s integrative lecture format seeks the combined insights of Harvard faculty, internationally recognized scholars, and regional players offering a wide spectrum of expertise and perspective. This ongoing series addresses problems that are of broad interest across academic departments and university-wide units such as the Asia Center, the Department of Global Health and Population, the Department of Urban Planning and Design at the GSD, Harvard University Center for the Environment, the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, and many others. Leveraging the resources of its three-country outreach infrastructure in South Asia, SAI continued to engage with intellectuals and interested individuals in Bangalore, Colombo, Chennai, Delhi, Dhaka, Karachi, Lahore, and Mumbai. Three new joint research projects engaging faculty from multiple schools as well as university-wide centers are underway and will continue in 2014. 4 South Asia Institute
Mapping the Kumbh Mela a multidisciplinary research project to study the massive religious festival, co sponsored by the Harvard Global Health Institute, convened twenty undergraduate and graduate students with a team of faculty from Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Graduate School of Design, Business School, School of Public Health, Medical School and the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights. The team traveled to Allahabad, India, from January through late February, to document and analyze the complexities of constructing and deconstructing a temporary city of more than 70 million people over a span of only 55 days. The team researched topics related to large-scale urbanization, rapid infrastructure deployment (relevant to disaster relief), trafficrouting algorithms, the emergence and dispersal of short-run social structures to organize activities, and public health systems for mega-scale transient, diverse and dense populations. Follow-up lectures, papers, a conference, and a book will extend the learning and the team’s findings. In the summer of 2012, SAI initiated and organized its inaugural leadership workshop, a Multidisciplinary Approach to University Leader Development for educators and administrators from 13 universities in Maharashtra, India. Twenty-eight leaders and policy makers, including Vice Chancellors, Directors, Principals, and Deans of both public and private higher learning institutions, as well as senior Government of Maharashtra officials participated in a classroom style workshop with faculty from FAS, HBS, HKS, HGSE, HSPH, SEAS, and HDS. Visiting leaders left the workshop with specific goals for their home institutions including, increased communication among university leaders, inclusive decision-making for all stakeholders in their institutions, and expanded understanding of a liberal arts education in a culture focused on science and engineering.
With a mission to raise the international profile of South Asian studies at Harvard, the South Asia Institute is now widely seen as a demonstration of Harvard University’s commitment to engage multiple disciplines in pursuit of the most challenging issues emerging out of the fastest growing region in the world. Following the recent rape incident in Delhi that awakened the country and the world to pay further attention to women’s vulnerabilities as a result of gender inequality, SAI initiated a new interfaculty initiative to address gender-based violence in South Asia. In partnership with regional experts, this program will offer expertise on matters related to the prevention and reduction of gender-based violence on the subcontinent that would contribute to a progressive change in a pervasive problem. The project is collaboration between the South Asia Institute, Harvard Law School and the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard. This year, SAI awarded grants to 65 students, and contributed over $155,000 towards enriching related academic initiatives with fieldwork in South Asia through internships, independent projects, volunteer work, and student-led events. Two additional grants through the Anwarul Quadir Foundation and the Aman
Directors Letter Foundation will further support student travel to Bangladesh and Pakistan respectively. In-region experiential learning is an increasingly important tool to advance and deepen teaching and research on global issues relevant to South Asia. With SAI’s extensive network in South Asia we continue to assist visiting Harvard faculty, staff and students in their research efforts, studies and travel in the region. To expand our support capacity in the region, SAI hired new regional coordinators to support and connect scholars in Delhi, the intellectual capital of India, and Karachi, the thriving commercial center of Pakistan. In collaboration with the Harvard Business School’s India Research Centre, SAI introduced the Best of Harvard in India series. In its first year, three round table events on Accountability and Governance in India were chaired by leading HBS professors. Each roundtable session brought together faculty from Harvard and pioneers in the Indian business world. The discussion sessions were held in major Indian cities to help local participants gain a deeper understanding of corruption and the need for developing public accountability to address this growing problem. Furthering the commitment to connect with the region, SAI hosted four video workshops gathering participants from across Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh and covering topics relating to entrepreneurship, education and containment of corruption. In addition to the extraordinary contribution of our many collaborators across the university, SAI’s successes in 2012 can also be attributed to the accomplishment of its administration. Now in their third year as a team, Meena Hewett, Executive Director, and her colleagues’ extraordinary efforts in Cambridge, Delhi, Dhaka, Karachi, Lahore, and Mumbai continue to build bridges connecting Harvard’s community to South Asia, increasing exchange of knowledge and deepening scholarly inquiry on issues impacting the region. Four student interns from the HGSE, HLS, and HDS, worked all year with the SAI team on multiple projects ranging from outreach, grants coordination, in region activities, and interfaculty projects.
What started as a bold and hopeful undertaking a decade ago has in the past three years accelerated and expanded to become a vibrant and effective catalyst and resource to multiple communities, including many beyond Harvard, the US, and Indian Subcontinent. With a mission to raise the international profile of South Asian studies at Harvard, the South Asia Institute is now widely seen as a demonstration of Harvard University’s commitment to engage multiple disciplines in pursuit of the most challenging issues emerging out of the fastest growing region in the world. Only with the increased support from its advisors, advocates, and funders, will SAI continue to meet a series of ambitious new growth targets, and with them ever more effective modes of impact; new ideas, new resources, and new partnerships aimed at combining the scholarship and action that will maximize Harvard University’s potential for profound impact on the current and future lives of billions inhabiting the sub-continent of South Asia. Regards,
From Left: Tiona Zuzul, HBS student, at the Kumbh Mela; University educators and administrators gathered at Harvard in the summer for a workshop on leadership development; Jared Katseff, HBS/ GSD Student, spent the summer 2012 as an intern at IFMR Finance Foundation, in Chennai, India funded by SAI.
A Year in Review 2012-2013 5
About Us Administration
Mission The South Asia Institute (SAI) at Harvard University engages faculty and students through interdisciplinary programs to advance and deepen the teaching and research on global issues relevant to South Asia.
Meena Sonea Hewett,
Director Of The South Asia Institute & Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor, Harvard Business School
As a catalyst and bridge between Harvard faculty and the region, the South Asia Institute’s goals are to:
• Facilitate scholarly exchanges among Harvard faculty and students, international South Asia specialists, visiting academics, and public figures from South Asia.
SAI FINANCE TEAM SHARED WITH OTHER ASIA RELATED CENTERS Susan McHone,
Director of Finance and Administration Financial Associate
Financial and Administrative Associate Graphic Designer
• Sponsor lectures and conferences at Harvard and in the region by distinguished academic, governmental, and business leaders whose work contributes to a better understanding of the challenges facing South Asia. • Support Harvard students with grants for language study, research, and internships in-region. • Build a community of stakeholders committed to building scholarship on South Asia at Harvard and in-region.
Founders Club: Namrata Arora,
Associate Director, SAI Mumbai Office, India
Program Consultant, Karachi, Pakistan
Program Consultant, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Umer Qadir, Program Consultant, Lahore, Pakistan
SJD Candidate, Harvard Law School
Phd. Candidate, Harvard Divinity School
Lauren Nelson, Ed.M. Candidate, Harvard Graduate School of Education
Graphic design and layout of the Year in Review by Marissa Giambrone
6 South Asia Institute
Ed.M.Candidate, Harvard Graduate School of education
Syed Babar Ali, AMP ‘73 Purander Das Jo Forman and Mark Fuller, AB ‘75, MBA ‘78, JD ‘79 Meera and Vikram Gandhi, MBA ‘89, ExEd ‘00 Mala Haarmann, AB’91, MBA ‘96 Anuradha and Anand Mahindra, AB ‘77, MBA ‘81 Karen AB ’82 and Sanjeev Mehra, AB ‘82, MBA ‘86 Victor Menezes Arif Naqvi Nirva and Paresh Patel, MBA ‘00 Chandrika & Dalip Pathak Sribala Subramanian and Arvind Raghunathan Anupa & Rajiv Sahney Gaurav Swarup, MBA ’80 Arshad Zakaria, AB’85, MBA ’87
SAI Research Affiliates: Manjari Chatterjee Miller Assistant Professor of International Relations, Boston University
Vanita Yadav Visiting Scholar, Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship, MIT
Honorable S. William Green Professor of Public Law, Harvard Law School
Sumitomo-FASID Professor of International Finance and Development, HKS
Mohammed Kamal Professor of Public Policy, HKS
Parimal G. Patil
Chair, Department of Global Health and Population;
Spangler Family Professor of Business Administration, HBS
Clarence James Gamble Professor of Economics and Demography, HSPH
T.M. Chang Professor of China Studies, FAS
Professor of Religion and Indian Philosophy, Committee on the Study of Religion, FAS, Chair of the Department of South Asian Studies
Professor of the Practice of Environmental Health, HSPH;
FXB Professor of the Practice of Health and Human Rights, HSPH;
Gordon McKay Professor of the Practice of Environmental Engineering, SEAS
Associate Professor of Medicine, HMS
Ford Foundation Professor of International Education, Director, International Education Policy Program, Harvard Graduate School of Education
Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Politics, HKS
Professor of Urban Planning and Design and Chair of the Department of Urban Planning and Design, GSD
Daewoo Professor of International Affairs; Director, Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, Harvard Kennedy School
Professor of Comparative Religion and Indian Studies, FAS;
Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University
FAS Dean of Humanities; James F. Rothenberg Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures, Professor of Comparative Literature
Member of the Faculty of Divinity, HDS
Tarun Khanna Director of the South Asia Institute & Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor, HBS
Venkatesh Narayanamurti Benjamin Peirce Professor of Technology and Public Policy and Professor of Physics, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Director Science, Technology and Public Policy Program, Harvard Kennedy School
A Year in Review 2012-2013 7
HIGHLIGHTS OF 2012-2013
‘South Asia: A World’s Laboratory’ in New York City
Promoting Inclusive Innovation Program
Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies Video Conference with Tarun Khanna
SAI, Omidyar Network, Growth Dialogue and the World Bank Group convened a Stakeholders’ Roundtable for the Promoting Inclusive Innovation (PII) Program on June 22, 2012 at Harvard University. Participants included entrepreneurs and senior policy-makers from Brazil, China, India, and South Africa as well as leaders from academia, NGOs, global networks, and donor agencies.
On October 11, SAI went on the road to New York City, for an event hosted by Chandni and Mukesh Prasad entitled South Asia: A World’s Laboratory. The program featured talks by Tarun Khanna, Director of SAI & Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor, HBS, Parimal Patil, Professor of Religion and Indian Philosophy; Chair of the Department of South Asian Studies, FAS, Shahab Ahmed, Associate Professor of Islamic Studies, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, FAS, and Rahul Mehrotra, Professor of Urban Design and Planning & Chair of the Department of Urban Planning and Design, GSD. Hitesh Hathi, Producer of Here & Now, WBUR/NPR moderated the event.
On June 26, in Karachi, The Aman Foundation, SAI, the Center for Economic Research in Pakistan (CERP) and Tameer Micro Finance Bank Ltd. presented their latest collaborative project Investing in the Education Market: Strengthening Private Schools for the Poor, which will facilitate low cost, quality education for the rural poor of Pakistan.
Over 140 Harvard students, staff and faculty attended SAI’s welcome back Chaat Party. Representatives from all South Asian student groups at Harvard University were in attendance, and students learned about SAI’s upcoming events and grant opportunities over a cup of chai and a plate of delicious chaat.
From July 30 to August 3, SAI hosted a Multidisciplinary Approach to University Leadership Development Workshop for university leaders from Maharashtra, India, at Harvard University. Twenty-eight leaders and policy makers from 13 universities in Maharashtra attended, including Vice Chancellors, Directors, Principals and Deans of both public and private higher learning institutions, as well as senior Government of Maharashtra officials.
On October 19, SAI led a ground breaking video conference with 20 university sites in Pakistan. Tarun Khanna, Director of the Harvard South Asia Initiative & Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor, Harvard Business School addressed the contextual constraints to Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies: A Case for Inclusive Innovation in Emerging Markets Lessons for Pakistan from China and India, with important insights for fostering an entrepreneurship ecosystem in Pakistan.
Asim Khwaja (HKS) in Karachi on June 26
Nora Maginn (right) talks to a student about grant opportunities
University leaders from Maharashtra visit Harvard’s iLab
active contacts who receive SAI’s weekly newsletter.
In response to SAI’s demonstrated commitment to the advancement of South Asian studies and programs, the Office of the President and the Office of the Provost at Harvard formally renamed SAI the South Asia Institute at Harvard University.
students, faculty, and members of our community have attended the SAI 2012-13 seminar series, events and conferences.
Hitesh Hathi (WBUR/NPR), Shahab Ahmed (FAS), Parimal Patil (FAS), and Rahul Mehrotra (GSD) in New York
students were funded by SAI to support internships, research, and projects both in region and on campus.
Group photo of Harvard participants at the Kumbh Mela in January
Ambassador Nirupama Rao speaks at the Afghanistan Conference in April
SAI, along with the Harvard Global Health Institute, convened ‘Mapping the Kumbh Mela’ a multidisciplinary research project to study the religious festival. In January-February 2013, a team of faculty from Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences, School of Design, Business School, School of Public Health, Medical School and the Harvard Global Health Institute, as well as undergraduate and graduate students, traveled to Allahabad to engage with this “pop-up megacity.” Because of its size and complexity, the Kumbh Mela inspired interdisciplinary research in a number of complementary fields, urban studies and design, religious and cultural studies, environmental science and public health, technology and communications.
Following an address at the JFK Forum, SAI hosted a lunch with Sherry Rehman, Ambassador of Pakistan to the United States, and faculty from across Harvard. The lunch was an opportunity for the faculty to share their work on Pakistan both on campus and in the region.
For the first time, SAI offered Winter Session funding, and awarded grants to 7 undergrad and graduate students for on the ground research and field experience.
South Asia Without Borders, SAI’s Annual Symposium
The “Future of Afghanistan” conference, co-sponsored by the Harvard Kennedy School’s India & South Asia Program, the Future of Diplomacy Project, and the Harvard South Asia Institute, was day long conference that sought to answer important questions about the current state of affairs in Afghanistan and the prospects for regional peace and stability in a post-2014 world. On April 16, SAI, along with Harvard’s Mahindra Humanities Center, hosted India’s Finance Minister, P. Chidambaram for a talk entitled ‘The Rise of the East: The Implications for the Global Economy.’ The SAI 2013 annual symposium ‘South Asia Without Borders’ in April, focused on breaking down barriers in the traditional study of South Asia, including disciplinary, geographical, and temporal boundaries. SAI and the Central Square Foundation, held a workshop at Harvard University on May 8 to brainstorm the development of a network of experts and academics in the US and India to increase education reform in India.
Saloni Chaturvedi (HBS Researcher) and Tarun Khanna (SAI/HBS) at the Kumbh Mela in January
Photo of a shrine in Kathmandu by Corrina Moucheraud, winter session grant recipient
Seminar Series events were held on topics related to Global Health, Muslim Societies in South Asia, Social Enterprise, South Asia Without Borders, Urbanization, and Water & Climate Change.
Sugata Bose (FAS), Homi Bhabha (Mahindra Humanitites Center, FAS), P. Chidambaram (India’s Minister of Finance), and Tarun Khanna (SAI/HBS)
universities and institutions across Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka participated in SAI’s webinar series, which enabled Harvard faculty in Cambridge to engage with audiences in Karachi, Dhaka, Islamabad, Colombo and Lahore.
Pakistan Ambassador, Sherry Rehman
faculty were funded through SAI to support their research on areas related to South Asia.
FACULTY SAI strives to create a reciprocal relationship between Harvard faculty and the South Asia region. Through faculty led initiatives, SAI creates a platform where Harvard and the region can learn from each other. These initiatives include the SAI Seminar Series, which supports cross-boundary inquiry through issue-based tracks in the areas of Global Health, Muslim Societies in South Asia, Social Enterprise, South Asia Without Borders, Urbanization, and Water & Climate Change. SAI also sponsors interfaculty programs, bringing faculty from various Harvard schools together to engage in multidisciplinary scholarship.
Jorge Dominguez, Vice Provost for International Affairs addresses a group of participants from the University of Maharashtra, India.
Inclusive Innovation Program Inclusive innovation is any innovation that leads to affordable access of quality goods and services for the excluded population, primarily at the base of the pyramid, on a long term sustainable basis with a significant outreach. — R. A. Mashelkar October 19, 2012
StAkehoLDeRS’ RounDtAbLe FoR PRoMotinG inCLuSive innovAtion
Spurring Entrepreneurship: A Case for Inclusive Innovation in Emerging Markets
SAI, Omidyar Network, Growth Dialogue and the World Bank Group convened a Stakeholders’ Roundtable for the Promoting Inclusive Innovation (PII) Program on June 22, 2012 at Harvard University. Participants included entrepreneurs and senior policy-makers from Brazil, China, India, and South Africa as well as leaders from academia, NGOs, global networks, and donor agencies. The first half of the roundtable examined inclusive innovation through frameworks and case studies while the second half featured country perspectives on inclusive innovation from state and non-state actors. The summit concluded with action recommendations, including the creation of a Global Inclusive Innovation Platform, to implement the next steps.
October 17, 2012
Inclusive Innovation: The Emerging Game Changer
Lessons for Pakistan from China and India On Friday, October 19, SAI led a groundbreaking video conference with 20 university sites in Pakistan. Tarun Khanna addressed the contextual constraints to entrepreneurship in emerging economies, with important insights for fostering an entrepreneurship ecosystem in Pakistan. During the seminar Professor Khanna engaged with lively audiences both directly via the video conference and through a twitter feed. Citing specific examples from his research in India and China, Professor Khanna highlighted companies that have navigated through the complexities of private and state constraints and are contributing positively to the economy while making noticeable impact. Productive change in the economy can come about by what he calls a “deep degree of contextual intelligence,” or the willingness to be creative and to take risks. Ahsan Jamil, CEO of the Aman Foundation, offered opening remarks. Dr. Shahid Qureshi, Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship and Associate Director for the Center for Entrepreneurial Development at the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) Karachi, moderated the event. The Higher Education Commission of Pakistan (HEC) served as the video conference bridge, connecting SAI with audiences across Pakistan.
R.A. Mashelkar, President of the Global
June 22, 2012
Conor Walsh (SEAS) presents a session on medical technology innovations.
A Multidisciplinary Approach To University Leader Development From July 30 to August 3, SAI hosted a “Multidisciplinary Approach to University Leadership Development” Workshop for university leaders from Maharashtra, India. Twenty-eight leaders and policy makers attended, including Vice Chancellors, Directors, Principals and Deans of both public and private higher learning institutions, as well as senior Government of Maharashtra officials. Each day of the five-day workshop was divided into four sessions focusing on both academic and administrative topics. Sessions were led by Harvard faculty that included Jorge Dominguez, Antonio Madero Professor for the Study of Mexico; Vice Provost for International Affairs, Harvard University, Vish Viswanath, Associate Professor of Society, Human Development, and Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Merilee Grindle, Edward S. Mason Professor of International Development, Center for International Development, Harvard Kennedy School, Parimal Patil, Professor of Religion and Indian Philosophy; Chair of the Department of South Asian Studies, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Ali S. Asani, Professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic Religion and Cultures, and Director, Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Program at Harvard University, and Tarun Khanna, Director of SAI and Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor, Harvard Business School.
Highlighted five characteristics of inclusive innovation: Affordable access sustainability, quality goods and services, access to the excluded population, and scalability.
A Year in Review 2012-2013 11
Mapping India’s Kumbh Mela: Interdisciplinary Faculty and Student Research on a ‘Pop-up Mega City’ A multidisciplinary team of over 50 faculty, staff and student researchers from Harvard University traveled to Allahabad, India in January 2013 to document and analyze the processes involved in the successful functioning of the Kumbh Mela, the world’s largest religious festival that occurs every twelve years, lasts 55 days, and draws millions of visitors to a temporary, purposebuilt tent city on the banks of the Ganges and Yamuna. This year-long interfaculty project is coordinated by the South Asia Institute at Harvard University and the Harvard Global Health Institute, as part of their focus on Urbanization. The brief below highlights the multi school research, touching upon interdisciplinary issues across a number of complementary fields — urban studies and design, religious and cultural studies, environmental science and public health, technology and communications.
Kalpesh Bhatt (far right) and Diana Eck (right) at the Kumbh Mela.
Gregg Greenough (HSPH), Neil Murthy (student, HMS), and Katie Koch of the Harvard Gazette at the Kumbh Mela
12 South Asia Institute
Religion and the Humanities:
Business at the Kumbh Mela:
Professor Diana Eck led a group of graduate and undergraduate researchers who studied aspects of the Kumbh Mela related to religion and the environment. Professor Eck and her students visited several akharas (Hindu religious organizations), including the Juna Akhara, one of the oldest such organizations in India. Research topics included: the ritual use of flowers and their environmental impact at the Kumbh Mela; diversity of sacred trees; the Ganges River—both its pollution and the effects of dams; the relationship between faith and science; religious performances at the Kumbh Mela, including lilas or playfulness, as part of the rituals; the Green Kumbh movement; and the various religious groups and their identity at the Kumbh Mela.
There were two teams of researchers from Harvard Business School at the Kumbh Mela led by professors Tarun Khanna and John Macomber. The first team engaged in a clinical study of the structure and governance of the Kumbh in order to understand how large scale urban infrastructure can be deployed in reasonably short order. The output for this research will be a series of articles and case studies focused on distilling implications for public policy and management. The second team is conducting an econometric study of the formation of networks and groups in large scale, diverse, and reasonably inchoate settings. The study uses primary data collected in real time during the weeks of the Kumbh, as well as a proprietary cell phone usage dataset.
FACULTY Aerial photo of the Kumbh Mela site by photographer, Dinesh Mehta.
Urbanism at the Kumbh Mela:
Public Health at the Kumbh Mela:
Professor Rahul Mehrotra led a team of graduate student researchers whose goal was to map the Kumbh Mela. At the macro level, students documented the spaces at the Kumbh Mela using two- and three-dimensional media, including plans and sections, diagrams, perspectives and aerial photography and film. The team explored two complementary conditions: (1) the physical structure of the settlements, including the hierarchy of residential sectors, the attribution of spaces for public amenities, the location and organization of infrastructures, and the proximity of these spaces to the Sangam, the confluence of the holy rivers; and (2) the temporal, fleeting events that define the festival in a much more ephemeral way, including the routes that the pilgrims take between different parts of the city, the moments of bathing, and the nighttime celebrations. Among other issues, the group is exploring how these two parts function together, and how the systems that emerge can be applied to sustainable urban design in other nations and contexts.
Two teams of public health academics and experts, medical doctors, and students examined the health system at the Kumbh Mela.
At the micro level, the team commenced documentation of the design and construction of the individual akharas and the temporary settlements of the pilgrims who reside at the Kumbh Mela for the 55 days of the festival.
Study around sanitation — One research led by professor Richard Cash, senior lecturer on Global Health, HSPH, group documented the diversity and services of toilet facilities constructed for use during the festival. These toilets range from a simple corrugated metal or canvas enclosure around a drainpipe channeling liquid waste into the ground, to sophisticated “bio-toilets” that use bacteria to convert solid waste into liquid that is then filtered and leached into the earth. Health surveillance study — A second team led by Professor Gregg Greenough, HSPH and Satchit Balsari, Fellow, FXB Center for Health and Humanitarian Initiative is working closely with the festival’s health administrators, local public health students, and volunteer researchers on a health surveillance study at the Kumbh Mela, which aims to collect daily data on every patient visit at a representative cross-section of Kumbh Mela sector hospitals. The group seeks to understand how disease occurrence during the Kumbh Mela may be clustered, and to explore the provision of allopathic health care to this transient population. Specifically, the team hopes to digitize and analyze the data from five hospitals located in densely occupied sectors. Results from the surveillance team could be useful to the Kumbh Mela health care providers as it identifies spikes in disease and trends seen in real time. Data and results will be shared with officials and local health care providers, and could shed light on planning for subsequent religious gatherings.
Next Steps: Through exchange of knowledge between disciplines, the research and development from “Mapping of the Kumbh Mela” project will result in building educational tools and resources pertinent to the study of religion, urban design, business, and global health. The project will also lead to possible solutions to issues such as the design for disaster and medical response, rapid urbanization, management of public goods and services, communication & connectivity through mobile technology, and health care for large populations inhabiting temporary settlements.
A Year in Review 2012-2013 13
Faculty led Seminar Series Global Health The Global Health Seminar Series, led by S.V. Subramanian, Professor of Population Health and Geography, Department of Society, Human Development, and Health, HSPH, focuses on the challenges in South Asia on health care and delivery and innovative solutions that are developed to address these challenges. Past topics have included sanitation and toilets in Mumbai’s slums, the use of mobile devices in the delivery of health care, and improving health outcomes for South Asian children. S O U T H A S I A I N I T I AT I V E U R BA N I Z AT I O N S E M I N A R S E R I E S ASIA INITIATIVE GLOBAL HEALTH AND URBANIZATION SEMINAR SERIES SSOUTH OUTH A S I A I N I T I AT I V E U R BA N I Z AT I O N S E M I N A R S E R I E S
October 23, 2012
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Prospects for Accelerating Progress in Health and Nutrition in India
MAPPING MUMBAI’S TOILETS MAPPING MUMBAI’S MAPPING MUMBAI’S TOILETS TOILETS TU ESDAY, SE P T E MBE R 4, 4: 0 0 PM
K262, CGIS KNAFEL, 1730 CAMBRIDGE STREET, CAMBRIDGE MA 02138
Asha George, Assistant Professor, John Hopkins School of Public Health
Srinath Reddy, President, Public Health Foundation of India, and Visiting Professor of Cardiovascular Health, HSPH
Rahul Mehrotra, Professor and Chair, Department of Urban Planning and Design, Harvard GraduateProfessor School ofand Design Rahul Mehrotra, Chair, Department of Urban Planning and Design, James Potter, Master’s Candidate, Harvard Graduate School of DesignHarvard School of Public Health Jennifer Weaver, Master’s Candidate, Harvard School Public Health James Potter, Master’s Candidate, Harvard School of of Public Health Chair: Richard Cash, SeniorCandidate, Lecturer onHarvard Global Health, of Global Health Jennifer Weaver, Master’s School Department of Public Health and Population, Harvard School of Public Health Chair: Richard Cash, Senior Lecturer on Global Health, Department of Global Health and Population, School of urban Public Health This seminar examinesHarvard the intersection between design and public health, and examines two approaches to
Meera Shekar, Lead Health & Nutrition Specialist, Africa region, World Bank
In January 2012, a team from the Harvard School of Public Health traveled to Mumbai led to study living improving public health and hygiene around toilet use in Mumbai slums. In January 2012, a team from the Harvard conditions in slums in Cheeta Camp, a planned slum in northeastern Mumbai. Working under Richard In January 2012, a team fromtothe Harvard School Public Healthintraveled Mumbai led to study living School of Public Health traveled Mumbai led to study of living conditions slums in to Cheeta Camp, a planned slum in Cash, seniorMumbai. lecturer global health, students created a map of Cheeta Camp’s toilets because no conditions slums Working inonCheeta Camp, athe planned slum in northeastern Mumbai. Working under Richard northeasternin under Richard Cash, senior lecturer on global health, the students created a map of the one knew forwhich sureincluded how there were. The map included information on the location of who slum’s toilets, information on the location, who built them,ahow they and whether or toilets, not they were Cash, senior lecturer onmany global health, students created map offunctioned, Cheeta Camp’s toilets because no put them up, how they functioned, and whether or not they were operational. The students counted 701 operational. Thesure students 701 toilets 46 different facilities information to serve Cheeta 117,000of people, but who only one knew for how counted many there were.inThe map included onCamp’s the location toilets, toilets in 46 different facilities to serve Cheeta Camp’s 117,000 people, but only 38 of the facilities were 38 ofthem the facilities meaning was or onenot working 170 people.The They forwarded their map to put up, howwere theyfunctional, functioned, and there whether they toilet were per operational. students counted 701 functional, meaning there was working toilet per 170 people. Theyaforwarded their to local NGOs, local NGOs, officials, and to theone medical director of Cheeta Camp. Bringing design perspective to address the same toilets in 46city different facilities to serve Cheeta Camp’s 117,000 people, but only 38 ofmap the facilities were city officials, andoftoUrban the medical director Cheeta Camp. presentation will discuss their research problem, Professor Design and Planningof Rahul Mehrotra has The designed public toilets with solar roofs and functional, meaning there was one working toilet per 170 people. They forwarded their mappaneled to local NGOs, a green to encourage use and director improve The presentation discuss their research, its their implications for and its exterior implications population of function. Cheeta Camp. city officials, and to for thethe medical of Cheeta Camp. The will presentation will discuss research
Chair: Peter Berman,
urban slums, and the ways in which public health mapping techniques and design can inform one another in responding to development challenges.
and its implications for the population of Cheeta Camp. http://southasiainitiative.harvard.edu/ http://southasiainitiative.harvard.edu/
James Potter, HSPH Student
September 4, 2012
Mapping Mumbai’s Toilets Rahul Mehrotra, Professor and Chair, Department of Urban Planning and Design, Harvard Graduate
School of Design
James Potter, Master’s Candidate, Harvard School of Public Health Jennifer Weaver, Master’s Candidate, Harvard School of Public Health Chair: Richard Cash, Senior Lecturer on Global Health, Department of Global Health and Population, Harvard School of Public Health
Students and faculty from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and Graduate School of Design (GSD) came together to address a common issue in slum dwelling—the scarcity and poor conditions of public toilets in urban slums in Mumbai—and to discuss sustainable solutions from design and public health. “The common challenge the presenters faced was that slum dwellings are usually both illegal and temporary. To make any kind of permanent structural change or to suggest use of space for planned activities threatens the transient and temporary location of the community, raising questions of ownership of unclaimed land: who owns it – the government, or those who have squatted there for generations?”
14 South Asia Institute
Professor of the Practice of Global Health Systems and Economics, Department of Global Health and Population, Harvard School of Public Health
Sponsored by the Department of Global Health and Population, HSPH As part of the Department of Global Health and Population’s celebration of 50 years of global health work, guests presented on topics of maternal deaths in India, challenges of politics and governance to advancing health care, and malnourishment.
Audience member at Global Health seminar event
S.V. Subramanian and Amir Khan
S o ut h a Sia inSt it ut e Global He altH Se m inar Se rie S
Child health in South aSia
April 4, 2013
What is mhealth? Its Future and Its Implications Michael Frost, Director, JSI Center for
mHealth, Technical Advisor, USAID Deliver Project
Joel D. Selanikio, MD, FAAP, CEO and co-
thurSday, February 21, 2013 at 4:30pm
founder, DataDyne.org, Assistant Professor, Georgetown University Department of Pediatrics
CGiS KnaFel, K262, 1737 CambridGe Street, CambridGe, ma, 02138, united StateS Jonathan Simon, Chair, international Health and Professor, international Health, Boston University School of Public Health
Patricia Mechael, Executive Director, mHealth Alliance, United Nations Foundation
Chair: S.V. Subramanian, Professor of Population Health and Geography, Department of Society, Human Development, and Health, Harvard School of Public Health
February 21, 2013
Child Health in South Asia Jonathan Simon, Chair, International Health
and Professor, International Health, Boston University School of Public Health
Chair: S.V. Subramanian, Professor of
Population Health and Geography, Department of Society, Human Development, and Health, HSPH
An estimated 6.9 million children under five years old die each year — largely in poor countries — from preventable diseases, according to UNICEF. A recent USAID report shared vague but encouraging news on its progress towards reducing child mortality. Several country-specific programs in Afghanistan and Bangladesh have been successful at reducing child mortality. Additionally, the evolving work of local partners in India have improved child health. Professor Simon encouraged audience members to examine the slow but meaningful progress that has been made, particularly in India.
February 25, 2013
Some paradoxes in the Indian growth story: Amir U Khan, Senior Policy Advisor, Gates
Chair: S.V. Subramanian, Professor of
Population Health and Geography, Department of Society, Human Development, and Health, Harvard School of Public Health
Amir Khan, head of the policy team at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s India Office, discussed a set of broad development concerns that are particular to India, and some that can be generalized to transition economies, including issues in health and education. He remarked that organizations like the Gates Foundation should work together with academics to confront these concerns.
Chair: Marc Mitchell, Lecturer on Global
Health, Department of Global Health and Population, Harvard School of Public Health; D-Tree International
All leaders in this increasingly important field of global public health, shared their experienced perspectives on the utilization of mobile technology to improve health systems. Mobile health, known as “mHealth,” refers to the practice of medicine or public health that uses mobile communication technology. Although the technology to use handheld computing devices has been available for some time, recent factors — the spread of inexpensive and open-source software, the rapid advance of sophisticated mobile devices, improved telecommunications infrastructure, falling prices — have led to great advancements in mHealth initiatives. With long-term projections for mobile use showing sustained and incredible growth throughout the world in the coming years, practitioners of public health should expect to see more and more advancements with regards to mHealth. Although still in the early stages, the use of mobile technologies to improve health has left its infancy, and is well on its way to becoming a fixture of public health programs around the globe.
A Year in Review 2012-2013 15
Muslim Societies in South Asia The Muslim Societies in South Asia track, led by Ali Asani, Professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic Religion and Cultures, FAS, is co-sponsored with the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Islamic Studies Program, and seeks to address various issues of Muslim Societies within South Asia, and relationships with other Muslim societies across the globe.
Yousuf Saeed Abbas Jaffar, PhD Candidate (left)
September 27, 2012
October 15, 2012
Muslim Devotional Art in South Asia Yousuf Saeed, Independent Researcher and Filmmaker Based in Delhi, India Chair: Ali Asani, Professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic Religion and Cultures, Harvard University Study of Religion; Director of the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Islamic Studies Program Co-sponsored with the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Through his work with visual images, Saaed has examined religion as it is understand at the very grassroots level. How is Islamic religious devotion expressed as popular art for the masses? The research context is popular visual culture on the streets of India — on billboards, posters, calendars — often taken from the markets around Sufi shrines.
October 12, 2012
Overtaken by Events: A Pakistan Road Trip Ethan Casey, International Journalist, Editor, and Author
Chair: Ali Asani, Professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic Religion and Cultures, Harvard University Study of Religion; Director of the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Islamic Studies Program Co-sponsored with the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Program and the South Asian Forum at Lesley University Overtaken By Events: A Pakistan Road Trip is the account of Ethan Casey’s journey, entirely overland, starting in Mumbai, India, just three months after the November 2008 terrorist siege of that city, and ending six weeks later in Karachi, Pakistan.
16 South Asia Institute
Shifting Politics in Pakistan: Challenging Feudalism Nadeem Qureshi, Chairman of Mustaqbil
Chair: Ali Asani, Professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic Religion and Cultures, Harvard University Study of Religion; Director of the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Islamic Studies Program Co-sponsored with the Harvard Pakistan Student Group
March 11, 2013
November 8, 2012
February 7, 2013
Religion, Historiography, and the Emergence of Islamic Empire in India
“Permanent Coup D’état:” The Historical and Institutional Foundations of Military Intervention in Pakistan
Blain H. Auer, Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies, Department of Comparative Religion, Western Michigan University Chair: Ali Asani, Professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic Religion and Cultures, Harvard University Study of Religion; Director of the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Islamic Studies Program Co-sponsored with the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Program Amidst dramatic political and social changes, Delhi and its sultans stood in a new, elevated relationship of power to the Muslim world. In this context, Blain Auer draws attention to the multiple ways Muslim historians, who functioned under state patronage, narrated the religious values of Islamic courts and their sovereigns through the creative process of history writing. Historians demonstrated their sultans’ affinity, equality and superiority to the exemplary religious figures of Islamic history: the pre-Islamic prophets, Muhammad, the early caliphs and Sufi shaykhs. While aligning the history of the sultans of Delhi with an idealized and universal history of Islam, the Delhi Sultanate was projected as an Islamic empire with the mandate of divine guidance. This work makes a significant contribution to understanding Islamic ideals of religious and political authority at the foundation of Islamic empires. It is essential reading for those with an interest in religion, history, Islamic studies and South Asia.
Aqil Shah, Society of Fellows, Harvard University Chair: Ali Asani, Professor of Indo-Muslim
and Islamic Religion and Cultures, Chair of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations and Director of the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Islamic Studies Program at Harvard University
Co-sponsored with the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Program Military meddling in civilian affairs has been a marked feature of Pakistani politics since the first decade of independence from British colonial rule in 1947. Aqil Shah’s research shows that sustained military intervention is a historical legacy of the gross imbalance of civil-military power established during that formative period under conditions of weak “stateness,” warfare and cold war alliances. Placing Pakistan in comparative perspective, Shah’s research also examines the mechanisms by which its civil-military relations can be democratized—a normative goal that has important policy ramifications for issues that are central to regional and international security, including nuclear proliferation, interstate conflict, and terrorism.
The Cost of Condemnation: Heresy and Takfir in a South Indian Community Brian Didier, History Department Head, Winsor School
Chair: Ali Asani, Professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic Religion and Cultures, Chair of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations and Director of the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Islamic Studies Program at Harvard University Co-sponsored with the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Program The field of Islamic Studies, according to Brian Didier, head of the history department at Boston’s prestigious Winsor School, lags behind the academic study of Christianity in at least one significant domain: there is too much attention to the “what”, and not enough to the “how”, in discussions of Islam and social phenomena. Research on heresy in Islam has tended to obscure how takfir – a Muslim individual or group being declared an unbeliever by other Muslims – as an instrument has been employed in a variety of ways across geography and time. Heresy is a charged but complex topic with attendant consequences that differ based on the context of specific regimes of religious authority.
A Year in Review 2012-2013 17
Social Enterprise Jointly led by David Bloom, Chair, Department of Global Health and Population; Clarence James Gamble Professor of Economics and Demography, HSPH and Tarun Khanna, Director of the South Asia Institute & Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor, HBS, the Social Enterprise track showcases organizations in South Asia and domestically that strive to create a better life for the citizens of South Asia through innovative solutions.
Howard Gardner and Ellen Winner
October 10, 2012
November 27, 2012
Social Good: Where Investments in Women and Girls Make the Greatest Impact
Indian Education As Seen By an American Educator on His First Trip to India
Jacqueline Bhabha, Jeremiah Smith Jr. Lecturer in Law, Harvard Law School, Director of the Harvard University Committee on Human Rights Studies, Lecturer in Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School, and Director of Research, FXB Center for Health and Human Rights
Theresa Betancourt, Associate Professor of
Child Health and Human Rights Department of Global Health and Population and Director, Research Program on Children and Global Adversity, François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights
Farzana Haque, Tata Consultancy Services Harleen Singh, Helaine and Alvin Allen Assistant Professor of Literature, Co-Chair, South Asian Studies Program, Brandeis University
Chair: Tarun Khanna, Director of SAI and Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor, Harvard Business School
18 South Asia Institute
Howard Gardner, Professor of Cognition and Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education Ellen Winner, Professor of Psychology, Boston College Chair: Tarun Khanna, Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor, Harvard Business School and Director of the South In January — February 2012, accompanied by his wife Ellen Winner and his son Andrew Gardner, Howard Gardner, Professor of Cognition and Education at Harvard Graduate School of Education made a seven city, three and one half week trip to India. To meet the demand for primary and secondary education, India needs to add 20,000 new schools each year for the next ten years. Gardner and Winner spoke candidly and informally of their impressions of education in India, based on their visits to a variety of schools — including both government funded schools and a number of high-performing private schools. They visited Sujaya School, founded by Jerry Rao in Bangalore, the Muktanga Foundation Government School in Mumbai, and Riverside School founded by Kiran Sethi, in Ahmedabad, among other schools. Gardner led a discussion on how to scale up new educational initiatives. All of the different schools the team of educators visited — particularly the private schools — were trying to address disparities in educational quality in India. Many of these entrepreneurial educators have succeeded in building high quality schools, but the question of scalability remains pertinent. Can these schools and educators scale up to tackle the systemic challenges of Indian education? What part should the government play in addressing educational reform, and what will the role be for NGOs, innovators, donors, or the private sector?
SOU TH ASIA IN STITU TE S O CIAL E N TE RP RISE SEM INAR SERIES
LOW COST, HIGH-IMPACT INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS FOR THE BOTTOM 2 BILLION
March 28, 2013
Robotic Construction by Contour Crafting Behrokh Khoshnevis, Director, Center
Audience members and Ron Gutman
February 11, 2013
HealthTap: Bringing Interactive Mobile Health to Asia and Beyond Ron Gutman, Founder & CEO, HealthTap Chairs: David Bloom, Clarence James
Gamble Professor of Economics, Harvard School of Public Health and Tarun Khanna, Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor at Harvard Business School and Director of SAI
HealthTap provides an online platform and mobile applications for users to post medical questions anonymously and for physicians to answer to these questions. Physicians’ responses, identity, and reputation are known in order to ensure accountability and transparency; moreover, the online community rates these responses while scholars peer review them in order to create both checks and balances and competition among more than 32,000 doctors. When asked about the company’s plans for taking the service overseas, Gutman remarked that it is of huge interest and that he was open to the audience’s thoughts. One obstacle in pushing out this model of a medical technology database based on questions and answers internationally is that medical information and practices vary from country to country, and there are major cultural and language barriers. Gutman sees HealthTap as a necessary bridge between doctors and people; bringing it to the global level would be a tremendous opportunity to expand access to quality healthcare worldwide.
for Rapid Automated Fabrication Technologies (CRAFT); Professor, Industrial & Systems Engineering, Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering and Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of Southern California
Chair: Venkatesh Narayanamurti,
John A. and Elizabeth S. Armstrong Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences and Professor of Physics, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences; Director of the Science, Technology and Public Policy Program at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School
The nature of construction has remained intensely manual throughout recorded history. Unlike in manufacturing, the growth of automation in construction has been slow. A promising new automation approach is Contour Crafting (CC). Invented by the speaker, Contour Crafting is a mega-scale 3D fabrication process aiming at automated on-site construction of whole structures as well as subcomponents.
THURSDAY, APRIL 11, 2013 4:00 PM CGIS SOUTH, S020, 1730 CAMBRIDGE ST., CAMBRIDGE, MA, 02138 ASHOK GADGIL, Division Director, and Faculty Senior Scientist, Environmental Energy Technologies Division, LBNL; Andrew and Virginia Rudd Family Foundation Distinguished Chair of Safe Water and Sanitation; Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering Chairs: DAVID BLOOM, Clarence James Gamble Professor of Economics, Harvard School of Public Health and TARUN KHANNA, Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor at Harvard Business School and Director of SAI Dr. Ashok Gadgil has substantial experience in technical, economic, and policy research on energy efficiency and its implementation — particularly in developing countries. For example, the utility-sponsored compact fluorescent lamp leasing programs that he pioneered are being successfully implemented by utilities in several east-European and developing countries. He has several patents and inventions to his credit, among them the “UV Waterworks,” a technology to inexpensively disinfect drinking water in the developing countries, for which he received the Discover Award in 1996 for the most significant environmental invention of the year, as well as the Popular Science award for “Best of What is New – 1996”. In recent years, he has worked on ways to inexpensively remove arsenic from Bangladesh drinking water, and on fuel-efficient stoves for Darfur.
April 11, 2013
Low Cost, Highimpact Innovative Solutions for the Bottom 2 Billion Ashok Gadgil, Division Director, and Faculty
Senior Scientist, Environmental Energy Technologies Division, LBNL; Andrew and Virginia Rudd Family Foundation Distinguished Chair of Safe Water and Sanitation; Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Chairs: David Bloom, Clarence James Gamble Professor of Economics, Harvard School of Public Health and Tarun Khanna, Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor at Harvard Business School and Director of SAI Ashok Gadgil has substantial experience in technical, economic, and policy research on energy efficiency and its implementation — particularly in developing countries. For example, the utility-sponsored compact fluorescent lamp leasing programs that he pioneered are being successfully implemented by utilities in several east-European and developing countries. He has several patents and inventions to his credit, among them the “UV Waterworks,” a technology to inexpensively disinfect drinking water in the developing countries, for which he received the Discover Award in 1996 for the most significant environmental invention of the year, as well as the Popular Science award for “Best of What is New – 1996”. In recent years, he has worked on ways to inexpensively remove arsenic from Bangladesh drinking water, and on fuel-efficient stoves for Darfur.
A Year in Review 2012-2013 19
South Asia Without Borders Focusing on the humanities and culture, broadly, the South Asia Without Borders Seminar track seeks to break down traditional borders, whether they be disciplinary, geographical, or temporal. The track is chaired by Parimal Patil, Professor of Religion and Indian Philosophy, Chair of the Department of South Asian Studies, Harvard University, and is co-sponsored by the Department of South Asian Studies.
November 9, 2012
Beyond Sri Lanka’s War Against Terror: The Struggle for Sri Lanka’s Democracy Saliya Pieris, Attorney-at-Law, Chairman
CFPS School of Law, Colombo, Sri Lanka, 2012 Eisenhower Fellow
November 2, 2012
Harlem, Black Bottom, Tremé: South Asian Muslims in U.S. Communities of Color, 1890-1965 Vivek Bald, Assistant Professor of Writing and Digital Media, MIT Chair: Parimal Patil, Professor of Religion and Indian Philosophy, Chair of the Department of South Asian Studies, Harvard University
Vivek Bald is a scholar and filmmaker whose work focuses on histories of the South Asian diaspora. His current project traces the lives of South Asian Muslim silk peddlers and merchant seamen who settled within communities of color in the U.S. South, Northeast, and Midwest in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It is the basis for a forthcoming book, Bengali Harlem and the Lost Histories of South Asian America (Harvard University Press, 2013), and a documentary film, In Search of Bengali Harlem.
20 South Asia Institute
Chair: Charles Hallisey, Yehan Numata
Senior Lecturer on Buddhist Literatures, Harvard Divinity School
This event explained how developments in Sri Lanka, including the authoritarian executive Presidential Constitution in 1978, the war with the Tamil Tigers and the failure of the Sri Lankan regime to find a political solution to the nation’s problems have all contributed toward the serious rule of law challenges faced by the country. Among these challenges are the issues of enforced disappearances, arbitrary arrests and detentions, cronyism, nepotism, suppression of the opposition and the free media, all of which have resulted in the breakdown of national institutions such as the legislature, the judiciary and the public service. What role should the government and the people of Sri Lanka, as well as the international community, play in order to establish strong rule of law in Sri Lanka?
November 16, 2012
Vernacular Political Economy in Colonial Bengal Andrew Sartori, Associate Professor of History, New York University
Chair: Parimal Patil, Professor of Religion
and Indian Philosophy, Chair of the Department of South Asian Studies
Bengali agrarian politics of the late colonial period turned to a very great extent on debates over property. To make sense of the emergence of this kind of agrarian politics (which could be variously articulated in terms of the aspiration to “Muslim emancipation,” “cultivator rights” and “tenant rights”) requires an account of the process by which political-economic concepts were vernacularized in the Bengali countryside in the later nineteenth century.
November 26, 2012
Naxalism and Orissa: Divergent Conflicts, Political Economy, and Minoritization
Souls in the Kalyug: The Politics and Theologies of Migrant Workers in Delhi Shankar Ramaswami, Visiting Associate Fellow, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi
Chair: Parimal Patil, Professor of Religion
and Indian Philosophy, Chair of the Department of South Asian Studies, Harvard University
Angana Chatterji, Co-chair, Research Project
Sanjeev Uprety, Associate Professor, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu; Fulbright Scholar Chair: Michael Witzel, Wales Professor of Sanskrit & Director of Graduate Studies, Department of South Asian Studies, Harvard University
March 27, 2013
Graphic Violence: Representing the Rippling Effects of Conflict through Narrative, Illustration and Photography Benjamin Dix, Photographer and Author of
on Armed Conflict and People’s Rights, Center for Nonprofit and Public Leadership, University of California at Berkeley
Neat and Laundered Middle Classes and Third Gender Nepal Communist partyUnited Marxist Leninist: Masculinity and Politics in Contemporary Nepal
Speakers Benjamin Dix (left) and Charles Hallisey (right)
Charles Hallisey, Yehan Numata Senior Lecturer on Buddhist Literatures, Harvard Divinity School Chair: Jennifer Leaning, FXB Professor of the Practice of Health and Human Rights, Harvard School of Public Health; Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
March 29, 2013
Extraordinary Law at the Colonial Frontier: Notes on the East India Company Archive Bhavani Raman, Assistant Professor of History; David L. Rike University Preceptor in History; Princeton University Chair: Parimal Patil, Professor of Religion
and Indian Philosophy, Chair of the Department of South Asian Studies, Harvard University
Raman’s discussion of martial law takes us beyond its immediate economic repercussions to its long-term effects. Martial law is used in this context with the specific intent of restricting free trade and expanding the agrarian resources of a trading company – all in the name of security and protection. Examples drawn from this context, Raman argues compellingly, will contribute to current conversations about the aims and effects of emergency law in various international contexts.
Benjamin Dix, former liaison officer between LTTE leadership and the United Nations prior to the latter’s 2008 evacuation from Sri Lanka, documented the events leading up to the UN departure from the island nation and the subsequent destruction of the largely Tamil community from the Vanni region. Criticizing the systematic failure of the international community to act against the targeting of citizens from Sri Lanka’s Northern Province as they moved from the Vanni toward the Indian Ocean coast, Dix, alongside Harvard Professors Charles Hallisey (HDS) and Jennifer Leaning (HSPH), discussed the national and global implications of the Sri Lankan civil war’s legacy through the context of Dix’s graphic novel. The novel, aptly entitled The Vanni, documents the experiences of Sri Lankan conflict survivors who have experienced human trafficking, torture, family separation, and post-traumatic stress disorder, among other misfortunes. Dix’s work bridges the fictional and non-fictional by using graphic artistic representation, telling the story of a Tamil man named Antony who illegally travels to the United Kingdom to seek asylum for himself and his family. Relatable and educational, The Vanni allows readers unfamiliar with the Sri Lankan context to identify with the civil war that ravaged the island nation for over 25 years, as well as view human tragedy in a new and sobering light.
A Year in Review 2012-2013 21
November 30, 2012
Urbanization Chaired by GSD Professor Rahul Mehrotra, The South Asia Institute’s seminar series focus on urbanization, both urgent and topical: The UN estimates that 15% of the world’s population lives in “megacities” of 10 million or more, the majority of which are in low- and middle-income nations. India is home to several of these. By 2017, the World Bank estimates that 500 million Indians will live in cities, of which 69 million will inhabit slums. Such urban movements have already posed significant challenges to global health, and some opportunities, and will continue to do so. The seminars in this series highlight experiments with — and studies of — energy conservation, wastewater treatment, and recycling, among other areas, are underway all over South Asia’s urban centers, and of vital importance in both a local and global context. S O UT H AS IA INSTITUTE U R B A N I Z AT I O N S E M I N A R S E R I E S
THE MODERNIST CITY IN THE AGE OF GLOB ALIZATION
November 14, 2012
Kolkata-o-Durga Pujo: Collective construction of community, identity, and publicness through design agency and spatial transformation Anirban Adhya, Associate Professor, Depart-
CGIS KNAFEL, K262, 1737 CAMBRIDGE STREET, CAMBRIDGE MA
February 19, 2013
T UES DAY, F E B R U A RY 1 9 , 2 0 1 3
Deruralization: The Modernist City in the Age of Globalization
Professor of Architecture; Adjunct Professor of Landscape Architecture, Adjunct Professor of Urban Design and Planning; Director, Chandigarh Urban Lab, University of Washington Moderated by
Professor of Urban Planning and Design and Chair of the Department of Urban Planning and Design, Harvard Graduate School of Design
Vikramāditya Prakāsh, Professor of Architecture; Adjunct Professor of Landscape Architecture, Adjunct Professor of Urban Design and Planning; Director, Chandigarh Urban Lab, University of Washington Chair: Rahul Mehrotra, Professor of Urban Planning and Design and Chair of the Department of Urban Planning and Design, Harvard Graduate School of Design
ment of Architecture, Lawrence Tech College of Architecture and Design
Chair: Rahul Mehrotra, Professor and Chair, Department of Urban Planning and Design, Harvard Graduate School of Design For the City of Kolkata and Bengalis, Durga Pujo is a festival of its own. The festival is rooted in a social-cultural phenomenon that transcends religious dogma and that harbors communal harmony. Residents of Kolkata — irrespective of class, creed, and religion — come out and celebrate in the streets of the city responding to humanistic call of this festival. For the few days of the festival, the city becomes the site of transformative exploration of artistic thinking, design imagination, creative problem solving, and expression of vernacular craftsmanship. What are the forces behind this transformation? Where are the roots of such an evocation of community spirit? Who are the important participants in this process and what is the nature of this evolving process?
22 South Asia Institute
Rahul Mehrotra and Farooq Ameen (right)
April 8, 2013
Small Cities, Big Issues: Why Small Cities Matter in Debates on Urban Poverty and Inequality Neema Kudva, Associate Professor, City &
March 26, 2013
Decoding Dhaka Farooq Ameen AIA, RIBA, Principal, City
Chair: Rahul Mehrotra, Professor of Urban Planning and Design and Chair of the Department of Urban Planning and Design, Harvard Graduate School of Design
Regional Planning, Cornell University
Chair: Rahul Mehrotra, Professor of Urban
Planning and Design and Chair of the Department of Urban Planning and Design, Harvard Graduate School of Design
Water and Climate Change
Henry J. Vaux
November 1, 2012
Himalayan Glaciers, Climate Change, Water Resources, and Water Security Henry J. Vaux, Jr., Professor of Resource Economics, Emeritus Chair, Rosenberg International Forum on Water Policy, University of California Riverside
Chair: John Briscoe, Professor of the Practice of
October 16, 2012
Environmental Health, HSPH; Gordon McKay Professor of the Practice of Environmental Engineering, SEAS
Prehistorical and historical changes in hydrology and settlement in the Indian Subcontinent: What happened and what can we learn?
Co-sponsored with the Harvard University Center for the Environment
Liviu Giosan, Associate Scientist, Geology & Geophysics, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Chair: John Briscoe, Professor of the Practice
of Environmental Health, HSPH; Gordon McKay Professor of the Practice of Environmental Engineering, SEAS
Professor Henry Vaux from the University of California, Berkeley and Chairman of the Committee on behalf of The National Academy of Science presented the Committee’s study on ‘Himalayan Glaciers Climate Change, Water Resources, and Water Security.’ The complexity of the Committee’s remit and the title’s presentation itself tells something about how complex and interconnected issues of water are – especially across the seven countries (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Nepal, and Pakistan) that receive water from the HinduKush, Himalayan (HKH) mountain ranges. As we were told, the study was prompted by the lack of clarity on the state and rate of glacial melt and its impact on downstream populations of 1.5 billion across the region. What was particularly interesting to learn was that the study by the National Academies was commissioned by the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States – which speaks to the national and international security implications of the effects of climate change on glacial melt in the region.
February 22, 2013
Climate Change and the Future of the Indus River Basin Casey Brown, Assistant Professor, College of Engineering, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Massachusetts Amherst Chair: John Briscoe, Professor of the Practice of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health; Gordon McKay Professor of the Practice of Environmental Engineering, Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Co-sponsored with the Harvard University Center for the Environment By using this broad, holistic approach to estimate the likely hydrologic and crop impacts of climate change risks, the macro-economic and household-level responses are an effective method for assessing a variety of adaptation investments and policies. The results of the model and the key takeaways were that the scenarios for the future from the Global Climate Models (GCM’s) show a great deal of uncertainty. This is in fact a positive thing because it will prepare Pakistan for uncertainty and adaptability rather than preparing for a determined scenario. The model framework presented by Casey Brown, using existing models can prove to be effective for use at a provincial level where economic allocation of water can lead to optimal productivity.
A Year in Review 2012-2013 23
The South Asia Institute’s seminar series on Water and Climate Change welcomes experts whose research focuses on the challenges countries in South Asia face as a result of rising populations in a scenario of increasing environmental uncertainty. Across the region, economies are reliant on food production for which the efficient and optimal management of water resources is a critical component. The region has variable levels of institutional mechanisms to manage water resources efficiently and scholars have focused on studying the institutional resilience of water management agencies as well as their ability to tackle a changing water scenario in light of climate change.
Film and Book Events SAI invites a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films and works of literature. These events are meant to showcase important issues, celebrate the great filmmakers of South Asia, and broaden the conversation on scholarship in South Asia.
Summer 2012 Film Series In conjunction with Harvard Summer School Courses ‘Beginning Hindi’ & ‘Social Development in Pakistan,’ SAI offered a series of films highlighting social issues in South Asia. The films included Matir Moina (The Clay Bird), and Well Done Abba.
December 7, 2012
Quarter Number 4/11 Film Screening & Discussion Ranu Ghosh, Documentary Director and
September 17, 2012
True Business Film Screening & Discussion
Jaya Bhagat, Edward S. Mason Fellow 2013, Harvard Kennedy School Ajantha Subramanian, Professor, Social Anthropology Program, Department of Anthropology, Harvard University
True Business, a film about the Sikh culture of generosity and sharing through the tradition of their community kitchens asks us: what is the connection between food, faith and service?
Raj Kapoor and the Golden Age of Cinema Film Festival In September, SAI and the Harvard Film Archive presented this festival. As a director, producer and star, Raj Kapoor (1924-88) became one of India’s leading filmmakers during the so-called “golden age” of Indian cinema in the first two decades following the nation’s independence in 1947. Kapoor is in some ways a lynchpin, a Janus figure, with one face looking back to the aspirations of the era of independence and the other toward the present state of star-driven Hindi cinema with its mass appeal and global audience.
The Holy Kitchens series was developed in collaboration with the Pluralism Project at Harvard University. Harpreet Singh, College Fellow and member of faculty in the Department of South Asian Studies, introduced the film. Ali Asani, Professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic Religion and Cultures and Director of the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Islamic Studies Program, chaired the discussion. Vikas Khanna spoke about the making of the film, and answered questions from the audience about the Holy Kitchens series, and the role of the langar. After the film, the audience joined together in a community meal.
Vani Subramanian (left) and Ted Bestor
February 14, 2013
Stir.Fry.Simmer Film Screening & Discussion Vani Subramanian, Film Maker; Visiting Fellow, Cornell University
October 4, 2012
Chair: Theodore Bestor, Professor and Chair of the Department of Anthropology; Director of the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, Harvard University
Saving Face Film Screening & Discussion
April 18, 2013
Directed by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy & Daniel Junge Co-sponsored by the Harvard Asia Center, the Women’s Law Association, and the Harvard Law Documentary Group.
Breaking Out: An Indian Woman’s American Journey book talk Padma Desai, Author and Gladys and Roland Harriman Professor of Comparative Economic Systems and Director, Center for Transition Economies Department of Economics, Columbia University Chair: Natasha Kumar Warikoo, Assistant Professor, Harvard University, Graduate School of Education
24 South Asia Institute
Accountability & Corruption Series SAI has held a series events on issues related to Accountability in South Asia both in India and on Harvard’s campus. The events in India were sponsored by the Harvard Business School India Research Centre “Best of Harvard in India” program.
Audience members in Delhi
July 10, 2012, New Delhi
November 22, 2012, Mumbai
Transparency, Awareness, and Action: Understanding the Landscape of Accountability in India
Corruption and Lobbying
This event looked at accountability where citizens or civil society organizations participate directly or indirectly to exact transparency and responsibility from government and the private sector. Chaired by Tarun Khanna, Director of SAI and Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor, Harvard Business School, the event included presentations by Jay Desai, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Universal Consulting India Pvt. Ltd, Homi Khusrokhan, Senior Adviser, Private Equity, Tata Capital Ltd., and S.Y. Quraishi, Former Chief Election Commissioner of India. Evidence the world over suggests that accountability can contribute to improved governance and increased development, effectiveness through better social delivery, and empowerment. However, in post-independence India, accountability is considered by many to be under siege where members of both private and public spheres are unsure of the role they can play in improving accountability.
While around the world transparency is seen as key to unraveling corruption, India remains, in the words of one Round Table participant, “riddled with corruption,” despite—or perhaps because of—what Harvard Business School’s Karthik Ramanna described as “a culture of hyper transparency.” Ramanna, an associate professor of business administration, currently teaches the firstyear MBA course “Leadership and Corporate Accountability.” In addition to his focus on corporate governance and accountability, he has studied the globalization of transparency as an instrument of accountability in East Asia, Russia, and Turkey, and how activists in these countries are fighting corruption. Lobbying, roundly described as “a pejorative term in India,” is an illustration of the misunderstood state of transparency in India, epitomizing institutionalized corruption. This roundtable addressed the state of corruption in business and government in India, the use and misuse of transparency as an instrument of accountability, and how the nation can hope to convert transparency into individual and institutional accountability for eradicating corruption.
Troublemakers: Entrepreneurial Approaches against Corruption What does the “business” of corruption-fighting look like? What are the key challenges and how does one measure successes? Professor Karthik Ramanna, HBS, described his recent work – based on various HBS case studies – on how four entrepreneurs in China, India, Russia, and Turkey are building organizations to combat corruption in their home countries. All four entrepreneurs are leveraging transparency in their anti-corruption businesses, although they differ in important ways in their reliance on the Internet, their use of anonymity, and their engagement with local political and cultural institutions. The stories of these four entrepreneurs can offer ideas and inspiration to those in other emerging markets who wish to tackle corruption. After a brief description of the case studies, Professor Ramanna opened the discussion to questions and input from participants on what entrepreneurial corruption-fighting in Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka might look like.
April 18, 2013, Mumbai
A View from the Top – How to think, act, and lead in a corrupt Word The third and final roundtable in this series was chaired by Paul Healy, the James R. Williston Professor and Senior Associate Dean for Research at the Harvard Business School.
A Year in Review 2012-2013 25
February 27, 2013, Video Conference with participants in Cambridge, Lahore, Karachi, Colombo, and Dhaka
Symposium and special events April 25-26, 2013
South Asia Without Borders: SAI ANNUAL Symposium
Tarun Khanna (right) with Chandni and Mukesh Prasad
October 11, 2012, New York City
South Asia: The World’s Laboratory Home to nearly a sixth of humanity, the birthplace of many of the world’s great religions and philosophies, and now a hotbed for innovation and technological change, South Asia is truly the world’s laboratory, a space where we can experiment with the world’s most urgent challenges. Leading academics from Harvard University discussed the timely appeal of South Asia to the humanities—at the intersection of religion and civil society, ancient arts and cutting edge technologies. On October 11, 2012 SAI went on the road to New York City, for an event hosted by Chandni and Mukesh Prasad entitled ‘South Asia, The World’s Laboratory.’ Tarun Khanna, Director of SAI & Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor, HBS introduced the evening’s program, which featured talks by Parimal Patil, Professor of Religion and Indian Philosophy; Chair of the Department of South Asian Studies, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Shahab Ahmed, Associate Professor of Islamic Studies, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, and Rahul Mehrotra, Professor of Urban Design and Planning & Chair of the Department of Urban Planning and Design, GSD. Hitesh Hathi, Producer of Here & Now, WBUR/NPR moderated the event.
26 South Asia Institute
April 5, 2013
The SAI 2013 annual symposium ‘South Asia Without Borders’ in April, focused on breaking down barriers in the traditional study of South Asia, including disciplinary, geographical, and temporal boundaries.
The Future of Afghanistan: How will the war in Afghanistan End?
“South Asia Without Borders” explores development, the juncture of caste and race, gender and human rights, social entrepreneurship and the arts, constitutionalism and development in South Asia, and will conclude with Harvard’s study of the Kumbh Mela pilgrimage in India.
The Future of Afghanistan Conference sought to answer important questions about the current state of affairs in Afghanistan and the prospects for regional peace and stability in a post-2014.
SAI’s annual symposium ‘South Asia Without Borders’ sought to break down traditional borders in the study of South Asia, whether they be disciplinary, geographical or temporal. Panelists from institutions including Boston College, Cornell University, New York University, joined faculty from FAS, HLS, and HBS on themes such as Gender and Contemporary South Asia, Historicity and Modernity of Caste, Constitutionalism and Development in South Asia, Social Entrepreneurship and the Arts, and ‘Rasa: The Possibility of Poetry.’ Additionally, faculty from HBS, HDS, GSD, and HSPH presented on their work on the Kumbh Mela as part of a panel entitled ‘Harvard Without Borders: Mapping the Kumbh Mela.’
Panel discussion on Transitional Justice in Afghanistan
The conference featured an array of prominent voices from the region, as well as South Asia experts from the United States and beyond. Panels covered two broad thematic areas: the challenges and opportunities related to negotiations and security in Afghanistan, and the rule of law and human development. The panels topics included: “Bilateral Security Negotiations”, “The Regional View of the 2014 Withdrawal, Security in a Post-2014 Afghanistan”,” Transitional Justice in Afghanistan”, and “Economic Inclusion: Challenges and Opportunities for Gender Equality in the Economic Sector in Afghanistan.” This event was cosponsored by Harvard Belfer Center’s ‘Future of Diplomacy Project’ and ‘India and South Asia Program,’ along with Harvard’s South Asia Institute.
Faculty had a chance to engage with Akhilesh Yadav, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and Azam Khan, Urban Development Minister of Uttar Pradesh. Both ministers were instrumental in the execution of the 2013 Kumbh Mela.
SAI 2012-2013 Faculty Grant Profile: The Champions Project Jacqueline Bhabha, Professor of the Practice of Health and Human Rights,
Harvard School of Public Health; Director of Research, François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights, Harvard University
Project Partners: • The National Commission for the Protection of Childs Rights, Delhi, India • Krantijyoti Savitribai Phule Women’s Studies Centre, University of Pune • The Institute of Development Studies, Jaipur
The Champions Project probes the persistent challenge of female educational disadvantage in India. It hopes to contribute knowledge that will enable the Government of India (GOI) to maximize the impact of the tax rupees spent promoting girls’ education. Specifically, they plan to determine the infrastructural and social triggers that enable disadvantaged girls to successfully complete secondary education and gain access to third level institutions. The project will employ the positive deviance approach, which deconstructs the uncommon behaviors of the successful minority to amplify efficacious strategies for the benefit of the disadvantaged majority. The positive outliers or “champions” are 800 female second year college students who are daughters of illiterate parents in Maharashtra and Rajasthan. The project will investigate the triggers of the girls’ success such as government schemes, infrastructural supports and social and personal drivers of success.
What are the key drivers of educational success for disadvantaged girls and what are the most cost effective expenditures to promote this for government? More specifically: how have 800 “champions,” Indian female college students who are daughters of illiterate parents in Maharashtra and Rajasthan, managed to successfully overcome the numerous challenges and barriers to girls’ education and gain access to a college education? What are the infrastructural and social triggers of the girls’ success? Which public policies make the most significant contribution to their success? How might these policies be replicated and scaled to benefit future generations of Indian girls and women? States: Maharashtra and Rajasthan were selected on the basis of the presence of exceptional local partners, regional knowledge and existing contacts. Developmentally the states present a troubling picture: Both states have an alarmingly low 0-6 child sex ratio of just 883. But they also present scope for interesting comparisons. Maharashtra is comparatively economically developed; it ranks 7th in the country’s human development index whilst Rajasthan ranks 17th out of 28 (Indian National Human Development Report 2011). Maharashtra is more urbanized with almost half the population now living in urban areas. Its overall female literacy rate is 75% for women and 90% for men. By contrast, Rajasthan scores particularly low on female literacy. According to the 2011 census, the female literacy rate is just 46% in rural areas (where three out of four women live), as opposed to 77.5% for rural men. In each state, the sample of Champions to whom the questionnaire will be administered, is being drawn from 20 colleges across 10 districts (two per district). In each district we are selecting one professional college and one general education college. Districts have been selected on the basis of their rankings in terms of female literacy gaps and women’s labor force participation: the top five and bottom five ranking districts have been selected. Selecting colleges across a variety of districts will provide a representative picture of the state.
SAI offers research and travel grants for Harvard faculty working in fields related to South Asia. The purpose of these grants is to promote South Asian studies across the university, and to stimulate interdisciplinary research. The 2013 faculty grant awardees are: Theresa Betancourt
Associate Professor Child Health and Human Rights, Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard School of Public Health; Director of the Research Program on Children in Global Adversity, FXB Center for Health and Human Rights
Theresa Betancourt, The Safe Child Protection Initiative India strives to develop a research methodology and rigorous assessment tools to evaluate the effects of development and globalization on children’s security and well-being in India. The Safe Child Protection Initiative believes children’s security can be markedly improved by providing policymakers with a clear conceptual understanding of how the best interests of children and families can be protected and promoted in the context of globalization and development.
Harpreet Singh College Fellow, Department of South Asian Studies, Harvard University Harpreet will use this grant to research religious nationalism and ethnic conflict in India and Pakistan. His work grapples with the transition from the politics of the nation-state to the politics of religious pluralism.
Asim I. Khwaja
Sumitomo-Foundation for Advanced Studies on International Development Professor of International Finance and Development, Harvard Kennedy School The Trust in State Authority and Non-State Actors project seeks to understand the motivations behind waning allegiance to state institutions in Pakistan. While social scientists from other disciplines have speculated about the forces that alienate people from the state, this project will be the first study, to the researcher’s knowledge, to provide rigorous empirical evidence on what drives citizens away from state to non-state actors.
Preceptor in Tamil Department of South Asian Studies, Harvard University Jonathan will use this grant to enrich the Tamil teaching curriculum at the Department of South Asian Studies, enhance the program’s connectivity with Tamil scholars and institutions of learning in Tamil Nadu, and to continue the sexuality and gender-related research he began in India during his recent tenure at the India HIV/AIDS alliance and earlier at the American India Foundation.
S.V. Subramanian Professor of Population Health and Geography, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard School of Public Health Subu will be conducting research on social analysis of health inequalities in India with a focus on understanding nutritional and developmental inequalities among children.
A Year in Review 2012-2013 27
The François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights, Harvard University is an interdisciplinary research center that works to protect and promote the rights and wellbeing of vulnerable children and adolescents worldwide.
2013-2014 Faculty Grants
STUDENTS The South Asia Institute supports students from across Harvardâ€™s schools by sponsoring student events, funding in region internships and research, and serving as a connector for the 15 student groups at Harvard focusing on South Asia.
Rena Mei (center), Harvard College â€™13, interned at St. Jude India Childcare Centre in Mumbai during the summer of 2012.
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November 27, 2012
Friday, September 28, 2012
Chaat Party On Friday, September 28, over 140 Harvard students, staff and faculty attended SAIâ€™s welcome back chaat party. Representatives from all South Asian student groups at Harvard University were in attendance, and students learned about SAIâ€™s upcoming events and grant opportunities over a cup of chai and a plate of delicious chaat.
The Tameer Story: An Asian Response to Grassroots Challenges Nadeem Hussain, Founder, President and CEO, Tameer Micro Finance Bank Ltd, Pakistan discussed the financial revolution which the Tameer Bank is bringing to Pakistan by financially empowering people at the grassroots level. Professor Asim Khwaja, Harvard Kennedy School, was the discussant, and Nasim Zehra, Fellow, Harvard University Asia Center, moderated the seminar. After the event, a group of students from schools across the university, organized by the HPSG continued the discussion with Nadeem Hussain over dinner. Co-sponsored with the Asia Center at Harvard University, the Harvard Kennedy School Pakistan Caucus, and the Harvard Pakistan Student Group
A Year in Review 2012-2013 29
Student panel with Jacqueline Bhabha
February 20, 2013
Sexual Assault and Gender Violence in South Asia: What Can We Learn from the Delhi Rape Incident?
Sri Lanka Photo Exhibit
A student panel discussion with Jackie Bhabha, Jeremiah Smith, Jr. Lecturer on Law, Harvard Law School, University Advisor on Human Rights, University Advisor on Human Rights Education; Director of Research FXB Center Carr Center for Human Rights Policy Co-sponsors: Harvard India Student Group; Harvard Pakistan Student Group; Harvard College South Asian Association; Harvard College Pakistan Student Association; Harvard Kennedy School South Asia Caucus; Harvard College South Asian Women’s Collective and the Harvard Kennedy School Pakistan Caucus
March 8-9, 2013
HARVARD INDIA CONFERENCE Mr. Sam Pitroda Advisor to the Prime Minister on Public Information Infrastructure and Innovation was the Keynote Speaker on the first day of the Harvard India Conference 2013 held jointly at the Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Business School. He was in Conversation with Professor Tarun Khanna, SAI Director Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor, Harvard Business School. Mr. Pitroda gave an overview of his personal journey towards taking up the challenge of helping create an institutional structure to spark innovation across the public sector in India by utilizing enabling technology that gives citizens greater access to and say in government processes and decision making. In the course of a fascinating and wide-ranging address the one thing he advised students to take seriously is to become respected professionals in their chosen careers first before thinking of becoming advisors to governments and prime ministers! Co-sponsored by the South Asia Institute.
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The Initiative for Sri Lankan Education (ISLE) presents the opening of its photo exhibit “Reflections on Serendipity. The exhibit will be on display the month of April at the Gutman Library at the Graduate School of Education.
April 13, 2013
International Seminar on the Environment – Development Relationship in Bangladesh Organized by South Asian students and professionals at the Harvard Medical School, Harvard Law School, and Harvard College This event explored how the development partners can more effectively assist countries like Bangladesh in their leap into the middle income status. How to enhance the role of international community in this endeavor was discussed. Co-sponsored by the South Asia Institute at Harvard University
It is said that the word serendipity originates from Serendib – an ancient Arab reference to Sri Lanka, the tear-shaped island below India. This compilation of photos is meant to reflect upon a student-led study trek to the Hill Country of Sri Lanka this January; both on the country itself, and the challenges facing the people in their struggle for education. The trip was coordinated by students in the International Education Policy program and conducted to inform the work of the Educate Lanka Foundation by studying the economic barriers to secondary education for the children of tea plantation workers. The exhibit opening will also include a presentation of those findings and discussion of education in Sri Lanka. This exhibit was sponsored by a student organization grant from SAI
Student Grants: 65 awards total SAI offers a variety of in-region opportunities for Harvard students through the SAI grants program. Undergraduate and graduate students are invited to apply for research grants to support independent and thesis field work. SAI has partnered with 58 organizations in South Asia to offer Harvard students internships. Students in groups of 3 or more are invited to apply for the Omidyar Grant for Entrepreneurship in South Asia to pursue projects that provide entrepreneurial solutions to social and economic problems in South Asia.
WINTER SESSION GRANTS
Undergraduate Internship Grant Awardees and Organizations
Tyler Arnot, Masters Candidate, HGSE
VidyaGyan School - Noida, India
The Estate Tamils of Sri Lanka
Tabata de Pontes, 2016
Mission Apollo - Pune, India
Metabolism of a Pop-Up Megacity: Mapping the flows of commodities through the marketplaces of the 2013 Kumbh Mela
Michael Drumm, 2015
Corrina Mouche, Doctoral Candidate, HSPH
Marcelle Goggins, 2014
Reducing Maternal Mortality in Nepal: Identifying Effective
Neil Padukone, Masters Candidate, HKS
Mass Transit in Mumbai: Mumbai Metro
Nicolas Ross, Doctoral Candidate, GSAS
Trees at the Kumbh Mela: practices and discourses of trees and tree planting from a religious and environmental perspective
Harvard- Bangalore Science Initiative, Bangalore, India Taktse International School, Sikkim, India
Victoria Gu, 2015
Jana Care, Bangalore, India
Eva Harvey, 2014
Gene Campaign,* Delhi, India
Muhammad Sarib Hussain, 2015
Interactive Research and Development, Karachi, Pakistan
Beginning-level Punjabi language instruction at American Institute of Indian Studies
Justin Fifield, Committee on the Study of Religion, GSAS
Language and manuscript research in Kathmandu, Nepal
Roberto Foa, Government, GSAS
Ancient Polities, Modern States, India
Abbas Jaffer, Anthropology, GSAS
Rocking Online: Music, Masculinity, and Digital Publics, Lahore, Pakistan
Ambika Kamath, Organismic & Evolutionary
Can anthropogenic habitat change drive variation in mating system and sexual selection in the South Asian agamid lizard Sitana ponticeriana?
Venkata Krishna Matturi, Landscape Architecture, GSD
Shengxi Li, 2015
Exploring intrinsic relationships of waste and socio-ecological conditions in Maldives and Indian Ocean region; investigation of waste networks in Maldives
Undergraduate Research Grant Awardees and Projects
Corinne Maguire, 2015
Finding Breath: Tuberculosis, aspiration, resistance, and local biology in rural India
Dipona Bandy, 2014
David Sheynberg, 2016
Tamil language study at Chella Meenakshi Centre, Madurai, India
Viroopa Volla, Harvard College 2014
Thesis Research on Developmental Economics and Emerging Markets
Transnational and National Approaches to Feminist Organizing around Sexual Violence in India
Andrew Kim, 2016
BRAC, Dhaka, Bangladesh Bangladesh Legal Aid & Services Trust, Dhaka, Bangladesh Harvard- Bangalore Science Initiative, Bangalore, India Gene Campaign,* Delhi, India
Bharath Venkatesh, 2016
Benjamin Lamont, 2014
Drishtee, Delhi, India *These internships were cosponsored by SAI and the Harvard Institute of Politics Director’s Internship
Ada Lin, 2014
Graduate Research Grant Awardees and Projects
Indian foreign policy makers and decision making during 2008 Mumbai Attacks Excavating the Red Corridor: An Intellectual History of the Naxalite Movement
Hannah Morrill, 2014
Loss and Damage in Vulnerable Countries Initiative
Danielle Schulkin, 2014
Tracking Cybernetics in India in 1950s and 1960s
Paolo Singer, Fall 2013
The viability of post-industrial IT Economies in developing countries
Darshali Vyas, 2014
Analyzing community-based healthcare in rural Gujarat
Mou Banerjee, History, GSAS
The Baboo, the Bibi and the Padri Sahib: Christianity, Colonialism and the Creative World of Indian Intellectuals c. 1813-1907
Aditya Dasgupta, Government, GSAS
Developing a historical geospatial dataset to understand the origins, variation, and long-run consequences of colonial extraction in India
Eric Dunipace, Global Health and Population, HSPH Mapping Traffic Accidents in Bangladesh
Adoree Durayappah, Buddhism, Harvard Divinity School
Advanced Sinhala language and Sinhala Literature Study in Kandy, Sri Lanka
Andrew McDowell, Anthropology, GSAS Sophia Nasti, South Asian Studies, GSAS Tyler Neill, South Asian Studies, GSAS
Middle Indic language study (Pali & Prakit) in Pune, India
Charlotte Page, MD, HMS
Is Use of Biomass Fuel Associated with Anemia in Pregnant Women in Nagpur, India?
Mircea Rainu, History, GSAS
The Tata Company and the Ethics of Capital in Modern India
James Reich, Committee on the Study of Religion, GSAS
Literary Theory and Religious Philosophy in work of a Kashmiri Intellectual who lived in the 12th century, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
Benjamin Siegel, History, GSAS
The Hungry State: Food, Hunger, and NationBuilding in India, 1943-1966
Anand Vaidya, Social Anthropology, GSAS
The origin of the forest, private property, and the law: The life of India’s field rights act
Madhav Khosla, Government, GSAS Center for Policy Research – Delhi, India
A Year in Review 2012-2013 31
Alykhan Mohamed, Masters Candidate, GSD
Sophia Chua-Rubenfeld, 2015
T. Brandon Evans, Film & Visual Studies, GSAS
Graduate Student Associate Program The goal of the Graduate Student Associate (GSA) Program is to establish a community of peers and support original and independent research in South Asia. The GSA program is headed by Parimal Patil, Chair of the Department of South Asian Studies. 2012-2013 GSAs participated in monthly workshops in which they each presented their dissertation research, had the opportunity to meet with SAI affiliated faculty, and organized an end of year conference to showcase their research.
Doctoral Candidate, Harvard Graduate School of Education
Mapping dynamics of education reform in Pakistan: Agendas, Influences, Actors, and Constraints
Doctoral Candidate, Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
Medical consequences of the Bhopal gas disaster over the past 27 years, and the challenges to unifying discourses that have dominated it
BILAL A. MALIK,
Doctoral Candidate, Harvard Graduate School of Education
Secular modernity and Islam: Religion, Education & Politics in Contemporary Pakistan
Doctoral Candidate, Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
The Hungry State: Food, Nation, and Welfare in Modern India, 1943-1966
Student Grants Continued
Graduate Internship Grant Awardees and Organizations Johannah Murphy, HDS
AID for India’s Development – Mumbai, India
Anjali Thakkar, MD, HMS
Embrace Global – Bangalore, India
Omidyar Grant for Entrepreneurship in South Asia Recipients of the 2013-2014 Omidyar Grant for Entrepreneurship in South Asia are:
GrowLanka, Sri Lanka
Team Members: Ishani Premaratne, Harvard College, Inesha Premaratne, Harvard College, Casimira Karunaratne, Harvard College, A. Nilesh Fernando, Harvard University GrowLanka is an innovative, voice-based mobile system that delivers job alerts to job seekers in Northern Sri Lanka. In the aftermath of a 25+ year civil war that left behind more than 90,000 war widows, the region suffers from high unemployment rates due primarily to an information gap that exists between job seekers and employers. This means that employers have no capability to advertise job opportunities to the villagers who would be willing to work for the salary they offer, and thus, hundreds of jobs go unfilled in recently opened factories (as seen in May 2012 in the case of a newly opened MAS Holdings factory). We believe that it is unacceptable that so many jobs should go unfilled when so many are in need of work to support their families. GrowLanka will close this gap.
Team Members: Imran Sarwar, Harvard Kennedy School, Saniya Ansar, Harvard Kennedy School, Haider Raza, Harvard Kennedy School , Nora Elsheikh, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Asad Husain, Harvard Business School
Rabtt is an initiative that aims to enhance the public education system in Pakistan through engaging public school students in short-term education camps and year-round workshops. These camps and workshops aim to develop critical and independent thinking abilities, confidence, tolerance and adaptability to new ideas among students. This project aims to assist the organization transition from its pilot phase and step towards its new 5 year growth plan. Curriculum reform and new engagement models will be tested during the summer camps, from JuneAug 2013, which will take place in Lahore, Pakistan.
Historical Evolution of the Right to Property in the Indian Constitution
Medical Device Innovation for Low-Resource Global Markets, India
Doctoral Candidate, Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
The Origin of the Forest, Private Property, and the State: The life of India’s Forest Rights Act
Doctoral Candidate, Harvard Law School
Team Members: William Lewis, Harvard Medical School, Karen Ziao, Harvard College, Matt Yarri, Harvard College, Richard Salbia, Harvard College, Styliani Pantela, Harvard College
SAI welcomes the following students to the 2013-2014 GSA program: Mou Banerjee (GSAS), Mariam Chughtai* (HGSE) Aditya Dasgupta (GSAS) Madhav Khosla (GSAS) Daniel Majchrowichz (GSAS) Corrina Moucheraud (HSPH) Dinyar Patel (GSAS) Erum Sattar (HLS) *Aman Foundation Graduate Student Associates
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This proposal aims to provide partial support for a multi-disciplinary team of Harvard students to develop innovative solutions to pressing healthcare needs identified in India. The project builds off a successful Omidyar supported project from the summer of 2012 that immersed 4 Harvard students in India where they identified 30+ medical needs by being immersed in a medical environment in India. Based on the work from last summer, a subset of the students continued on the project and developed a prototype lowcost medical device for capsular access in cataract surgery. This summer, a new group of students are looking to travel to India further explore the needs identified from last summer and also explore other opportunities for Innovation in collaboration with Harvard faculty and staff as well as local stakeholders at academic and medical centers in India.
Student Organizations From Bhangra to Public Health, these groups bring together students at the various schools to plan events and hold discussions related to South Asia. The HKS South Asia caucus organized a Diwali party in October, while the Harvard India Student Group developed a mentorship initiative which creates opportunities for Harvard students to mentor young students in India. The Harvard India Student Group, along with the Harvard Pakistan Student Group, are recognized by Harvard as University wide initiatives. Dharma, Harvard College http://www.harvarddharma.org/ Dharma, Harvard’s Hindu Student Association, serves as a forum in which Harvard students learn about the Hindu religion and the culture associated with it.
South Asia Caucus, Harvard Kennedy School http://www.hks.harvard.edu/kssgorg/SouthAsiaCaucus/ The KSG South Asia Caucus serves as a forum for all KSG students interested in South Asia to exchange political, economic, social, and cultural ideas impacting the region in general, or specific countries in the region.
Harvard Bhangra, Harvard College http://www.hcs.harvard.edu/~bhangra/ Harvard Bhangra exposes the Harvard community to Bhangra through campus performances, represents Harvard at competitions, and teaches Bhangra to interested individuals.
South Asian Law Students Association, Harvard Law School http://www3.law.harvard.edu/orgs/salsa/ The South Asian Law Students’ Association provides a forum for students who are interested in promoting a network of legal professionals interested in South Asian American and South Asian legal issues.
Harvard India Student Group, University Wide https://www.facebook.com/pages/Harvard-India-StudentGroup/230830376952066?v=wall The Harvard India Student Group provides a platform for communication and collaboration amongst the students and faculty on India-related topics.
South Asia Student Organization, Harvard School of Public Health http://isites.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do?keyword=k2661 The HSPH South Asian Student Organization focuses on health issues affecting people of South Asian origin, collaborates with faculty, staff, alumni, and other student groups, and launches independent initiatives.
Harvard Pakistan Student Group, University Wide https://www.facebook.com/groups/HarvardPakistanStudents/ HPSG aims to create opportunities for students across Harvard with an affiliation with Pakistan to connect on activities and topics of interest. Harvard Project for Asian and International Relations, Harvard College http://www.hpair.org/ HPAIR is student-run organization that promotes understanding of the economic, political, social, and cultural issues facing the Asia-Pacific region by organizing panels and other events on Harvard’s campus. Harvard Sangeet, Harvard College http://usodb.fas.harvard.edu/public/index.cgi?rm=details&id=560 Harvard Sangeet serves to usher South Asian music to its deserved place among the other cultural and artistic establishments at Harvard, and to establish Harvard as a premier seat of South Asian musical leadership. Harvard South Asian Association, Harvard College http://www.harvardsaa.org/ The Harvard South Asian Association brings the Harvard community closer to South Asia and its Diaspora through academic, political, social, outreach and cultural initiatives. Harvard South Asian Men’s Collective, Harvard College http://www.harvardsamc.org/ The South Asian Men’s Collective works to strengthen a sense of brotherhood between members and to create a supportive arena for dialogue and discussion Harvard US-India Initiative, Harvard College http://www.usindiainitiative.org/harvard-us-india-initiative The Harvard US-India Initiative fosters relations between college students from the United States and India to address some of India’s most pressing social, political, and economic issues. Pakistan Students, Harvard Graduate School of Education http://isites.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do?keyword=hgse_pakistan HGSE Harvard Pakistan Student Group creates opportunities for HGSE students to connect on activities and topics of interest related to Pakistan.
A Year in Review 2012-2013 33
India GSD, Graduate School of Design http://isites.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do?keyword=k83310&tabgroupid=icb. tabgroup134430 India GSD looks at design issues pertinent to the country and is an agency for understanding, provocation, and debates about the past, present, and future of design in India.
Pakistan Student Association, Harvard College http://www.hcs.harvard.edu/harvardpsa/ Pakistan Student Association seeks to promote interest in and awareness of Pakistan’s culture and current affairs within the Harvard undergraduate community through events that bring Pakistan to the fore.
in region 34
To increase learning from regional experience, Harvard presence in South Asia is crucial. With SAI representatives in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, we can successfully support Harvard faculty and student research, teaching, and field experience. With the support from our in-region personnel, SAI has sponsored numerous events in-region, including student- and alumni-focused events, faculty led symposia, and other academic events. Erum Sattar (standing), HLS Doctoral Student & President of the Harvard Pakistan Student Group, at the Rabtt Summer School in Karachi
Fernando Reimers (left) and Imran Sarwar Students with Paresh & Nirva Patel, and Namrata Arora, SAI Associate Director of Mumbai Office
August 10, 2012, Mumbai
SAI Grant recipient lunch with SAI FOUNDERS Nirva and Paresh Patel
Students and local leaders in Dhaka
January 19, 2013, Dhaka
HSPH Tea in Dhaka On January 19th, the South Asia Institute and Independent University Bangladesh (IUB) cohosted an afternoon tea to introduce visiting Harvard School of Public Health students to Harvard alumni and local leaders in development and education. The students shared their reflections on a very busy visit, which had included a few trips into rural Bangladesh for fun and to see some of the projects contributing to the country’s impressive gains in public health in recent years. Local participants in the event included Professor Omar Rahman, Vice Chancellor of IUB and leader of the local HAA chapter, Ms. Nasim Ferdous, Executive Director of the Bangladesh Alliance for Women Leadership, Mr. Mosharraf Hossain, Country Director of Action on Disability and Development International, and Professor Fahima Aziz, Vice Chancellor of the Asian University for Women in Chittagong. Several recent alumni, including Mridul Chowdhury and Rubayat Khan (HKS), also attended.
Innovation in Education: Lessons for Entrepreneurship in Pakistan Fernando Reimers, Ford Foundation Professor of International Education; Director of Global Education and of International Education Policy Imran Sarwar, Co-Founder, Rabtt; MPP Class of 2013, Harvard Kennedy School of Government Professor Reimers started this video conference with acknowledging how much education has changed over the last 25 years — the very fact of the Video Conference itself through which sites were virtually connected is a demonstration of how much technology has enhanced access around the world. He said we are in a new era in history when instead of top-down planning individuals and small groups of people are taking on big challenges — it’s a time of great potential change. Imran Sarwar shared an example of his organization Rabtt. This event was video conferenced to sites across Pakistan. Lant Pritchett
Mariam Chughtai (left) and Asim Khwaja
April 1, 2013
Education as a Marketplace: What Entrepreneurs can Learn from Research on Pakistan’s Education Sector Asim Khwaja, Professor of Public Policy, Sumitomo-Foundation for Advanced Studies on International Development, Professor of International Finance and Development. Faculty chair of the MPA/ID program, Harvard Kennedy School Mariam Chughtai, Doctoral Candidate, Harvard Graduate School of Education
Professor Asim Khwaja and Mariam Chughtai engaged in a lively discussion across sites in Pakistan and Bangladesh. Professor Khwaja gave an overview of his research on Pakistan’s Education sector – he moved quickly to a thoroughly engaging discussion and Q&A session with the diverse audience.
March 19, 2013, Chennai
Harvard Club of Chennai Event with Lant Pritchett SAI, in collaboration with the Harvard Club of Chennai, hosted an interactive discussion with HKS Prof. Lant Pritchett in Chennai. This was SAI’s first collaboration with the HCC and its first event in Chennai. Lant spoke about international development, building on his experience of living and traveling in 40 countries worldwide. The event was attended by over 20 Chennai-based Harvard Alumni.
A Year in Review 2012-2013 35
SAI Founder’s Club Members Paresh Patel, CEO of Sandstone Capital and his wife Nirva Patel hosted a lunch for SAI student grantees in Mumbai at the Taj Wellington Mews. The students shared their first-hand experience of engaging with NGO’s and businesses in India, opportunities provided by SAI summer grants.
March 6, 2013
community SAI connects with communities outside of Harvard interested in South Asian culture and studies. Community organizations inform current areas of interest and help identify need for further scholarship on issues relevant to the region.
Shivani Kanodia (HSPH Student) and Rohit Goyal (SEAS student) at the Boston Childrenâ€™s Museum
36 South Asia Institute
April 12, 2013 Students with Meena Hewett and Nora Maginn at the Children’s Museum
Meena Hewett and Aastha Sharma at the Children’s Museum
SAI Volunteers Teach about Diwali at the Boston Children’s Museum
SAI hosted the 2013 Teaching India Conference on April 12, 2013. The yearly conference is sponsored by Educators for Teaching India in conjunction with The Winsor School, Phillips Academy and The Groton School, and focused on ‘Democracy in India: Past, Present, and Future,’ with keynote speaker Ananya Vajpeyi, Author of Righteous Republic: The Political Foundations of Modern India; Associate Fellow, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, New Delhi; Senior Fellow, American Institute of Indian Studies. Workshop themes included political culture through film, gender and democracy in India, teaching Midnight’s Children for a postcolonial perspective, India’s independence and question of partition, and Hindu nationalism’s assault on pluralism. Next year’s EFTI conference will be on April 4, 2014.
Ten Harvard students from across the University, along with SAI Executive Director, Meena Hewett, and SAI Programs Manager, Nora Maginn, spent Sunday, October 28 at the Boston Children’s Museum celebrating Diwali with the community. Children were invited to participate in various activities led by the student volunteers, including making a crown for Sita and Rama, whose homecoming and coronation is remembered each year by the lighting of lamps in observation of Diwali. Other activities included crafting a diya from egg cartons and aluminum foil, creating a rangoli using chalk, and exploring the flavors of Indian spices. There was also an opportunity for children to try on saris. The students were encouraged to share Diwali stories and traditions with the visiting families and children. The Boston Children’s Museum and visitors were grateful to have the experience of students who celebrate Diwali with their families in South Asia and here in the United States. At the rangoli station, Erum Sattar, Harvard Law School doctoral student, engaged a young visitor in a conversation about his rangoli, which involved exploding rocks. Erum explained that rangoli is recognized as a symbol of welcome and placed outside the entrance to the home. On Diwali, rangoli are used to welcome Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and purity. Upon learning this story, and deciding that exploding rocks would only welcome firefighters to one’s home, our young friend happily added some flowers to his exploding rocks, and went on his way to the explore the other Diwali activities.
A Year in Review 2012-2013 37
October 28, 2012
Educators for Teaching India Conference
IN THE NEWS SAI happenings are often covered by the media, on the University, national, and global level. Some examples of recent news coverage are profiled here. For more SAI in the news, visit our website. For a full list of Kumbh Mela media coverage, visit the Kumbh Mela blog: http://mappingthemela.wordpress. com/2013/01/31/mapping-the-mela-in-the-media/
Leila Shayegan (Harvard College) speaks to the press at the Kumbh Mela in January
SAI in the news June 27, 2012
Public-private partnership: ‘Is education a public right or a commodity?’ The Express Tribune with the International Herald Tribune
KARACHI: Even though the state is responsible for providing education to children from five years of age to 16 years, is education a public right or a commodity? Educational experts debated the issue as they took part in a seminar organized by SAI at Harvard University, Center for Economic Research in Pakistan (CERP) and the Aman Foundation at the Institute of Business Administration on Tuesday.
December 21, 2012
Next Step for the South Asia Initiative Harvard Gazette
In response to SAI’s demonstrated commitment to the advancement of South Asian studies and programs, the Office of the President and the Office of the Provost at Harvard have formally renamed it the South Asia Institute (SAI) at Harvard University.
Established in 2003, SAI engages faculty and students through interdisciplinary programs to advance and deepen the teaching and research on global issues relevant to South Asia. In conjunction with the name change, SAI’s website will also change to http://southasiainstitute.harvard.edu/. SAI’s elevated status comes in the wake of years of work engaging more than 150 faculty from across the University who teach and conduct research on the region, as well as more than 300 students from South Asia studying at Harvard — the fastest-growing sector of Harvard’s student population.
Every 12 years comes a mystical, mind- boggling phenomenon. It is the Maha Kumbh Mela. Harvard experts map the exotic and the mundane at the spectacle. Arthur J Pais reports
ith high-powered handheld cameras mounted to a kite and zoomed high in the air, a handful of Harvard students joined Graduate School of Design Professor Rahul Mehrotra at the Maha Kumbh Mela, the mystical, magical and mind-boggling phenomenon, which every 12 years draws over 1000 million pilgrims. There are some experts, including Harvard’s business Professor Tarun Khanna, who believe that during the 55-day celebration, about 100 million gather at the Mela. By those estimates, if the Kumbh were a nation, it would be the 12th most populous in the world. “When the event ends (with the final bathing day on Mahashivratri March 10) approximately 100 million people would have moved in and out of Allahabad,” says Khanna, who played a major role in organizing the expedition. “It took 60 years for the population of Istanbul to grow from 1 million to 10 million, and 50 years in the case of Lagos. At Allahabad, the population rose from zero to 10 million, give or take a few million, in just a week’s time.” The Harvard visitors studied how Indian authorities pulled off the creation of a huge temporary tent city with minimal mishap. Khanna adds on his blog, ‘An enormous amount of urban planning, civil engineering, governance and adjudication, and maintenance of public goods – physical ones like toilets as well as intangibles such as law and order – and plans to deal with unexpected events goes into the creation of this city. Those are pretty much the main elements surrounding the creation of any city in the world.” Like some participants in the expedition, Khanna was partially motivated by enlightened self-interest. As a child growing up in India, he had read about the Mela, but never entertained the idea of visiting it or studying it. After living outside India for two decades, when he found the opportunity, he was intrigued. But the powerful urge to map the Kumbh originated from another Harvard professor’s interest – Mehrotra. “For many years, journalists and writers have been documenting mostly the exotica, the Naga sadhus, women saints and the madness as well as the spectacle of the Mela,” says Mehrotra, the chair of urban design and planning at Harvard. “I have for a while now been interested in the phenomenon of temporary urbanism – the kind of landscape that comprises a large majority of Indian cities. I call Indian cities kinetic cities as their landscape is ever transforming with hawkers, street vendors, and festivals.” “The temporality is a useful phenomenon to understand in order to comprehend Indian urbanism. The Kumbh has been an ultimate fantasy from this perspective, and I thought I should go this year. Who knows if I will have the energy to do this after 12 years?” That personal idea soon turned into a vision of gathering faculty and students in studying the Kumbh. Mehrotra, who joined GSD three years ago, has been taking groups of Harvard students to Mumbai, the city where he was raised, as part of his studio workshop in “Extreme Urbanism.” He has been practicing architecture in Mumbai for decades and has a passion for urban preservation and studying the landmarks of the city, including its art deco buildings and movie theatres, and Victorian train stations. He says the students often arrive with preconceptions of how Mumbai functions and how it should change. So, while the students were from different disciplines they never “transgressed each other’s disciplines…siloed in their thinking about a problem for which they had preconceptions.” The Kumbh Mela, he says, “perhaps because it is so vast, temporal, and was about massive energy invested in its construction but one that did not leave any trace when it was erased after 55 days was like an out-of-the-box problem. To start with it was ripe for interdisciplinary engagement – because no one had any preconceptions of what to expect.” He began to realize this would be a laboratory for interdisciplinary work, because no one – not even the design students – had a conception of what the Kumbh is like. The Kumbh project was going to be a mammoth compared to his previous study groups and it was imperative to involve other organizations, especially at Harvard, to make it work. Convincing Professor Diana Eck – a Harvard Divinity School expert on Hinduism and pilgrimages in India – was a first big step. He first met her 26 years ago as a GSD student working on sacred towns in India under her supervision. “She was thrilled at the idea (of mapping the Kumbh). We needed an umbrella organization to make this interdisciplinary project work,” says Mehrotra.
Read the full article from India Abroad http://mappingthemela.wordpress.com/2013/01/31/mapping-the-mela-in-the-media/
A Year in Review 2012-2013 39
IN THE NEWS
“With this endorsement SAI joins the highly regarded group of centers and institutes at Harvard that lead the University’s intellectual and academic inquiry on area-specific global issues,” said Jorge I. Dominguez, the vice provost for international affairs.
Inside the ultimate pop-up mega city
FY BUDGET 2012-2013 s
Income ¢ ¢ ¢ ¢ ¢
Current Use Founders Gift Fund Co Sponsored Funds Provost Funds Donor Restricted Funds Endowment Income Total
Administrative Support Interfaculty Initiatives Student Support Program Support Regional Support Total
40 South Asia Institute
Income $515,000 $322,215 $250,000 $30,500 $10,500 $1,128,215
46% 29% 21% 3% 1%
¢ ¢ ¢ ¢ ¢
Current Use Founders Gift Fund Anticipated Co Sponsored Funds Provost Funds Donor Restricted Funds Endowment Income Total
Expense ¢ ¢ ¢ ¢ ¢
$586,000 $330,000 $250,000 $90,000 $10,500 $1,266,500
46% 26% 20% 7% 1%
Expense $407,368 $267,691 $156,300 $133,478 $72,748 $1,037,585
39% 26% 15% 13% 7%
¢ ¢ ¢ ¢ ¢ ¢
Administrative Support Interfaculty Initiatives Student Support Regional Support Program Support Visiting Scholars Total
$498,644 $230,000 $143,500 $135,974 $111,250 $105,000 $1,224,368
41% 19% 12% 11% 9% 8%
A Year in Review 2012-2013 41
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