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Harvard University

South Asia Institute Y E A R I N R E V I E W 2 0 1 6 –2 0 1 7

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Cover Credit: Komal Khan 20 x 24 inches Happy Birthday 2014 Happy Birthday was a part of Khan’s degree show in the year 2014. It highlights the concept of the birth of human puppets. She used symbolism to show how the ‘string’/thread’ can have deeper meanings.

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Table of Contents

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ABOUT SAI

12

FAC U LT Y

51

ST U D E N TS

62

I N R EG I O N

65

COMMUNITY

66

P U B L I C AT I O N S

67

IN THE NEWS

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BUDGET

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From the Chair The South Asia Institute and I go way back. I have enjoyed a strong and productive relationship with Harvard South Asia Institute since its founding in 2003; it has been immensely gratifying to watch and participate in its growth and to support the wide range of projects and initiatives cultivated by its faculty, students, staff and fellows. As Chair of SAI's Advisory Council, I have had an opportunity to truly engage with its work. For example, the South Asian Studies fellowship program has been running for a few years and has enabled extremely talented scholars from all over the world to continue their important research and study on South Asia at Harvard. It is an honor to endow the program as the Raghunathan Family Fellowship. I am pleased to see many new members and supporters coming forward to support the work of SAI. With your contributions, we continue to sustain the work of the institute and take on new initiatives; many of which, you will read in the report. There is always more for all of us to do and learn from; a region that is home to over 2 billion people! I look forward to connecting with you in the coming year.

Arvind Raghunathan, Chair, Advisory Council, Harvard South Asia Institute

Our Mission The Harvard University South Asia Institute (SAI) serves as a platform for faculty, students, and regional partners to work together to advance interdisciplinary research and scholarship on South Asia. 4

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From the Director It has been a productive, energizing year at the South Asia Institute (SAI), as we push the envelope in and about South Asia with our extraordinary students, faculty, staff, fellows, affiliates, and regional partners. Nearly 70 years ago, both sides of my family were forced to leave their homes and cross over from what had just become Pakistan to what is now India. The scars remain even today. Several in our community and beyond can recount similar forced migrations in both directions across this new border, and in the subsequent 1971 creation of Bangladesh from what was then East Pakistan, that they experienced either firsthand or through the passing of family lore. The Partition of British India in August, 1947, is one of the defining historical events of the 20th century, whose impact is still central to the geopolitics of South Asia and beyond. At SAI, we have commenced an ambitious, interdisciplinary research project to explore Partition and its continuing resonance across the region. We hope to emulate the incredible success of Mapping the Kumbh Mela project that we had started in 2013. We’ve already completed a series of fascinating seminars led by colleagues from history, economics, religion, public health, urban planning and business—several available as podcasts—with many more research projects and events planned throughout 2017 in Cambridge, New York, San Francisco and also in India and Pakistan. We have continued our regional expansion with the opening of a dedicated SAI office in New Delhi. Sanjay Kumar MPA ’14, has joined us as our first India Country Director, bringing a wealth of experience and knowledge to an important role. Alongside our affiliates in other important cities—Bangalore, Dhaka, Karachi, Kathmandu, Lahore (now led by Mariam Chughtai, EdD, ’15), and Mumbai­—it is also vital for us to have such a significant presence in India’s capital. We have achieved a lot this year but as ever, we will keep on working to learn and understand as much as we can about South Asia and its place in the world. I’m especially looking forward to the outcomes of our Partition project and, elsewhere, we are committed to pursuing intellectual activity related to all aspects of South Asia and its place in the world in the pure sciences, social sciences, and the arts and humanities, here in Cambridge and in the region.

Tarun Khanna Faculty Director, Harvard South Asia Institute, Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor, Harvard Business School

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About SAI

SAI’s administration of staff and students, based both in Cambridge and

CAMBRIDGE STAFF

IN-REGION STAFF

South Asia, supports SAI’s mission and its day-to-day operations.

Tarun Khanna

Mariam Chughtai

Director; Jorge Paulo

Director, Pakistan

Lemann Professor, HBS

Programs

FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATIVE TEAM (SHARED WITH OTHER ASIARELATED CENTERS)

Maryam Mirza Alivandi Financial Associate

Meena Sonea Hewett

Usha Gawde

Executive Director

Program Consultant, Arts Initiative

Karen Christopher

—Jan. 2017

Financial Associate

Nora Maginn

Sanjay Kumar

Senior Program Manager,

India Country Director

Sarah Gordon

—Mar. 2017

Director of Finance and Administration

Diana Nguyen

Pukar Malla

Program Coordinator

Program Consultant, Kathmandu

Kathryn Maldonis Senior Financial Associate

Meghan Smith

Zahra Parekh

Communications and

Program, Consultant,

Outreach Coordinator

Karachi

—Mar. 2017

Tenzin Ngodup Program Assistant

Connie Wang

Rashmi Patel

Administrative Assistant

Mumbai Coordinator

Robyn Provost Financial Associate

Farhana Siddiqui Staff Assistant,

LIVELIHOOD CREATION

Delhi THE 1947 PARTITION OF BRITISH INDIA

Anisha Gopi Project Manager —Jan. 2017

Kundan Madireddy Project Manager —Jan. 2017

Shubhangi Bhadada Interfaculty Fellow, SAI

B4 PROGRAM

Savitha Ananth Program Coordinator Kathryn Nicholson Research Associate

Shashank Shah Project Director —Jan. 2017

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Nabil Khan Research Associate


Visiting Scholars SAI offers opportunities for scholars and practitioners to come to Harvard to continue their research.

The Aman and Syed Babar Ali Fellowships, both half year appointments, support doctoral and advanced professional degree holders working on issues relevant to Pakistan. The Aman Fellowship has a special focus on supporting research related to Pakistan’s development. The Raghunathan Family Fellowship, (previously called South Asian Studies Fellow) a yearlong appointment, supports recent PhDs in the humanities and social sciences whose research relates to any period of South Asian history or contemporary South Asia.

SOUTH ASIAN STUDIES FELLOW Shubhankita Ojha South Asian Studies Fellow, 2016-17

Faculty mentor: Sven Beckert, Laird Bell Professor of History Ojha is SAI’s South Asian Studies Fellow for this year, as well as a Fellow at WCFIA. She received her PhD from the Department of History, University of Delhi in 2016. Her research interests include labour, maritime history and urban history. She particularly works on Bombay dock labour and is interested in a comparative study of dock workers globally.

BABAR ALI FELLOW

STUDENT COORDINATORS

Mariam Asaad EdM —Dec. 2016

Roma Kalani EdM Candidate, HGSE

Hina Saleem EdM Candidate, HGSE

SAI’s Visiting Fellows Program supports midcareer, self-funded professionals to continue their research at Harvard.

Fauzia Ahmed Assistant Professor, Sociology and Women’s Studies, Miami University of Ohio

As an SAI Research Affiliate, she investigates how intersections of gender and globalization impact governance and workers’ well-being in the garment industry in various countries in South Asia.

Hasna Moudud Former Visiting Fellow, Ash Center, HKS

Musharraf Ali Farooqi Babar Ali Fellow, Spring 2017

Faculty mentor: Ali Asani, Professor of IndoMuslim and Islamic Religion and Cultures

Candidate, HGSE

RESEARCH AFFILIATES

Farooqi is a writer, translator, and publisher. Farooqi’s novel Between Clay and Dust was a finalist for the 2012 Man Asian Prize for Literature. His internationally acclaimed translation of the Dastan-e Amir Hamza (The Adventures of Amir Hamza) was called a “gift to world literature” by TIME magazine. In July 2016 Farooqi launched world’s first online Urdu Thesaurus and mobile app (www.urduthesaurus.com) which he has edited, from his publishing house KITAB.

Moudud’s forthcoming book, The Silk Road to South Asia: From Mongolia to India through Bangladesh, investigates the unknown history of the Silk Road’s passage through the subcontinent.

Shreyas Navare Fellow, WCFIA

Navare is the Founder & Chief Creative Officer of Toonanza and freelances as an Editorial Cartoonist at Hindustan Times. HarperCollins has published two books of his Hindustan Times cartoons titled, The Politickle Pickle Vol. 1 and 2.

AMAN FELLOW

—Dec. 2016

Fahad Javed Aman Fellow, Fall 2016 Hera Shakli EdM Candidate, HGSE

Sneha Shrestha EdM Candidate, HGSE

Faculty mentor: Venky Narayanamurti, Benjamin Peirce Research Professor of Technology and Public Policy Javed is an assistant professor in the computer science department at GIFT University, Gujranwala, Pakistan. His research is focused around smart grids, specifically on demand side management. Before joining GIFT, he completed his PhD from the Department of Computer Science, School of Science and Engineering, Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS).

Hasit Shah Journalist; Former Nieman-Berkman Fellow in Journalism Innovation Shah researches, writes and speaks about the growth and development of digital media in India. Hasit was a 2014 Nieman-Berkman Fellow in Journalism Innovation at Harvard. This followed more than a decade with BBC News in London, where he covered major stories in the UK and across the world.

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Steering Committee

FACULTY OF ARTS AND SCIENCES

Ali Asani Professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic Religion and Cultures, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, FAS; Director, AISP

Homi Bhabha Anne F. Rothenberg Professor of the Humanities, Department of English, FAS; Director of the Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard University Diana Eck Professor of Comparative Religion and Indian Studies and Fredric Wertham Professor of Law and Psychiatry in Society, FAS; Member of the Faculty of Divinity, HDS Venkatesh Murthy Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology, FAS

Parimal G. Patil Professor of Religion and Indian Philosophy, Committee on the Study of Religion, FAS; Chair, DSAS

HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL

Tarun Khanna Director, SAI; Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor, HBS

Akshay Mangla Assistant Professor of Business Administration, HBS

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SAI’s Steering Committee provides guidance and advisement to SAI, and represents schools from across the university.

HARVARD GRADUATE SCHOOL OF DESIGN

Rahul Mehrotra Professor of Urban Planning and Design, GSD

HARVARD GRADUATE SCHOOL OF EDUCATION

Fernando Reimers Ford Foundation Professor of International Education; Director, International Education Policy Program, HGSE

HARVARD KENNEDY SCHOOL

Nicholas Burns Sultan of Oman Professor of the Practice of International Relations, HKS; Director, Future of Diplomacy Project, HKS Martha Chen Lecturer in Public Policy, HKS; Affiliated Professor, GSD; International Coordinator, WIEGO Network Asim Khwaja Sumitomo-Foundation for Advanced Studies on International Development Professor of International Finance and Development, HKS

HARVARD LAW SCHOOL

Kristen Stilt Professor of Law, HLS; Director, Islamic Legal Studies Program, HLS

HARVARD T. H. SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH

Jacqueline Bhabha Professor of the Practice of Health and Human Rights, HSPH; Jeremiah Smith, Jr. Lecturer in Law, HLS; Adjunct Lecturer, HKS; Director of Research, FXB Center David Bloom Chair, Department of Global Health and Population; Clarence James Gamble Professor of Economics and Demography, HSPH JP Onnela Assistant Professor of Biostatistics, HSPH

Jennifer Leaning François-Xavier Bagnoud Professor of the Practice of Health and Human Rights, HSPH; Director, FXB Center for Health and Human Rights


Advisory Council

The SAI Advisory Council, a team of distinguished volunteer leaders, provides strategic counsel and financial support to SAI.

ADVISORY COUNCIL

ARTS ADVISORY COUNCIL

Syed Babar Ali AMP ’73, Pakistan

Victor Menezes USA

Representing Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan, the distinguished members of the Arts Advisory Council provide financial support and advisement for SAI’s Arts Program.

KP Balaraj MBA ’97, India

Arif Naqvi UAE

Sumir Chadha MBA ’97, USA

Chandrika and Dalip Pathak UK

Kuntala and Purandar Das USA

Chandni and Mukesh Prasad AB ’93, USA

Jo Froman and Mark Fuller AB ’75, MBA ’78, JD ’79, USA

Sribala Subramanian and Arvind Raghunathan USA

Meera Gandhi USA Vikram Gandhi MBA ’89, ExEd ’00, USA/India Mala Haarmann AB ’91, MBA ’96, UK Anuradha and Anand Mahindra AB ’77, MBA ’81, India

Aparajita and Gaurav Jain Dipti Mathur Chandrika Pathak Aparna and Sanjay Reddy Omar Saeed Nadia and Rajeeb Samdani Poonam Bhagat Osman Khalid Waheed

FRIENDS OF SAI Rajiv and Anupa Sahney India Parul and Gaurav Swarup MBA ’80, India Tom Varkey MBA ’97

Friends of SAI are individuals who invest in SAI’s interfaculty projects, leveraging the resources and expertise of Harvard faculty to support research that has direct impact in the region.

Syed Hashmi The Resource Group, c/o Nadeem Elahi

Arshad Zakaria AB ’85, MBA ’87, USA

Karen, AB ’82, and Sanjeev Mehra, AB ’82, MBA ’86, USA

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Highlights Summer 2016

Fall 2016

goMango Seed for Change winners

Malavika Jain presents on the Caution with Exchange— Law, Ethics, Security & Trust at the Radcliffe Seminar

Kusalagnana Derangala examines abandoned Palm leaf manuscripts in Upper Myanmar for preservation

FACULTY

FACULTY

FACULTY

On August 1, SAI launched the book and exhibition titled Kumbh Mela: Mapping the Ephemeral Megacity in Lucknow with Shri Akhilesh Yadav, Honorable Chief Minister, Uttar Pradesh in partnership with the Uttar Pradesh (UP) Government (p. 22).

SAI hosted a seminar at the Radcliffe Institute on September 22, titled ‘Exchanging Health Information.’ led by Professors Satchit Balsari and Tarun Khanna. The seminar sought to bring together experts in medicine, computer science, big data, public policy and law to identify a research and policy agenda that addresses implementation barriers to health information exchange (p. 24).

The Harvard South Asia Institute (SAI), in collaboration with Tata Trusts, concluded the 18-months project on Livelihood Creation In India with events in Delhi that focused on three key areas: Women’s Social, Educational, Economic Empowerment, Rural Livelihood Creation in the Handicrafts and Handloom Sectors; and Science and Technology-based Social Entrepreneurship. (p. 19)

STUDENTS

The South Asia Institute launched its Nepal Studies Program. The 3-year program focuses on a different faculty-led topic of interest each year, and engages with scholars and practitioners both on the ground in Nepal and in Cambridge. (p. 20)

STUDENTS GoMango, winner of SAI’s first Seed for Change Competition, began their year-long grant year working in India. GoMango provides low-cost refrigerated transport to food producers in India (p. 53). SAI awarded 33 grants to undergraduates and graduates for summer research, internship, and language study in Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka (p. 54).

Over 100 students enrolled in the course ‘Contemporary Developing Countries: Entrepreneurial Solutions to Intractable Social and Economic Problems’ co-taught by Tarun Khanna, SAI Director, Professor HBS, and an interdisciplinary team of SAI affiliated faculty (p. 13).

COMMUNITY

COMMUNITY

In August, SAI hosted meetings in Lahore and Delhi as part of the project on the 1947 Partition of British India. Professor Jennifer Leaning, HSPH, met with the in-region research teams to share research conducted to date and formulate plans for further research in the coming months (p. 64).

SAI welcomed Sanjay Kumar as SAI India Country Director on December 1. Dr. Kumar will lead all of SAI’s activities in India and is based in Delhi.

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Raghunathan Family Fellowship The Raghunathan Family Fellowship for South Asian Studies is made possible with generous support from Advisory Council members Sribala and Arvind Raghunathan. Future scholars from South Asia will have the opportunity to take advantage of Harvard’s vast resources and produce valuable scholarship on the region.

Winter 2017

STUDENTS SAI supported 15 students to travel to South Asia for internships and conduct research. 12 graduate students and 3 undergraduate students travelled to India, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Myanmar, and Pakistan. (p. 54)

COMMUNITY On January 7, SAI, in partnership with the Institute of Bioinformatics and Applied Biotechnology (IBAB), hosted a Knowledge Exchange Platform on neuroscience for students in Bangalore to interact with different players in the science ecosystem. (p. 18)


BY THE NUMBERS

Spring 2017

239,161 views have been accumulated on SAI’s YouTube page

1,275 Harvard India Student Conference 2017

FACULTY SAI began a weekly seminar series focusing on the Partition of British India every Wednesday evening through February and March. The series is a part of the SAI coordinated, multi faculty research project The 1947 Partition of British India: Looking Back, Informing the Future—Implications of Mass Dislocations Across Geographies, which focuses on issues that have often been ignored in the context of the Partition. (p. 14) The South Asia Institute has partnered with the Animal Law & Policy Program at Harvard Law School, led by Kristen Stilt, to examine animal agriculture from the Middle East to Asia. The Program hosted a workshop in May 2017. (p. 21)

STUDENTS The India Student Conference 2017 was themed, ‘India—The Global Growth Engine.’ Over a thousand attendees and 90 speakers convened for two days to discuss agriculture, entrepreneurship, urbanization and women’s rights, focusing on the challenges that lie ahead.

people attended SAI’s 85 events throughout the year.

15,492 people follow SAI on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.

10,450 people have viewed the digital versions of SAI’s annual publications.

27 Students were funded by SAI for internship, language study, and research grants in South Asia during the summer and winter sessions.

4,617

COMMUNITY

people subscribe to SAI’s weekly newsletter.

SAI’s sixth Annual Symposium, South Asia: Migrations and Transformations, brought together scholars and practitioners to highlight the study of South Asia from three perspectives: the Arts, Life Science, and Social Science. (p. 23)

306 Applications received for SAI visiting scholar opportunities and grants

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Interfaculty Initiatives

SW47 Class at the Harvard Innovation Lab

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SW47: Contemporary Developing Countries: Entrepreneurial Solutions to Intractable Social and Economic Problems COURSE OVERVIEW This unique and innovative course was open to all students across Harvard Graduate Schools and Harvard College. It provided a framework and multiple lenses through which to think about the salient economic and social problems of the five billion people of the developing world, and to work in a team setting towards identifying entrepreneurial solutions to such problems. The course was divided into five modules: an introduction reviewing salient approaches to development and the roles that entrepreneurs can play within these; followed by three thematic modules each led by a leader in their field; and then a concluding module which applied lessons learnt throughout the semester to specific problem contexts. The course introduced students to cases across the developing world with a particular focus on Africa, China, Latin America and South Asia.

STUDENT VOICES “If you are interested in working in a developing country or from a developing country, you can relate to a lot of case studies because it is basically explaining how people solve problems in contexts that you are familiar with, or that you would like to know more about.” Dorothy Mrema, Harvard Graduate School of Education, International Education Policy ’17 “We have examples from South Asia, from Latin America, really from all across the globe. I think it is really essential to break away from the western, the US-centric business perspective that is really ingrained in us. I feel like, after having taken this course, I just have an entirely new framework for thinking about how to tackle different problems. Not only how to tackle the problems, but how to recognize them in first place.” Ana Olano, Harvard College, Physics Concentrator “From a public health perspective, this course was incredibly valuable, particularly with respect to thinking in a way that isn’t like-minded to public health and thinking in more of a business sense, and thinking more from a system-wide perspective.” Canice Ahearn, Harvard School of Public Health, Maternal and Child Health, Global Health & Population

MODULE 1: INTRODUCTORY MODULE The introductory module by Professors Khanna and Satchit Balsari explored several of the most salient challenges facing emerging market economies, highlighting political, economic and social institutional inadequacies (referred to as ‘institutional voids’ throughout the course). It discussed candidate solutions to these problems, including India’s unique biometric ID system and Alibaba’s sensational success at organizing small-and-medium scale commerce in China.

MODULE 2: THINKING LIKE A PLANNER The second module by Professor Macomber explored how a planner can set the boundary conditions within which creativity can be expressed.

MODULE 3: THINKING LIKE A HUMANIST The third module by Professor Sommer aimed at empowering students to think creatively about how arts and the humanities can be used to change cultural norms, promote social cohesion and ultimately improve economic development.

MODULE 4: THINKING LIKE AN ENGINEER The fourth module by Professor Gajos guided students through the design process from the perspective of an engineer, engaging students in the method of entrepreneurial need assessment.

MODULE 5: APPLICATIONS TO DIFFERENT PROBLEMS AND CONTEXTS FACULTY

MOOC OFFERED THROUGH EDx

Tarun Khanna, Director, Harvard South Asia Institute, Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor Harvard Business School Satchit Balsari, Fellow, Harvard FXB Center for Health and Human Rights, Chief, Weill Cornell Global Emergency Medicine Division Krzysztof Gajos, Gordon McKay professor of Computer Science at the Harvard Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences John Macomber, Senior Lecturer of Business Administration, Harvard Business School Doris Sommer, Ira Jewell Williams, Jr. Professor of Romance Languages and Literature, and of African and African American Studies, Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences

A 6-module, self-paced version of the course, entitled “Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies” has also recently launched on edX with over 19,000 learners already signed up. Free and open to all, this MOOC continues Khanna’s focus on using multiple lenses to understand complex social and economic problems, and introduces learners to a variety of different cases from around the world.

The final module by Professors Khanna and Satchit Balsari applied the various lenses discussed throughout the course to unique problem contexts, with a particular focus on health and education challenges in developing countries. By this time in the course, student teams worked on their own business plan so these sessions proved particularly illustrative for that purpose.

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The 1947 Partition of British India: Looking Back, Informing the Future The 1947 Partition of British India: Looking Back, Informing the Future is a multidisciplinary study that is examining questions not yet fully addressed by existing scholarship. The project is exploring Partition through varied lenses: the demographic and humanitarian consequences of the Partition; a textual analysis of potentially inflammatory language through examination of formal speeches and writings of political leaders and others in the public domain; crowdsourcing oral histories and analysing them for sentiment and information; and the examination of the physical forms, layout, and temporality of refugee camps and settlements established for Partition migrants. Lucy Chester from UC Boulder spoke about the cartography and conflict in the Partition

Seminar Series: Eight Sessions SAI hosted a series of eight seminars at Harvard on the Partition in which Harvard faculty, and visiting scholars presented research on various aspects of Partition’s legacy, influence, and implications.

I. HISTORY AND CONTEXT OF THE PARTITION

IV. RELIGION, ETHICS, AND NASCENT NATIONALISM AND THE PARTITION

Sunil Amrith, Mehra Family Professor of South Asian Studies, Professor of History, Harvard University

Ali Asani, Professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic Religion and Cultures, Harvard University

II. HISTORICAL AND HUMANITARIAN CONSEQUENCES OF MIGRATION

V. THE SHORT AND LONG RUN IMPACTS OF THE PARTITION / CROWD-SOURCING OF ORAL HISTORIES

Jennifer Leaning, François-Xavier Bagnoud Professor of the Practice of Health and Human Rights, HSPH, Director, FXB Center for Health and Human Rights

The Short and Long Run Impacts of the Partition Prashant Bharadwaj, Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of California, San Diego

III. GENDER AND THE PARTITION

Catherine Warner, College Fellow in South Asian Studies and History, Harvard University

Crowd-Sourcing of Oral Histories Karim Lakhani, Professor of Business Administration, HBS

VI. THE RADCLIFFE BOUNDARY COMMISSION: CARTOGRAPHY AND CONFLICT IN THE PARTITION OF INDIA AND PAKISTAN

Lucy Chester, Associate Professor, University of Colorado Boulder VII. WITNESS TO TWO PARTITIONS: 1947 AND 1971

Martha Chen, Lecturer in Public Policy at the HKS, Affiliated Professor at GSD VIII. PARTITION OF BRITISH INDIA: 70 YEARS LATER

Tarun Khanna, Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor, HBS; Director, SAI Asim Khwaja, Sumitomo-FASID Professor of International Finance and Development, HKS

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RADCLIFFE SPONSORED WORKSHOP ON THE PARTITION In May 2017, the Harvard South Asia Institute, along with the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies hosted a workshop on its Partition Project, The 1947 Partition of British India: Looking Back, Informing the Future. Faculty across disciplines of business, economics, health and human rights, history, law, and urban design, participated in this academic study. This workshop was an opportunity for researchers from India and Pakistan, to come together in Cambridge, MA and share their research and inform each other on an historic event that forever reshaped the relationships and politics in South Asia. The workshop was a major step in the ultimate goal of the team producing collaborative materials that inform and influence scholars in the humanities, social sciences, and the wider public.

Professor Jennifer Leaning (left) and Uma Chakravarti (right) at the New Delhi meeting of the Partition researchers

1947 PARTITION PROJECT TEAM

PROFESSORS Jennifer Leaning, Professor, Director, Department of Global Health and Population, FXB Centre for Health and Human Rights of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Tarun Khanna, Director, SAI; Professor, Harvard Business School Prashant Bharadwaj, Associate Professor, Economics Department, University of California, San Diego Asim Khwaja, Professor, International Finance and Development, Harvard Kennedy School of Government Karim R. Lakhani, Professor, Harvard Business School Rahul Mehrotra, Professor, Urban Planning and Design, Harvard Graduate School of Design

Kathryn Nicholson, Research Associate— Harvard South Asia Institute

Yaqoob Bangash, Assistant Professor, History Department, Information Technology University, Pakistan

INDIA TEAM

Nadhra Khan, Assistant Professor, Humanities and Social Studies Department, Lahore University of Management Studies, Pakistan

Sanjay Kumar, Country Director India, Harvard South Asia Institute Mihir Bhatt, Director, All India Disaster Mitigation Institute, India Uma Chakravarti, Professor, History Department, Miranda House College for Women, Delhi University, India

Rimple Mehta, Assistant Professor, Women Studies Department, Jadhavpur University, India

Sunil Amrith, Mehra Family Professor of South Asian Studies, Professor of History, Harvard University

,

Urvashi Butalia Writer and Publisher Jhuma Sen, Assistant Professor, Jindal Global Law School, India Srikant Singh, Freelance Researcher

Meena Hewett, Executive Director—Harvard South Asia Institute

Navsharan Singh, Researcher, History Department, Delhi University, India

Nabil Khan, Research Fellow, FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard/South Asia Institute

PAKISTAN TEAM

Shubhangi Bhadada, Research Fellow— Harvard South Asia Institute

PARTITION ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS

Mandvi Dogra, Co-Founder, SnapPeas, India

CAMBRIDGE TEAM

Sarib Hussain, Research Associate, Harvard South Asia Institute

Ali Raza, Assistant Professor, History Department, Lahore University of Management Studies, Pakistan

Mariam Chughtai, Pakistan Programs Director, Harvard South Asia Institute

Yasmin Khan, Official Fellow, University Lecturer (Associate Professor) in British History, Department for Continuing Education, Faculty of History, University of Oxford Ian Talbot, Professor of Modern British History, University of Southampton Vazira Fazila-Yacoobali Zamindar, Associate Professor of History, Brown University

Shahram Azhar, Assistant Professor, Social Development and Policy Department, Habib University, Pakistan

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Arts at SAI

Visiting Artist Program Supported by the Arts Advisory Council and the Dean of the Division of Social Science’s Donald T. Regan Lecture Fund, SAI’s Visiting Artist Program brings emerging artists from South Asia to Harvard’s campus to engage with Harvard students, faculty, and community members. During their time on campus, artists attend courses, meet with student groups, give a lecture, and display their work.

FACULTY DIRECTOR Jinah Kim, Gardner Cowles Associate Professor of History of Art and Architecture South and Southeast Asian, Harvard University

ADVISORY COUNCIL Aparajita and Gaurav Jain, Delhi Dipti Mathur, San Francisco Chandrika Pathak, London Aparna and Sanjay Reddy, Hyderabad Omar Saeed, Lahore Nadia and Rajeeb Samdani, Dhaka Poonam Bhagat Shroff, Mumbai Osman Khalid Waheed, Lahore

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Komal Shahid Khan at her artist talk, Waking Whispers

Meenakshi Sengupta at her artist talk, Boys Don’t Cry

FALL KOMAL SHAHID KHAN

FALL MEENAKSHI SENGUPTA

2016

2016

Khan is a visual artist, based in Islamabad, Pakistan. She started her career with group shows in art galleries in Islamabad/ Rawalpindi and then moved on to Lahore and Karachi as well.

Sengupta’s work features traditional pictorial representation to push formal and aesthetic conventions to produce new meanings by using wit and irony to explore gender identity and complexities in contemporary life.

“Coming together and deciding new things, planning new projects, you get more motivated and enthusiastic to start on new projects when you go back to your country.”—Khan

“We are addressing common issues, but there are cultural differences. I loved the artists talks and discussions about our practice. Seeing how people from a different part of world react to their work—it’s valuable.”—Sengupta


The Arts program connects South Asia’s artists with Harvard faculty and students to support research that advances the understanding of social, political, cultural, and economic issues of the world through art.

TRAVEL GRANT

SAI’s South Asia Arts Fund provides Harvard faculty, students, and affiliates with travel grants to deepen their engagement with art in South Asia.

Sneha Shrestha, EdM 2017, Arts in Education

Madhu Das at his artist talk, Landscape of Abstraction

Rabindra Shrestha at his exhibit

SPRING MADHU DAS

SPRING RABINDRA SHRESTHA

2017

2017

Das’ artistic practice is primarily concerned with the projection of identity onto the social and natural world: in a way that the two are woven together in the Indian space (both mythic space and actual) by exploring both conceptual and material sensibilities through a range of media including drawing and painting, photography, performance, video, site-specific interventions, collaborative community projects and interactive/ performative installations.

Shrestha is a Nepalese visual artist. Installation, detail pen and ink drawing, painting, traditional painting (Paubha), illustration, cartoon, and ceramic art are the different mediums of his visuals expressions. Many people refer to him as a “Line Artist.”

“I was able to interact with people from different parts of the world and see how they responded to my work. This will help me to look at my work from a different perspective. I can now get a sense of India as an outsider as well as an insider. I haven’t been outside my home country and the unfamiliar landscape, weather and culture opened my mind.”—Das

“I can’t fully express the power of the days I have spent here. People back home will be curious to see what I will do with this new exposure; it has given me fresh energy. Artists must come here with an empty mind; it’s almost like a holy place, where you have to absorb as much as you can.”—Shrestha

Sneha Shrestha is the Founder and Director of Nepal’s first Children’s Art Museum, creating arts based learning experiences for children. She is curious to research what happens when young children are introduced to graffiti art principles and left to their devices to create the alphabets of their imagination. The travel grant was used for research in Kathmandu, Nepal. Rachel Parikh, Calderwood Art Fellow at Harvard Art Museums Rachel Parikh is conducting research for her book on South Asian arms and armor. The book is planned to be the first foundational text on the subject. It will examine the construction and function of these objects as well as their religious, social, political, and cultural roles within the Indian subcontinent. She travelled to the United Kingdom to visit significant and historic repositories of this material.

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Boston Bangalore Biosciences Beginnings (B4) Program

The B4 program aims to build a scientific research corridor between India and the US by engaging scientists from India and Harvard through exchange programs. This program is a collaboration between the Institute of Bioinformatics and Applied Biotechnology (IBAB), Bangalore, India, and the Harvard South Asia Institute, Cambridge, MA. The program is supported by the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, and the Department of Information Technology & Biotechnology and Science and Technology, Government of Karnataka.

B4 Science and Technology Fellowships at Harvard

(left to right) Venki Murthy, Professor of Molecular & Cellular Biology, B4 fellows: Ramya Purkanti, Gayatri Ramakrishnan, Parvathi M Sreekumar & Praveen Anand

B4 Fellows

B4 Young Scientist Program

GAYATRI RAMAKRISHNAN

Another component of the B4 program was the Young Scientist Program (YSP) on neuroscience, a two-week immersion course run by SAI and IBAB to introduce Indian students to the excitement of brain science.

Ramakrishnan is working with Martha Bulyk at Harvard Medical School. She is looking at the structural basis of DNA-binding specificity of transcription factors. Her study aims to understand and analyze: a) rules that aid interactions between DNA and certain biomolecules known as transcription factors (that “activate” a gene); and b) rules (mutations) that could potentially damage such interactions. The inferences from such a study are valuable in directing experiments on genetic diseases in human and cancer research.

From a pool of 150 applications from undergraduate and graduate students from across India, 25 students were selected to be the first batch of the YSP.

PARVATHI MADATHIL SREEKUMAR Sreekumar’s role with Philippe Cluzel’s group is to extend the principal idea of optimization of gene/protein expression levels in eukaryotic system, starting with yeast as model system and then extending further to plant/ mammalian system based on the progress/ success. She is involved in the bacterial research to fine tune and taper the ongoing experiment, meanwhile gearing up with all the logistics for the yeast experiments.

B4 Young Scientist Development Course Participants in Bangalore

The course was taught by Venki Murthy, Laura Magnotti, Neurobiology Advisor and Preceptor in Molecular and Cellular Biology, and three teaching assistants from the National Institute of Biological Sciences in Bangalore.

PRAVEEN ANAND Four Science and Technology Fellowships for 2016–17 were offered in fields related to the biosciences at Harvard University and other institutions in the Boston area. In the inaugural year of the B4 program, the four Fellows selected from a pool of 52 applications are working in laboratories at Harvard and Boston related to their field such as bioinformatics, biomedical engineering, genomics, neuroscience, synthetic biology and more.

FACULTY DIRECTORS Venki Murthy, Professor of Molecular & Cellular Biology, Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences Tarun Khanna, Director of the Harvard South Asia Institute, Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor, Harvard Business School Savitha Ananth, Program Coordinator, Bangalore

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Anand explores a lot of avenues for handling, analysis and interpretation of high-throughput next-gen sequencing data, working in Sean Eddy’s lab.

RAMYA PURKANTI Purkanti is working in Michael Desai’s lab on experimental evolution of yeast populations as it adapts to nutritional stress. Allele frequencies are monitored over the period of adaptation thereby providing a window into evolution in real time. This enables them to ascertain the role of different evolutionary processes towards the final adaptation.

The Program encouraged interdisciplinary thinking and training through a course in neuroscience, for students from engineering and non-life science background. ‘Knowledge Exchange Platform’ day brought together leaders from industry, faculty and students, to engage in conversations around the study of neuroscience, the climate of neuroscience in India, career opportunities that exist in the field, and challenges facing the industry. “I think it was a great experience to have the corporate perspective on research in neuroscience,” said one participant. “I gained a lot of valuable insights and actually found myself reconsidering some beliefs I had about research in industries.”


Livelihood Creation Project

RURAL LIVELIHOOD CREATION IN THE HANDICRAFT AND HANDLOOM SECTOR Mukti Khaire, Professor of Practice at Cornell Tech

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY FOR LIVELIHOOD CREATION Tarun Khanna, Director of the South Asia Institute, Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor, Harvard Business School

Livelihood Creation in India through Social Entrepreneurship and Skill Development An 18-month partnership between the SAI and Tata Trusts, focused on three key areas: rural livelihood creation (emphasis on the handicrafts and handloom sectors); educational, social and economic empowerment of women; and science and technology-based interventions for poverty alleviation. This project has involved rigorous research work with over 100 social enterprises across 15 states of India to study the challenges and capacity gaps. See page 47 for information on webinars related to the project

Ambuj Sagar, Professor of Policy Studies, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi; and Visiting Fellow, Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and Massachusetts Institute of Technology

WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT Jacqueline Bhabha, FXB Director of Research; Professor of the Practice of Health and Human Rights, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health; Jeremiah Smith, Jr. Lecturer in Law, Harvard Law School; Adjunct Lecturer, Harvard Kennedy School Martha Chen, Lecturer in Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School; Affiliated Professor, Harvard Graduate School of Design Tarun Khanna speaks at conclusion of Tata Trusts Livelihood Creation project

ADMINISTRATIVE TEAM Anisha Gopi, Project Manager Meena Hewett, Executive Director, SAI Kundan Madireddy, Project Manager Shashank Shah, Project Director of the Livelihood Creation Project, and Visiting Scholar at Harvard Business School

FINANCE TEAM Anthea D’Souza, IRC/HBS Sarah Gordon, SAI Joan Haggerty-Hiltz, HBS

“The South Asian region is a laboratory for entrepreneurship, technological advancement and cultural diversity,” says Tarun Khanna, Director of the SAI and Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor at Harvard Business School. “The Harvard SAI consistently makes efforts to use its multi-disciplinary faculty expertise to contribute to India and the region with research-based learnings and interventions.”

Special thanks to the India Research Center/ Harvard Business School team for their partnership on the Project.

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Nepal Studies Program

A three-year program that engages Harvard faculty, scholars and practitioners, on the ground in Nepal, other countries in South Asia, and in Cambridge, to come together to undertake research on areas critical to Nepal’s development.

Year 1: Planning Exercise on Earthquake Preparedness and Reflections on an In-Country Rapid Scenario Planning Exercise on Earthquake Preparedness FEBRUARY 9-10, 2017

Kathmandu, Nepal Harvard SAI Nepal Studies team along with participants from Nepal

Twenty-two months after the Gorkha earthquake, a group of Harvard-led disaster specialists travelled to Kathmandu, Nepal, in February 2017 to conduct a “Rapid Planning Exercise” on preparing for the next earthquake. Twenty Nepalis, drawn from government, civil society, and the private sector, joined Harvard urban planning and design professor Jerold Kayden, University of New South Wales professor David Sanderson, and SEEDS India founder Anshu Sharma in the initiative, sponsored by Harvard’s South Asia Institute in partnership with the University of New South Wales, Kathmandu University, and Tribhuvan University. Pukar Malla, Senior Research Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School and Marianne Potvin, Harvard PhD candidate in Urban Planning, provided key support. While most in-country discussions remain focused on recovering from the last earthquake, the Harvard program looked to the future. Instead of jumping to solutions, participants were asked first to identify bottlenecks impeding earthquake preparedness and countrywide resilience. To promote a frank discussion without fear of public attribution or criticism, participants anonymously wrote down bottleneck descriptions on cards that were subsequently grouped and prioritized by all participants. Because uncertainties surrounding future events can give license to deferred decision-making, the Rapid Planning Exercise introduced at the outset an imaginary scenario in which earth scientists had sufficient seismological knowledge to predict that a magnitude 8.2 earthquake centered in the Kathmandu Valley would occur on a fixed date. The participants selected “attitude” as the foremost bottleneck. Risk avoidance and power retention by government officials inhibit creative thinking and articulation of strong policy positions. Lack of recognition of women greatly restricts the pool of leadership and labor in solving problems. Leadership at the local level is inadequately recognized and celebrated.

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The in-country Rapid Planning Exercise was followed by a debriefing session at Harvard, where the project directors were joined by Sarita Maskey, Joint Secretary at the Nepal Ministry of Urban Development and Shriju Pradhan, Deputy Director at the Urban Housing and Heritage Conservation Division of the Nepal National Reconstruction Authority. The outcome of the exercise and debriefing session will be a collaborative work product designed to guide future thinking and actions and identify local and international partners. The exercise was the inaugural initiative in a newly established Nepal Studies Program at Harvard University, administered by SAI and made possible by the generous support of Jeffrey M. Smith, an American lawyer. The purpose of the Nepal Studies Program is to bring together individuals at Harvard, in Nepal, and elsewhere to employ their multidisciplinary backgrounds to unearth fresh insights about past, present, and future events, issues, and opportunities in Nepal. Submitted by Jerold Kayden, Frank Backus Williams Professor of Urban Planning and Design, Harvard Graduate School of Design

YEAR 2 Leonard van der Kuijp, Professor of Tibetan and Himalayan Studies, will lead an exploration of the spread and development of Buddhism in the India-Nepal-Tibet corridor. This will be based on medieval documents and modern practice.

YEAR 3 Michael Witzel, Wales Professor of Sanskrit, will lead an exploration of aspects of Hindu religion in Nepal, especially of various rituals. This too will be based on medieval documents and modern practice. Special attention will be placed on their coexistence and the mutual influences with related Buddhist rites.


Other Faculty Initiatives

FACULTY

Meritocracy Project: China and India

Tarun Khanna, Director, South Asia Institute, Harvard University Michael Szonyi, Director, Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Harvard University

In conjunction with the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, we launched a university-wide series of research workshops on ‘Meritocracy’ in China and India. The workshops drew on humanists, social scientists, lawyers, and engineers, among others, to discuss the manner in which the two countries nurtured and allocated talent, and the extent to which these systems were residues from decades, even centuries, past.

PARTNERS Duan Peijun, Academic Dean, Philosophy Department, Central Party School, Beijing Kishore Mahbubani, Dean, NUS Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy Pratap Bhanu Mehta, President, Centre for Policy Research, India Qian Yingyi, Dean, School of Economics and Management, Tsinghua University Bernard Yeung, Dean, NUS Business School

Today, there are hundreds of millions of people in China and India, who through no fault of their own are restricted by systems of inequity that are both a consequence of history and tradition and the inadvertent result of more recent, well-intentioned policies with deleterious side-effects.This means that the talents of a huge proportion of the world’s population are unrecognized and unnurtured, with enormous cost to human progress. In The Meritocracy Project, we want to shine light on the relationship between the idea of merit—its conceptualization, measurement, and implementation—and the organization of talent in China and India, and on the ways power and influence are allocated in these two countries. Growth remains the best solution for poverty reduction and what happens to a third of humanity will affect us all. The project aims to understand and perhaps reshape how people in China and India think about talent. This implies evaluating the processes of education, talent identification and talent promotion in China and India, encouraging new ways of thinking about where to look for talent, and ultimately influencing the public policy debate.

PROJECT TEAM Kristen Stilt, Professor of Law and Director of the Islamic Legal Studies Program at HLS Chris Green, Executive Director, Animal Law & Policy Program, Harvard Law School

“The goal is to produce a comprehensive report on such practices and their consequences to set a baseline for deeper policy analysis,” Stilt told the Harvard Gazette. She also says the factoryfarming model “is on the rise in the rest of the world”, hence the SAI’s interest and involvement.

Animal Law SAI has partnered with the Animal Law & Policy Program at HLS to examine animal agriculture from the Middle East to Asia. A workshop on May 11–12, 2017 brought together experts to exchange ideas as an initial step toward the goal of a broader collaborative research project. Academics, practitioners, and others with backgrounds in the sciences, animal welfare, environmental studies, religious studies, cultural studies, economics, and public policy were encouraged to apply.

Topics included: • The Changing Models of the Production of Animals Raised for Food

• Long Distance Transportation of Farmed Animals

• Climatic and other Environmental Impacts of Animal Agriculture

• Religious Slaughter and Sacrifice of Animals, including Halal Slaughter

• Food Security

• The Religious Politics of Eating Animals

• Food Supply and Distribution Networks

• The Human Rights Dimensions of Animal Agriculture

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AUGUST 1, 2016

Launch of the Hindu Translation of Kumbh Mela: Mapping the Ephemeral Megacity The Taj, Lucknow, India Launched in 2015, the Kumbh Mela: Mapping the Ephemeral Megacity, book and exhibition consolidates research findings and serves as an example of interdisciplinary research conducted at Harvard.

Honorable Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh

An event in Lucknow, India, was organized by SAI where Honorable Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, served as the chief guest. He launched the Hindi translation of the Kumbh book at a public gathering attended by over 350 people. Professor Rahul Mehrotra, GSD, and Kumbh Mela’s senior administrators discussed their experience in understanding and organizing the world’s largest gathering of over 80 million visitors in a temporary city, constructed on the banks of the Ganges River. The translation of the book was commissioned by the Government of Uttar Pradesh.

NOVEMBER 5, 2016

FACULTY Satchit Balsari, Fellow, FXB Center for Health and Human Rights; Director, Weill Cornell Global Emergency Medicine Program Diana Eck, Professor of Comparative Religion and Indian Studies and Fredric Wertham Professor of Law and Psychiatry in Society, FAS Tarun Khanna, Director of the South Asia Institute and Jorge Paula Lemann Professor, HBS Jennifer Leaning, FXB Professor of the Practice of Health and Human Rights, HSPH; Director, FXB Center for Health and Human Rights Rahul Mehrotra, Chair, Urban Planning and Design, and Professor of Urban Design and Planning, GSD J.P. Onnela, Assistant Professor of Biostatistics, HSPH

Kumbh Mela: Mapping the Ephemeral Megacity At the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco This year’s annual SACHI (Society for Art and Cultural Heritage of India) meeting and event explored the megacity, Kumbh Mela, and featured specialists Diana Eck, professor of Comparative Religion and Indian Studies at Harvard University, and Rahul Mehrotra, professor of Urban Design and Planning at GSD, followed by a short discussion. The conversation was facilitated by Robert Goldman, Professor of Sanskrit, UC Berkeley. The Kumbh Mela is a Hindu religious fair that occurs every 12 years in India, and has become the largest public gathering in the world. The most recent observance of the festival took place in 2013 in Allahabad, with an estimated attendance of over 80 million people. Because of its size and complexity, the 2013 Kumbh Mela inspired SAI’s flagship multi-year interdisciplinary research project in a number of complementary fields: business, technology and communications, urban studies and design, religious and cultural studies, and public health. This program was co-presented by the Society for Art & Cultural Heritage of India. It was part of the The Rama Epic: Hero, Heroine, Ally, Foe Programs organized by the Asian Art Museum.

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Special Events SAI Annual Symposium

SAI’s sixth Annual Symposium featured discussion of migrations and transformations across the subcontinent, from the perspectives of humanities, science and social science. As the 70th anniversary of Partition approaches, with many of its issues still alive today, this was an opportune moment to explore these themes.

SOUTH ASIA: MIGRATIONS AND TRANSFORMATIONS MAY 3, 2017

Session 1: Arts and South Asia Shahzia Sikander, Visual Artist Shanay Jhaveri, South Asia curator, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City MAY 4, 2017

Seed for Change Finalists Presentations and Awards

Facilitator: Homi Bhabha, Anne F. Rothenberg Professor of English and American Literature and Language, and the Director of the Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard University

The Seed for Change Program supports interdisciplinary student projects that have a positive impact on societal, economic, and environmental issues in India and Pakistan. The three 2017 finalists pitched their ideas to the jury. Anantara, which converts collector-only economies into craftsmen communities whose culturally rich, value-added activities positively reinforce forest ecosystems. Team Members: Aaron Mendonca, Harvard Graduate School of Design; Prathima Muniyappa, Harvard Graduate School of Design; Prabhat Kumar; Elena Mechik. Barakat Bundle, which reduces preventable infant and maternal mortality and morbidity in South Asia by packaging together newborn essentials such as baby clothes and baby powder as well as low-cost evidence-based public health items such as clean delivery kits for safe births and oral rehydration salts for diarrhea. Team Members: Karima Ladhani, Harvard School of Public Health; Nayab Ahmad, Harvard College; Dr. Jyoti Ramakrishna, Harvard School of Public Health; Amanda Hahnel.

MAY 4, 2017

Session II: Sciences in South Asia: Life Sciences Parvathi Sreekumar, Postdoctoral Fellow, SAI Boston Bangalore Biosciences Beginnings (B4) Program Conor Walsh, John L. Loeb Associate Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences, SEAS Muhammad Zaman, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor of Biomedical Engineering and International Health, Boston University Facilitator: Venki Murthy, Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University Session III: Forced Migrations

Sakhi, which promotes and distributes menstrual cups that are high-quality, affordable, and environmentally safe, in India. Team Members: Sutopa Dasgupta, PhD Student, Harvard University; Andrew Powell, CEO, Casco Bay Manufacturer; Rakhee Goyal, Independent Consultant; Usha Venkatachallam, CEO, Appropriate IT

Anila Daulatzai, Louise Lamphere Visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Gender Studies, Brown University Charles Hallisey, Yehan Numata Senior Lecturer on Buddhist Literatures at Harvard Divinity School Tun Khin, President, Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK Facilitator: Jennifer Leaning, François-Xavier Bagnoud Professor of the Practice of Health and Human Rights, Harvard T H Chan School of Public Health; Director, FXB Center for Health and Human Rights

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Radcliffe Seminar ORGANIZERS Satchit Balsari, MD MPH, Assistant Professor; Chief, Weill Cornell Global Emergency Medicine Division, Fellow,Harvard FXB Center for Health and Human Rights Malavika Jayaram, JD, Fellow, Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, Executive Director, Digital Asia Hub, Hong Kong Tarun Khanna, PhD, Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor at Harvard Business School, Director of the South Asia Institute, Harvard University Participants included 26 faculty from across Harvard, medical practitioners from the US, India, and Hong Kong. Radcliffe Seminar Panel on health information exchange

RADCLIFFE SEMINAR

Exchanging Health Information SEPTEMBER 22–23, 2017

Health information storage in India is extremely diverse. Most clinical encounters go undocumented or are poorly documented. The majority of recorded data are stored and transferred on paper, and their validity has been questioned. Electronic health information systems are largely restricted to databases of consolidated health indicators like Mother and Child Tracking System (MCTS) or District Health Information System (DHIS) in the public sector, or hospital based EHRs in a handful of large private sector enterprises where physician uptake has been limited. While this patchy ecosystem of largely absent health information data in India posits a formidable challenge to building out an effective exchange, the ubiquity of recent mobile networks and broadband provides a greenfield for bold, innovative solutions unencumbered by expensive legacy systems. The Seminar explored two broad sets of questions: 1.

What are the global best practices for efficiently and safely exchanging digital health information?

2.

What are the technical and policy barriers in creating effective health information ecosystems in emerging economies? And in India, in particular? (What further research is required to answer this question or to address potential solutions? What role can an interdisciplinary team from Harvard play?) What would be the benefits and risks to patients, clinicians, researchers and payers?

The Exchanging Health Information seminar sponsored by the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies brought together experts in medicine, computer science, big data, public policy and law to identify a research and policy agenda that addresses implementation barriers to health information exchange.

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Mahindra Lecture

The Harish C. Mahindra lecture series is given in honor of the late Harish C. Mahindra, a distinguished alumnus of Harvard College and a visionary leader of business and industry in India.

2017 ANNUAL MAHINDRA LECTURE The Social Texture of an Artist: Listening and Empathy TM Krishna, Carnatic Vocalist Chair: Homi Bhabha, Anne F. Rothenberg Professor of English and American Literature and Language, and the Director of the Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard University Discussant: Vijay Iyer, Franklin D. and Florence Rosenblatt Professor of the Arts at Harvard University In his Mahindra Lecture on April 4, vocalist T.M. Krishna presented his philosophy on the possibilities for art to break through social habits and boundaries. Krishna recounted his excursions into placing the privileged middle class of Chennai (the central locus of the Karnatik music scene) in dialogue with marginalized art forms, communities, and issues: the Jogappas (a community of transgender performers from Karnataka), Urur Olcott Kuppam (a fishing village in Besant Nagar, Chennai), and the environmental crisis surrounding Ennore Creek. He pointed to the mutual vulnerability that ensued in such encounters, as well as the general state of receptivity that artists must strive for, cutting through comfortable social tendencies. After his talk, Krishna presented an unusual (and recently composed) Carnatic song in the vernacular Chennai dialect of Tamil— “Poromboke” (a derogatory word that was originally used to refer geographically to the ‘commons’ that became categorized as ‘unprofitable’ land under colonial powers). He was accompanied on mrudangam by his student, Rajna Swaminathan, PhD candidate in the Music Department at Harvard University.

Left to right: Homi Bhabha, Rajna Swaminathan, TM Krishna, Vijay Iyer

The lecture and performance was followed by a conversation with Professors Homi Bhabha and Vijay Iyer. Both honed in on the various textures of vulnerability at play in the crosscommunity encounters that Krishna had described. Krishna responded by outlining the gradual nature and tenuous micropolitics of having such polarized communities interact. According to him, having the privilege to start such conversations was only the first step, and subsequent encounters allowed for vulnerabilities and privileges to be exchanged in subversive ways. The conversation ended by pointing toward the role of the “insider-outsider,” and being in a position to secure institutional support, subvert the power structures at play, and catalyze new kinds of dialogue that included marginalized voices. Professor Iyer connected this to a story related to him by jazz legend Muhal Richard Abrams: while traveling in Europe, a circuit that many jazz musicians depended on despite their difference being on display for consumption by predominantly white audiences, there was an unexpected empathy that took hold through the music. (Excerpts from an article by Rajna Swaminathan. )

PAST SPEAKERS INCLUDED: Pranab Mukherjee, Minister of Defense, Government of India. India’s Security Perspective, 2006 P. Chidambaram, Finance Minister, Government of India. Poor Rich Country: The Challenges of Development, 2007 Nirupama Rao, Foreign Secretary of India. India’s Global Role, 2009 Dr. A.P.J Kalam, 11th President of India. Empowering Three Billions, 2011 Raghu Rai, Photographer and Photojournalist 2013 Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, Founder and Chairperson of BRAC. Poverty and Development in South Asia, 2014 Nandan Nilekani, Co-founder of Infosys. Aadhaar Unique Identification, 2014

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Faculty Grants SAI offers short-term travel grants for work in fields related to South Asia. These grants range from $2,000–$5,000 and are intended to support travel, preferable for junior faculty.

2016–17 FACULTY GRANTS

Asad Ahmed, FAS Inside the Law: Patriarchy, Criminality and Women’s Sociality in Lahore Jacqueline Bhabha, HSPH Is this Protection? Report Dissemination in India

Jinah Kim speaks about her research at the Indian Museum, Kolkata

2017 FACULTY SPOTLIGHT JINAH KIM Jinah Kim, Gardner Cowles Associate Professor of History of Art and Architecture at Harvard University, received an SAI Faculty Grant to enable her to travel to Beijing, to visit the city’s major loan exhibition of Indian art—which took place from September 28, 2016 to January 3, 2017—in the majestic Meridian gate tower of the Palace Museum in the Forbidden City. Kim teaches courses at Harvard in the art and architecture of South and Southeast Asia. Across the Silk Road: Gupta Sculptures and their Chinese Counterparts during 400 to 700 CE” was an ambitious exhibition conceived by the senior curatorial fellow of the Palace Museum, Dr. Lou Wenhua, following a visit to India more than three years ago. 56 sculptures from nine Indian museums were on display against a red backdrop in one gallery, while two adjacent galleries were filled with over one hundred Chinese Buddhist sculptures against a blue backdrop. The Palace Museum and the Forbidden City Cultural Heritage Conservation Foundation organized an international symposium to accompany the exhibition, inviting Kim to participate as an expert on Indian Buddhist art along with other foreign scholars from India and elsewhere (including Professor Leonard van der Kuijp, also from Harvard). It was, Kim says, an exciting opportunity to learn about discoveries of new art historical materials from recent excavations. For example, Dr. B. R. Mani, a respected archaeologist and the current director of the National Museum, New Delhi, talked about a recent excavation at Sarnath, the celebrated pilgrimage site of Buddha’s first sermon, which revealed material evidence for the hitherto unnoticed existence of a sculptor’s’ workshop at the site.

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Jinah Kim, FAS Garlands of Visions: Painted Palm-leaf manuscripts and the History of Indian Painting 1100–1500 Sai Balakrishnan, GSD Trading Sky: Transfer of Development Rights in Mumbai

Shankar Ramaswami, FAS Souls in the Kalyug: The Politics and Cosmologies of Migrant Workers in Delhi


Seminar Series

SAI's weekly seminar series serves as a resource for faculty and students to hear new scholarship on issues important to South Asia. Speakers are invited from across the globe to participate in the seminars.

Arts at SAI Komal Shahid Khan Visiting Artist, SAI Arts Program Chair: Susan S. Bean, Chair, Art & Archaeology Center, American Institute of Indian Studies; Board Member, Textile Society of America; Associate, Peabody Museum, Harvard University; Senior Curator for South Asian and Korean Art. Peabody Essex Museum

DECEMBER 5, 2016

Artist Talk: Boys Don’t Cry Meenakshi Sengupta Visiting Artist, SAI Arts Program

Starting with an introduction to the practices which led to her specialization in Miniature painting, Khan discussed how her work has evolved over time, from traditional to conceptual and experimental. She talked about her paintings, including: ‘Riddle, I Call Life’ (2014); ‘Revelation’ (2015); ‘Aura’ (2015); ‘Her’ (2016); and ‘Imagined Immortals’ (2016).

Artist Talk: Landscape of Abstraction Madhu Das Visiting Artist, SAI Arts Program

Chair: Jinah Kim, Gardner Cowles Associate Professor of History of Art and Architecture, South and Southeast Asian Art, Harvard University This talk focused on the celebration of womanhood and how Sengupta came to this work: her most recent drawing series was titled Boys Don’t Cry. She talked about her practice and how she developed her language, primarily surrounded by conventional art practice, and finally the way she explored that form in a broader aspect. Her talk was supported by an audio-visual presentation of her works, followed by a discussion.

MARCH 30, 2017

Chair: Susan S. Bean, Independent Scholar and Chair, Art & Archaeology Center, American Institute of Indian Studies

MARCH 28, 2017

Arist Talk: Rabindra Shrestha Rabindra Shrestha Visiting Artist, SAI Arts Program

Das presented his work on the human body and its improvisational relationship with surroundings and space. The work has involved the spaces in both a narrative sense and as a site of memory to re-narrate historical events as a way of plotting connections between the particular and the universal. Subjectively, he adapt aspects of material culture as well as methods from anthropology, allegorical fiction as conceptual tool, which later extends to the space of the viewer, from the point of a storyteller, exploring exciting linguistic devices and imagery with a sense of irony and paradox.

Chair: Jinah Kim, Gardner Cowles Associate Professor of History of Art and Architecture, South and Southeast Asian Art, Harvard University

DECEMBER 8, 2016

Artist Talk: Waking Whispers

Rabindra Shrestha is a Nepalese visual artist. He creates installations, detail pen and ink drawings, contemporary and traditional painting (Paubha), illustrations, cartoons and ceramic art. The collaborative line art project, Earthquake Line and Fingerprints With Red Line are some of his series: in Nepal, many people refer to him as a “Line Artist.” YEAR IN REVIEW

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Book Talks & Film Events

SAI’s book talks showcase important issues through literature, and allow the community to engage with celebrated authors. Film screenings offer a myriad of contemporary films, documentaries, and historic works from South Asia.

SEPTEMBER 16, 2016

SEPTEMBER 30, 2016

OCTOBER 6, 2016

Directive Principles and Transformative Constitutional Design

Governance for Development—Political and Administrative Reforms for Bangladesh

What the Fields Remember

Tarunabh Khaitan, Associate Professor and Hackney Fellow in Law, Wadham College, University of Oxford Chair: Ajantha Subramanian, Professor of Anthropology and SAS, Harvard University In this paper, Khaitan focused on their political character. First, he used India as a casestudy to argue that directive principles are an important tool for successful constitutionmaking. He identified the reasons why they became attractive to the framers of the Indian Constitution, and far from being mere pious wishes, they performed important and distinct political functions for the framers. Second, Khaitan showed that insofar as they impose political duties on the state, these duties have a conditional character: their substantive obligatory force becomes manifest only after certain preconditions inherent in reasons for their adoption as directive principles are satisfied. Extrapolating from these Indian findings, he speculated that non-justiciable conditional political duties have particular salience for postcolonial pluralistic societies in the global South seeking to establish a transformative constitutional culture.

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S. Nazrul Islam, Senior Economic Affairs Officer, Development Policy Analysis Division, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations Chair: Prithwiraj Choudhury, Assistant Professor of Business Administration, HBS The talk analyzed Bangladesh’s governance problems and drew insights that were relevant to other developing countries, it sharpened our understanding isses and suggested political and administrative reforms to improve governance and facilitate faster development.

Subsari Krishnan, Filmaker Shankar Ramaswami, Lecturer on South Asian Studies; Director of Undergraduate Studies, Harvard University On February 18, 1983, from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, more than 2000 Muslims were killed in the town of Nellie and its surrounding villages in Assam, India. People’s homes were burnt down and their fields destroyed. Most of those who died were old people, women and children. The documentary film What the Fields Remember revisited the massacre three decades later. From the survivors, Sirajuddin Ahmed and Abdul Khayer’s, retelling of the event, and their struggles of coping with loss and memories that refuse to fade away, the film attempted to explore ideas of violence, memory and justice. It also tried to understand how physical spaces that have witnessed the violence continue to mark people’s relationship to history and memory. What the Fields Remember also attempted to raise larger questions around collective memory—of what we choose to remember and why we choose to forget.


BOOK TALKS & FILM EVENTS

OCTOBER 27, 2016

NOVEMBER 3, 2016

Gender Challenges

Stories of Democracy in India

Bina Agarwal, Professor of Development Economics and Environment at the University of Manchester Pauline Peters, Fellow, African Studies Center, Faculty Affiliate, Center for International Development, Harvard University. Chair: Jacqueline Bhabha, FXB Director of Research; Professor of the Practice of Health and Human Rights, HSPH; Jeremiah Smith, Jr. Lecturer in Law, HLS; Adjunct Lecturer, HKS This panel discussed Gender Challenges, a three-volume compendium by Professor Bina Agarwal, who was known for her path-breaking writings on agriculture, property rights, and the environment. The compendium brought together a selection of her essays, written over three decades, and was published by Oxford University Press, 2016. Combined diverse disciplines, methodologies, and cross-country comparisons, the essays challenged standard economic analysis and assumptions from a gender perspective. They provided original insights on a wide range of theoretical, empirical, and policy issues of continuing importance in contemporary debates.

Sugata Bose, Gardiner Professor of Oceanic History and Affairs, Harvard University Abhijit Banerjee, Ford Foundation International Professor of Economics, MIT SCREENING OF MANDIR, MASJID, MANDAL AND MARX: DEMOCRACY IN INDIA (45 MINUTES)

The film, by Sugata Bose, Gardiner Professor of Oceanic History and Affairs, Harvard University, told the story of the interaction of the people and their elected representatives in the plains carved out by India’s great river—the Ganga— flowing through three strategic states—Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal. Filmed in the course of a 1000-mile journey from Delhi to Calcutta during the turbulent general elections of 1991, it provided a rare glimpse into the role of religion, caste and communism in India’s democratic politics.

unique footage that we shot in dozens of locations all over the country over eight years, with interviews with everyone from theorists to thugs (who are sometimes the same people), we documented how profoundly the so-called bit-players in the democratic narrative—the often semi-literate voters, the local activists and the small-time leaders–have absorbed the democratic ethos. For all their cynicism and fear, it was for the poor, the marginalized and the powerless that the idea of democracy matters the most, what gives them the greatest hope for the future. Combining animation, folk music and street plays with casual conversations at street corners, expert analyses and stump speeches, this was a documentary about a nation, a people and one extraordinary idea.

SCREENING OF THE STRANGE CASE OF THE WATER THAT WENT UP THE GREATGRANDFATHER’S ARSE AND OTHER STORIES OF DEMOCRACY

Abhijit Banerjee This film was about living this tension, through the eyes and voices of everyday participants in the world’s largest democracy, India. Using

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BOOK TALKS & FILM EVENTS

FEBRUARY 10, 2017

Film Screening and Q+A with Deepa Mehta: Anatomy of Violence Deepa Mehta, Filmmaker Deepa Mehta screened her latest movie ‘The Anatomy of Violence’ on the sidelines of the India Conference. The screening was followed by a Q&A session with Ms. Deepa Mehta, a UN representative, Harvard student activist Gulika Reddy, and Harvard Professor Jacqueline Bhabha Celebrated filmmaker Deepa Mehta investigated one of India’s most notorious crimes—the 2012 gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old woman on a Delhi bus—in her angry, impassioned and essential new film. In December 2012, a 23-year-old woman and her friend got on a private bus in Delhi. The men already on board—five passengers and the bus driver—gang-raped the woman, beat her friend, and threw them onto the street. The woman died of her injuries two weeks later. The case made worldwide news and was instrumental in activating Indian policy discussions about women’s rights and the government’s duty to prosecute for rape.

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Deepa Mehta’s Anatomy of Violence took a fearless approach to the topic. In collaboration with theatre artist Neelam Mansingh Chowdhry, Mehta worked improvisationally with her actors to envisage possible sociological and psychological backgrounds and pasts for the perpetrators and the victim. The film posited formative events in the men’s lives, imagining the origins of their violent, remorseless personalities, while presenting the woman’s life in parallel.


Muslim Societies in South Asia

The Muslim Societies in South Asia seminar series, led and chaired by Ali Asani, FAS, Director, PABT, is cosponsored by the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Program and seeks to address various issues of Muslim societies within South Asia, as well as relationships with other Muslim societies across the globe.

MARCH 6, 2017

MARCH 27, 2017

Dastangoi: The Art of Urdu Storytelling

Conversation on the Intersection of Culture, Journalism, and Religion

Ankit Chadha, Storyteller / Author Chair: Ali Asani, Professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic Religion and Cultures, Harvard University Dastangoi, the lost art of Urdu storytelling, developed in eighth century A.D. around the adventures of an Arab hero, Amir Hamza. These stories became very popular in the 19th century North India. With the demise of the last known exponent of the art form in 1928, Mir Baqar Ali, the form also died with him. The modern revival has seen not just the performance of the traditional stories from the Hamza dastan, but also the adaptations of more local and contemporary themes. Ankit Chadha, a writer and storyteller, has been a practitioner of Dastangoi since 2010. His writing varies from biographical accounts of personalities like Kabir, Rahim, Dara Shikoh and Majaaz to modern folk tales on corporate culture, internet and mobile technology. Ankit also has works for young audiences and has worked on Urdu adaptations of children’s classics; including Alice and The Little Prince. He is the author of the award-winning book for children, My Gandhi Story, and the recently released, Amir Khusrau – The Man in Riddles.

Madeeha Syed, Pakistani Journalist Marco Werman, The World Ali Asani, Professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic Religion and Cultures, Harvard University Pakistani journalist Madeeha Syed, Marco Werman from Public Radio International’s The World, and Ali S. Asani, Professor of IndoMuslim and Islamic Religion and Cultures at Harvard University conversed on the intersection of culture, journalism, and religion in today’s global environment. The conversation was cosponsored by the Center Stage program of New England Foundation For The Arts and SAI

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Science & Technology

The Science & Technology seminar series led by Tarun Khanna focuses on advancement in South Asia’s sustainable development through use of science & technology.

OCTOBER 19, 2016

NOVEMBER 4, 2016

Energy Access in Remote Communities—A Practitioner’s Experience

Transporting India to the 2030s: What Do We Need To Do?

Anshuman Lath, Co-Founder, Gram Oorja

Rakesh Mohan, Senior Fellow, Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, Yale University

Chair: Ignacio Perez-Arriaga, Visiting professor, MIT; Professor and Director of the BP Chair on Sustainable Development, Comillas University Gram Oorja Solutions Private Limited (www.gramoorja.in), founded in 2007, has worked in over 120 remote villages of India, providing electricity, drinking water and cooking fuel to tribal communities. A key feature of the work has been the sustainability of these projects, with local communities taking over the management, tariff collection duties and ownership of these projects. Anshuman, a co-founder of the company, shared his experiences with the company.

Chair: Tony Gomez-Ibanez, Derek Bok Professor of Urban Planning and Public Policy, Harvard University The focus of this talk was on the transportation needs of the India over the next couple of decades, and what we needed to do to satisfy them. This might have seemed to have been a relatively narrow area of policy to address but, as will become clearer, if we did not make transport investments in the right manner, it would have been difficult to achieve the kind of growth rates, around 7-9 percent per year, that India should have aspired to in order to reach middle income level by the early to mid 2030s, and to have had any chance of eliminating poverty by then. People of all ages used transport in their daily lives: for work, for leisure, for school, for fulfilling personal needs and for business requirements. The transport of both passengers and goods was essential for the functioning of any economy. Transport connected producers and consumers. As an economy became more complex, the transport needs became correspondingly more demanding.

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Furthermore, with the emergence of complex supply chains for almost all products—food supplies as well as manufactured goods— the need for sophisticated transport systems had become as important to the farmer as it was for a multinational company. The challenge for India was how we can generate a transport system that was efficient and reliable, but was also affordable and accessible for all. Given our energy dependency, energy efficiency was of the utmost importance in designing the Indian transport system. With transport emissions being key contributors to climate change and urban air pollution, this was another area of concern. As speeds had increased, and poised to increase further, fatalities and injuries had increased exponentially in the transport system, causing extreme levels of human suffering as also high economic costs to the system.


SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

DECEMBER 13, 2016

APRIL 3, 2017

Assessing Impact of Feedin-Tariff on Electric Grids in the Developing World: A Socio-economic Perspective

Bitter Pills: The Curious Case of Substandard and Counterfeit Medicines in South Asia

Fahad Javed, Aman Fellow, SAI

Muhamad Zaman, Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Boston University; Visiting Faculty, SAI

Discussant: Afreen Siddiqi, Visiting Scholar, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs Feed-in-tariffs to support solar photovoltaic (PV) cells deployment for home consumers had been one of the most actively supported policy measure across the globe for a greener, more resilient, and cost effective electric grid. However, as experience in some of the leading nations in solar PV deployment has shown, faulty tariff design may have been very costly for all the stakeholders and sometimes resulted in detrimental outcomes. Understanding how this policy impacted the consumers and the grid operations was of significant importance. Incidentally, feedin-tariffs were being considered and offered in different regions in developing world including South Asia. To this end in this talk we discussed how energy demand simulations based on socio-economic realities of the region could have been used to evaluate the impact of feed-in-tariffs on the electric grids. Furthermore, we discussed how such simulations can aid policy makers in improving the impact of policy measures, such as tax rebates etc., through better visibility provided by simulations of consumer behavior.

Chair: Tarun Khanna, Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor, HBS; Director, SAI The discussion about universal health care was meaningless without assurance of quality in health services and health commodities. Despite the major efforts by governments in low and middle income countries to increase access, created insurance schemes for all the citizens and emphasized primary care, quality of pharmaceuticals remains a persistent problem. Estimates suggested that anywhere from 15-30% of all drugs in the world, and upwards of 50% in a number of countries, did not meet the basic quality standards. The markets in Pakistan were flooded with not just counterfeit, but substandard and falsified drugs, and despite investments in digital technologies, the problem remained stubborn. Bad drugs had resulted in several major public health crises in the last five years in the country and subsequent legislation has failed to address the issue in any appreciable way. This talk focused at the global challenge, the unique perspective from Pakistan in particular and South Asia in general, and discussed the social, economic and technological developments that had the potential to improve access to quality pharmaceuticals. YEAR IN REVIEW

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Joint Seminar on South Asian Politics

This joint seminar, coordinated by SAI and cosponsored with MIT, the Watson Institute at Brown University, and the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, brings together scholars from different fields to examine the South Asian political landscape. The organizing committee includes professors at Ashutosh Varshney(Brown), Akshay Mangla (Harvard), and Vipin Narang (MIT).

SEPTEMBER 23, 2016

OCTOBER 14, 2016

NOVEMBER 18, 2016

Development and Politics in Indian Democracy

New Potions in Old Bottles: Explaining the Differential Control of Smallpox in 19th Century Canton and Calcutta

Who Influences Voters in Rural India? An Experimental Approach

Prerna Singh, Mahatma Gandhi Assistant Professor of Political Science and International and Public Affairs, Brown University

Chair: Ashutosh Varshney, Sol Goldman Professor of Political Science and International and Public Affairs, Director of the Brown-India Initiative

Watson Institute at Brown University Aruna Roy, Activist & Founder, MKSS Aruna Roy is an Indian political and social activist who founded the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS) along with Shankar Singh, Nikhil Dey and many others. The MKSS began by fighting for fair and equal wages for workers, which shaped and evolved into a struggle for the enactment of India’s Right to Information Act. Aruna Roy is a leader of the Right to Information movement in India through the MKSS and the National Campaign for People’s Right to Information(NCPRI), which was finally successful with the passage of the Right to Information Act in 2005.

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Chair: Ashutosh Varshney, Sol Goldman Professor of Political Science and International and Public Affairs, Director of the Brown-India Initiative

Simon Chauchard, Assistant Professor of Government Department, Dartmouth College


JOINT SEMINAR ON SOUTH ASIAN POLITICS

DECEMBER 9, 2016

MARCH 10, 2017

APRIL 7, 2017

Armed Politics: Violence, Order, and the State in Southern Asia

The Lessons Private Schools Teach: Using a Field Experiment to Understand the Effects of Private Schools on Political Behavior

Enfranchising Your Own? Experimental Evidence on Bureaucrat Diversity and Election Bias

Emmerich Davies Escobar, Assistant Professor of Education, GSD

Simon Chauchard, Assistant Professor of Government Department, Dartmouth College

Bryce Millett Steinberg, Postdoctoral Fellow in International and Public Affairs, Brown University

Chair: Ashutosh Varshney, Sol Goldman Professor of Political Science and International and Public Affairs, Director of the Brown-India Initiative

Paul Staniland, Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Chicago Paul Staniland is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Chicago, where he co-directs the Program on International Security Policy. He is a cofounder of the Program on Political Violence. His research focused on political violence, international security, and state formation, primarily in South and Southeast Asia. His book, Networks of Rebellion: Explaining Insurgent Cohesion and Collapse, was published by Cornell University Press in 2014. He is currently writing a book about armed politics and the state in southern Asia.

Yusuf Neggers, Postdoctoral Fellow, Watson Institute, Brown University

Chair: Ashutosh Varshney, Sol Goldman Professor of Political Science and International and Public Affairs, Director of the Brown-India Initiative

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South Asia Without Borders

Focusing on the humanities and culture, broadly, the South Asia Without Borders seminar series seeks to break down traditional borders, whether they be disciplinary, geographical, or temporal. The series is led by Parimal Patil, Professor of Religion and Indian Philosophy, Chair of the Department of South Asian Studies, FAS, and is cosponsored by the Department of South Asian Studies. of the paper analyzed the ways in which Bhil social movements in the region mobilized to democratize local state-society relations in the 1980s and 1990s. I read this resistance as revolving around forms of legalism from below which produced the rudiments of a civil society and an insurgent form of citizenship centred on collective resource control and self-determination. In conclusion, I reflected on what conceptual lessons the trajectories of these movements hold for the study of subalterity, resistance, and state-society relations in India today.

OCTOBER 5, 2016 OCTOBER 7, 2016

Puja and the Space Between Devotee and God: An Anthropology of Atmosphere Frank Heidemann, Professor, LudwigMaximilians-Universität München

Subalternity and Resistance in India’s Bhil Heartland: Historical Trajectories, Contemporary Scenarios

Chair: Richard Wolf, Professor of Music and South Asian Studies, Harvard University

Alf Nilsen, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Bergen

In puja, a Hindu act of worship, the relationship between devotee and God is transformed and the space between them altered. Using case studies of the Badagas in the Nilgiri hills of South India, this presentation analyzed puja in light of the New Phenomenology and Gernot Böhme’s philosophy of atmosphere. Atmosphere, according to Böhme, was the quality of a surrounding space, as perceived by all the senses and the felt body (Leib). It was an intersubjective, fluid, dynamic totality: a total social fact. Atmospheres created social realities, contextual norms, and had an impact on the emotional state of individuals. Puja and other activities of priests produced particular religious atmospheres and contributed to a shared emotional state among devotees.

Chair: Ajantha Subramanian, Professor of Anthropology and South Asian Studies, Harvard University

Cosponsored with the Department of South Asian Studies

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NOVEMBER 16, 2016

This paper aimed to contribute to discussions of subaltern politics in contemporary India through an investigation of the character and trajectory of democratic mobilisation among Bhil Adivasis in western Madhya Pradesh. Grounded in a critical dialogue with recent Foucauldian approaches to the study of popular politics in India, this paper explored how subalternity is simultaneously constituted and contested in and through state-society relations. The first part of the paper outlined the contours of contemporary Adivasi subalternity in the Bhil heartland of western India, focused in particular on the “everyday tyranny” of the local state. I then showed how the historical origins of Bhil political subalternity can be traced to the restructuring of sovereignty that occurred across the tribal heartland of western India under as a result of colonial state-making projects that unfolded from the end of the Anglo-Maratha wars onwards, and how the power relations that were constituted in this process were reproduced in western Madhya Pradesh after independence. The third and final part

Hierarchical Democracy and Political Responsibility in Northern India Dr. Anastasia Piliavsky, Fellow and Director of Studies in Social Anthropology at Girton College, Cambridge; Director of Studies in Social Anthropology at Newnham College, Cambridge; Newton-Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, CRASSH, Cambridge Chair: Ajantha Subramanian, Professor of Anthropology and South Asian Studies, Harvard University It is the central article of faith in Western political theory that democracy is an inherently egalitarian form. But in northern India democracy is decidedly hierarchical, both in practice and in local normative imagination. People look to hierarchical relations with politicians as a source of


SOUTH ASIA WITHOUT BORDERS

political responsibility, as the lever they use to get politicians to do what they wish to be done. Far from disempowering and humiliating, here voters saw hierarchical ties of dependency as their chief political resource. Grasping the ‘vertical’ dimension of India’s democracy helped us not only to better understand the country’s politics, but also to rethink some of our deepest convictions about democracy, anywhere in the world.

APRIL 13, 2017

APRIL 24, 2017

From Story to Book (Kahani Se Kitab Tak)

“Our Clothes, Our Hair, We Don’t Care”: Prince and the British South Asian Misfits

Musharraf Ali Farooqi, Babar Ali Fellow, SAI Ali Asani, Professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic Religion and Cultures, Harvard University

APRIL 5, 2017

Coins as Historical Puzzles: Examples from Ancient India Pankaj Tandon, Associate Professor of Economics, Boston University Chair: Sunil Amrith, Mehra Family Professor of South Asian Studies at Harvard University Coins are small metallic documents of the past. In the images and legends impressed upon them, they contain clues that can give us insights into the times in which they were created and used. In this talk, examples from ancient India were used to show how the unpuzzling of these clues can help us bring back forgotten dynasties, recreate historical events and shine a light on political and economic conditions.

From Story to Book (Kahani Se Kitab Tak) is a graduated reading program to introduce Urdu classical literature and folklore to native language speakers, and offer a new language testing system using electronic resources like the Urdu Thesaurus (www.urduthesaurus.com). The same content can be used to develop a better understanding of South Asian culture for young audiences around the world. The content will be available in local languages and English. SAI fellow Musharraf Ali Farooqi, who has designed the program, and conducted a successful pilot project at an International Baccalaureate certified school in Lahore, Pakistan, described the plan for the staged implementation of the Kahani Se Kitab Tak program, and how testing mechanisms will be adapted to the learner’s level without compromising the program content.

Hasit Shah, Research Affiliate, SAI Chair: Sunil Amrith, Mehra Family Professor of South Asian Studies at Harvard University When Prince passed away in April 2016, at the age of just 57, many people felt profound sadness at the loss of an artist whose performative genius was such that people from all backgrounds and lifestyles felt included in his world. SAI Research Affiliate Hasit Shah—journalist, Londoner and Prince fan—explored the connections between a group of second-generation British South Asians and a musician they too claimed as one of their own.

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Urbanism

Postcolonial urbanization in South Asia has seen some of the largest and fastest-growing urban centers in the world. Rapid growth brings new challenges and opportunities (cosponsored by the GSD) for small, medium, and mega cities. The Urbanization seminar series is curated by Rahul Mehrotra, Professor of Urban Design and Planning, GSD.

NOVEMBER 14, 2016

MARCH 4, 2017

Pipe Politics: Mumbai’s Contested Waters

Mumbai: Research + Projections Social Sciences and Spatial Thinking

OCTOBER 17, 2016

Urbanization in South Asia: Conversations from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh Dr. A Ravindra, Chairman, Institute for Social & Economic Change, Bangalore Adnan Morshed, Associate Professor at the School of Architecture and Planning, the Catholic University of America Mubbashir Rizvi, Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology, Georgetown University Chair: Sai Balakrishnan, Assistant Professor in Urban Planning, GSD This panel brought together three urban scholars and practitioners from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, and it dealt with the contemporary challenges facing rapid urbanization in South Asia. This panel presented a unique opportunity to have a cross-cutting conversation across South Asian countries to both situate their planning experiences in their specific contexts, but also asked if there were any commonalities about the South Asian urban experience. It was also a chance to learn about design and planning practices from across neighboring boundaries.

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Lisa Bjorkman, Assistant Professor of Urban and Public Affairs, University of Louisville Chair: Sai Balakrishnan, Assistant Professor in Urban Planning, GSD The discussion focused on Mumbai, urban development and roaring economic growth that over the steady deterioration—and sometimes spectacular breakdown—of the city’s water infrastructures. Getting water to come out of Mumbai’s pipes was an activity that required continuous attention to and intimate knowledge of a complex and dynamic social and political hydraulic landscape. The everyday work of getting water animated and inhabited a penumbra of infrastructural activity­—of business, brokerage, secondary markets and socio-political networks— whose workings transformed lives as well as reconfigured and rescaled political authority in the city.

Featured new and largely unpublished work, this one-day conference set up a dialogue between designers and social scientists. By connecting fine-grained micro studies with broader imaginations for the metropolitan region, the conference intended to open up new scalar possibilities for Mumbai. Cosponsored with Harvard Mellon Urban Initiative and the Graduate School of Design.


Social Enterprise

The Social Enterprise seminars showcase organizations and individuals in South Asia, as well as domestically, that thrive to create a better life for the citizens of South Asia through innovative solutions to intractable problems across the private and public sectors.

SEPTEMBER 15, 2016

FEBRUARY 14, 2017

Dilmah’s Philosophy of Caring and Sharing: A Conversation with Merrill Fernando

The Changing Faces of Humanitarian Aid

Merrill Fernando, Founder and Chairperson, Dilmah Chair: VG Narayanan, Thomas D. Casserly, Jr. Professor of Business Administration; Chair, MBA Elective Curriculum, HBS Merrill Fernando is the founder and chairperson of Sri Lanka’s largest and most global tea brand, Dilmah. Fernando joined the tea industry in Sri Lanka in the 1950s. Early in his journey, he observed that Sri Lankan tea, a finished product that was hand picked, produced according to a traditional and artistic process in Sri Lanka, was treated as a raw material and shipped at nominal value to Europe where value addition, branding and packing took place. As a result, producers of Sri Lankan tea received a tiny fraction of the profits from the sale of their tea, while large corporations benefited disproportionately. Fernando has dedicated his career to addressing this inequity. His story illustrated the exploitation that often characterizes products and commodities that were dominated by big corporations and the power of fair and just trade in lifting less developed countries out of poverty.

Anshu Sharma, Co-founder and Chief Mentor, SEEDS Fernando’s love for tea led him to innovate in very important areas. He established the Dilmah brand, pioneered the concept of single origin tea and packaging tea garden fresh, at source. These initiatives pitched Fernando in conflict with large corporations, his peers and the Sri Lankan government who did not share his belief that tea could be picked and shipped direct from origin by growers themselves. In this talk, Merrill Fernando shared his journey in the tea industry and discussed how he built a global brand.

Chair: Jerold Kayden, Frank Backus Williams Professor of Urban Planning and Design, GSD South Asia is one of the most disaster prone regions of the world. It is also a region undergoing deep economic and political transition. As a result of global changes in the way humanitarian aid is viewed, as well as local imperatives, the principals and processes shaping the delivery of humanitarian aid in the region have been undergoing significant changes. What remains constant is the dire needs of the worst affected communities, though the way they themselves are viewed is also changing. Professionals engaged in this sector need to chart their course carefully, without losing sight of the little things that matter.

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Co-Sponsored Events

SAI partners with interfaculty centers, institutes, and student organizations across Harvard on programs that bring multiple global viewpoints on issues relevant to South Asia.

SEPTEMBER 16, 2016 SEPTEMBER 14, 2016

Jazz Goes to Bollywood

MIT-India and SAI presented South Asia and Its Diasporas, a speakers series Naresh Fernandes, Author of Taj Mahal Foxtrot: The Story of Bombay’s Jazz Age Discussant: Vivek Bald, Associate Professor, Comparative Media Studies/Writing, MIT In the late 1950s, a period acknowledged as the Golden Era of Hindi film music, Bollywood songs were enlivened by a rather unusual influence: jazz. This presentation explained how a group of journeymen jazz musicians fleeing racism in the U.S. in the 1930s gave India a taste for hot music, and how these syncopated sounds found their way into the Hindi film studios. It also explored how political ideas traveled the other way, as African Americans sought Gandhi’s advice on their political struggles. Naresh Fernandes is the author of Taj Mahal Foxtrot: The Story of Bombay’s Jazz Age. He is the editor of Scroll.in, a digital news publication in Bombay.

Disasters and Development in South Asia Over a year after Nepal’s earthquake, this conference brought together practitioners, policy-makers, academics, students, and experts in disaster response to examine the importance of risk mitigation, and to discuss the role of development partners, aid accountability and the role of the media in disaster response.

SEPTEMBER 26, 2016

From India: The Rhythms of Life Featured music from Sandeep Das (tabla), Rajib Karmaker (sitar) and remarks by Anne Monius, Professor of South Asian Religions Cosponsored with the Religious Literacy Project, Harvard Divinity School, and MusicUnitesUS, Brandeis University

The overarching objectives of this symposium were to share lessons from Nepal’s efforts in disaster preparedness, mitigation, management and reconstruction; and second, to foster dialogue and create links between lessons from other South Asian countries and Nepal’s experience in disaster response. The symposium was Harvard’s first international conference focused on Nepal and was organized by the Office of the Dean of HSPH, and by Harvard Chan Students for Nepal, a student group of Nepali students who campaigned to ensure the public health community can learn from Nepal’s response to the earthquake.

Cosponsored with MIT-India SEPTEMBER 29, 2016

Film Screening: Trafficked Based on the award winning book ‘Sex Trafficking’ by Carr Center Fellow Siddharth Kara, and directed by Will Wallace.

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CO-SPONSORED EVENTS

Siddharth Kara, Adjunct Lecturer of Public Policy, HKS, Author of “Sex Trafficking”, Screenwriter & Producer of “Trafficked” Swanee Hunt, Eleanor Roosevelt Lecturer in Public Policy, HKS Anne Archer, Academy Award-nominated actress, lead of “Trafficked”, activist

Sugata Bose was the general editor of the project, and Sunil Amrith was one of the editors of the second volume. They were joined by Engseng Ho and Tansen Sen (volume 1) and Isabel Hofmeyr (volume 2). The conference played a pivotal role in a major scholarly endeavor, allowed the editors to hone their overview and conceptualization of the volume as a whole, while provided vital feedback to individual authors.

Moderator: Sushma Raman, Executive Director, Carr Center for Human Rights Policy

Cosponsored with the WCFIA and the Asia Center

The screening was followed by a panel discussion, with time for questions from the audience.

Cosponsored with the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy

OCTOBER 14, 2016 - OCTOBER 15, 2016

The Cambridge History of the Indian Ocean

SEPTEMBER 29, 2016

Fulfilling the Health SDG in India: Some Old and New Concerns Gita Sen, Distinguished Professor & Director, Ramalingaswami Centre on Equity & Social Determinants of Health, Public Health Foundation of India This series featured current research of members and affiliates of Global Health and Population, HSPH. The intent was to both educate and raise the awareness of our community and beyond, about the research activities conducted by faculty, students, researchers and special guests of the department.

The interregional arena of the Indian Ocean has emerged as a connected—if not unified— field of historical study. While the case for integration had been strongly suggested by historical scholarship since the 1980s on the pre-colonial and early modern periods, comparisons and connections across the Indian Ocean in the colonial and modern eras have been a major feature of historical studies in the twenty-first century. Histories of this rich and complex arena of human interaction had taken the form of books, monographs, and research articles. These works had explored and explained important historical webs of relationships—social, economic, cultural, and political—that bound together the peoples of South Asia, Middle East, East and South Africa, and Southeast and East Asia. In so doing, scholars had transcended rigid area studies boundaries and crossed colonial and national borders in creative ways. While earlier works had focused on trade, newer studies had innovatively blended the aspects of culture and political economy. In light of the efflorescence of work on a region of both historical and contemporary importance, Sugata Bose and Sunil Amrith had taken on the task of bringing together the best historians of the Indian Ocean to offer a grand synthesis of the scholarship of the past few decades in a two-volume The Cambridge History of the Indian Ocean, under contract to Cambridge University Press.

OCTOBER 17, 2016

Embracing Waterfronts: Dock Worker Solidarities in International Perspective Shubhankita Ojha, Global Fellow, WIGH; Fellow, SAI, Harvard University; University of Delhi, India Commentator: Sugata Bose, Gardiner Professor of Oceanic History and Affairs, Harvard University Graduate Student Commentator: Rudi Batzell, PhD Candidate in History, Harvard University Cosponsored with the Weatherhead Initiative on Global History

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CO-SPONSORED EVENTS

OCTOBER 19, 2016

India and Japan, India and China

The symposium on DeCoding Asian Urbanism explored the current discourse and creation of innovative architecture and urban interventions that were effectively transforming the spatial and operational landscape of the complex Asian city. The focus was to highlight efforts that strategically embraced the rapid growth and the cultural and physical complexity of the built environment in Asia. The symposium was built on an exhibition at the A+D Architecture +Design Museum>Los Angeles, curated by Kenneth Frampton, Ken Yeang and Farooq Ameen. The comprehensive effort included the exhibition, this symposium and accompanied publication stimulated a dialogue between designers, policy makers and public officials who shaped the Asian city. Cosponsored with the Bengal Foundation and the A+D Museum, Los Angeles

Tarun Das, former Director-General and Chief Mentor of the Confederation of Indian Industries Chair: Professor Sugata Bose, Gardiner Professor of Oceanic History and Affairs, Harvard University

Hera Shakil at CGIS Trick or Treat

OCTOBER 31, 2016

CGIS Trick or Treat

DeCoding Asian Urbanism

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Research Methods Talk: Using Corpus Analysis to Study Media Discourse: Comparing Discussions of Islamic Marriage Reform in India and Pakistan Sharon Tai, Research Editor, SHARIAsource Ali Hashmi, MIT Media Lab Research Affiliate (2015-2016) and SHARIAsource Editor/Data Scientist Osama Siddique, Henry J. Steiner Visiting Professor in Human Rights, HLS, Law and Policy Research Network

Cosponsored with the Asia Center Seminar Series, the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, and the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, Harvard University

OCTOBER 28, 2016 - OCTOBER 29, 2016

NOVEMBER 7, 2016

Asia-related centers came together and hosted a Halloween extravaganza to reach students across Harvard to learn about the resources and work of Asia-related centers. Participating centers: Asia Center, Center for African Studies, Committee on Regional Studies East Asia, DRCLAS, Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Harvard China Fund, History Department, Institute for Quantitative Social Science, Korea Institute, Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, SAI, WCFIA

This talk focused on using corpus analysis as a research method. Media discourse on legislative issues provides a rich source for deriving research questions. This talk asked for feedback on the development of a new corpus analysis tool that was being used to analyze and compare how contemporary media in India and Pakistan was shaping discourse about issues of marriage reform and Islamic law. The tool used source corpora from Media Cloud, which was a collaborative project between the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University and the Center for Civic Media at MIT. Osama Siddique, Harvard Law School, was a respondent to the panel by giving feedback on how the tool could be used, improved, and further developed from his experience as a scholar, lawyer, and social scientist. Cosponsored with ILSP: SHARIAsource at HLS


CO-SPONSORED EVENTS

Indian Mahā- and Hīna-yāna Buddhism, comparisons of Indian, Tibetan and Chinese Buddhist documents, Sanskrit manuscripts and Indian and Central Asian art.

NOVEMBER 8, 2016

Finding & Funding Internships

Cosponsored with Harvard Yenching Institute A student panel discussed about their diverse internship experiences in Asia, and taught strategies for finding and funding an internship. Co-sponsored by the Office of Career Services, HGHI, the Harvard China Fund, and the Reischauer Institute.

FEBRUARY 9, 2017

“Argaņa” and “Nirargaņa”

Liu Zhen, Professor, National Institute for Advanced Humanistic Studies, Fudan University; Visiting Scholar, Harvard-Yenching Institute FEBRUARY 13, 2017

Navtej Sarna, Indian Ambassador to the US and Professor Tarun Khanna in conversation with attendees. DECEMBER 7, 2016

A Conversation with Navtej Sarna, Indian Ambassador to the US Navtej Sarna, Indian Ambassador to the US Chair: Tarun Khanna, Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor, HBS; Director, SAI Ambassador Sarna took charge as Ambassador of India to the United States on November 5, 2016. He has been a Member of the Indian Foreign Service since 1980. He was previously posted in London as High Commissioner, and before moving to London, Mr Sarna was Secretary (West) in the Ministry of External Affairs. Mr Sarna was among the longest-serving spokespersons of the ministry between 2002 and 2008. He has also had postings in Moscow, Warsaw, Tehran, Geneva and Thimphu. Mr Sarna is also a prolific author of many fiction and non-fiction books, recently ‘Second Thoughts: On Books, Authors and the Writerly Life’ that was released last year. Reception followed.

Chair/Discussant: Michael Witzel, Wales Professor of Sanskrit, Department of South Asian Studies, Harvard University This talk offered a short introduction to the Sanskrit word “argaņa” and its antonym “nirargaņa.” The word “argaņa” first appeared in Brāhmaņa literature to refer to a bolt that locks a cowshed. The word continued to be used in post-Vedic literature, including Hindu, Buddhist, and Jainist texts in which it referred to a bolt used on the door of a house or city gate. A more detailed description of an argaņa was, however, found in the technical texts and its image was found in works of art. “Argaņa” and its antonym “nirargaņa” later became a paired metaphor used in a religious context. In addition to this pair of words, this presentationl discussed the related compound “nirargaņamedha,” which means a kind of sacrifice. Liu Zhen studied Indology, Tibetology and Sinology at Universität-München, Germany from 2001-2008. He is currently a professor in the National Institute for Advanced Humanistic Studies, and Director of the Center for Gandhian and Indian Studies, at Fudan University. His research specialties are Veda and Vedic literature, comparisons between Chinese and Indian literature,

Debrief Nepal: Reflections on an In-Country Rapid Planning Exercise on Earthquake Preparedness Jerold Kayden, Frank Backus Williams Professor of Urban Planning and Design, GSD Sarita Maskey, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Urban Development, Nepal Government Shriju Pradhan, Deputy Director, Kathmandu Metropolitan City, Government of Nepal David Sanderson, Judith Nielsen Chair, University of New South Wales Anshu Sharma, Co-founder and Chief Mentor, SEEDS Although scientists can say with near certainty that a major earthquake will strike the Kathmandu Valley in the future, they cannot predict with certainty when that major earthquake will strike. Such uncertainty generate another kind of uncertainty, about what to do now, in the near term, and in the long term. It can even facilitate delays in needed decision-making. Nepali stakeholders, drawn from government, civil society, and the private sector, joined several outside

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COSPONSORED EVENTS

participants in a just-completed one-day exercise using rapid scenario planning methods to unlock implementable ideas for securing an earthquake-resilient Kathmandu Valley. They reported on the outcome of the working exercise during this panel discussion. This initiative was part of SAI’s Nepal Studies Program, launched with generous support from Jeffrey M. Smith. In partnership with University of New South Wales, Tribhuwan University, Kathmandu University, and the Harvard Asia Center

departing their homes and families, while the women remain. The resulting distortion of the gender demographic across geographies and cultures was startling—villages everywhere seemingly inhabited only by women, children, and the elderly or impaired. Captured the journey and imagination, of an American woman raised nomadically, the exhibition intimately framed her encounters with these girls and women and the realities they faced, so drastically different from her own, incorporated into her own story of self.

process to spread this message through live concert performances, and documents her challenges in spreading the Sufi message in Pakistan and all over the world. We discovered the Sufi Saints of Pakistan such as Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai, Laal Shahbaz Qalandar, Sachal Sarmast, Bulleh Shah, and Shah Hussain through the eyes of Marvi, and spoke to teachers and experts who were a part of her mystical journey. The documentary showcased how one particular artist was able to internalize and embody her faith in a worldly sense, spreading the message of Sufism throughout the world through the medium of music. This was against the backdrop of a seemingly restricted society, where a section of the population is battling certain societal elements and where Sufi artists as well as female public figures are often at odds with certain fundamentalist groups in the country. The documentary endeavored to understand how one artist, Sanam Marvi, attempted to maneuver through these limitations to emerge as a prominent female Sufi singer in Pakistan and worldwide.

MARCH 25, 2017

MARCH 10, 2017

A World of Women Villages FEBRUARY 6 – MARCH 10 2017

Ashley C. Thompson, Design Studies in Risk and Resilience, GSD Curated from a collection of portraits of women and girls taken over more than 25 years of global travel, the exhibition presented ten portraits of women in rural villages from Nepal, Bhutan, Peru, and French Guiana. Accompanied by description and personal narrative, the work drew attention to a gendered global phenomenon: boys and men

“Marvi: The Mystic Muse” Film Screening and Discussion Harvard Ed Portal held a free screening of the award-winning film “Marvi: The Mystic Muse,” explored singer Sanam Marvi’s search for her own roots across Pakistan and her journey with Sufism. The event followed a postscreening conversation with filmmaker Tanya Panjwani and Professor Ali Asani, Professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic Religion and Cultures, Harvard University. This screening was also sponsored by Celebrity Series of Boston, Harvard Office for the Arts’ Learning From Performers program, SAI, and World Music/CRASHarts. This film embarked on a journey through Pakistan with renowned singer Sanam Marvi to discover her roots in Sindh and Punjab, through the shrines of Saints that inspired her to deliver the message of Sufism that permeates the land. It followed her creative

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MARCH 25, 2017

Asian Borderlands: The First Annual Symposium This was the first meeting of a proposed annual conference of a research network that met every year at a different university, our other partner institutions being Chicago, Columbia and Cornell. Graduate Students from


COSPONSORED EVENTS

Harvard and beyond convened to discuss a range of historical topics about border-making and border-crossing in various parts of early modern and modern Asia. The topics were of interest to students of South Asian, Southeast Asian, Indian Ocean and East-Asian history. All were welcomed to join us for the presentations and subsequent discussions, and no registration was required. Along with the public conference, there was a series of paper workshops and closed-door roundtable discussions with faculty experts on various relevant topics on Friday, March 24. These sessions were restricted to faculty and graduate students.Harvard faculty from all departments were most welcomed to attend all sessions on both the days. Sponsored by the Asia Center, Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, History Department, Inner Asian and Altaic Studies, Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, SAI, and WCFIA, Harvard University.

Co-sponsored by: SubDriftBoston, Black Lives Matter Cambridge, Harvard’s Hip-Hop Archive & Research Institute and SAI Moderated by Vivek Bald, Comparative Media Studies, MIT Word, Sound, Struggle brought together African American, Arab, Muslim, and Asian diaspora hip-hop and spoken word artists who were addressing the current climate of xenophobic, anti-Muslim, anti-Black, and global military violence. The participants engaged in conversation with each other and the audience, focusing on the relationship between music, community work, and social change; the urgencies, both local and global, of the current political moment; and the role of art and music—and in particular hip-hop culture—in forging alliances and longterm political solidarity between multiple communities of color.

South Asia ConnectED APRIL 15, 2017, 8 :30 A .M – 5:00 P.M, HGSE

South Asia ConnectED was the first ever South Asia centric education conference being hosted in HGSE. Explore catalyzing for scale in education policy, social change and education technology with leaders from South Asia. Join John Floretta, Associate Director of Policy for J-PAL, Sridhar Rajagopalan, Founder, Educational Initiatives, Sanjli Gidwaney, Director, Design for Change, USA and many others as they opine and connect with us on the day. Organizers: This conference was being conducted by HGSE South Asia Education Initiative, a student body at HGSE, aimed to build a bridge between students and faculty in Harvard and beyond with education practitioners and academics in South Asia. It was co-sponsored by SAI. Design Thinking Workshop for Educators APRIL 15, 2017, 2:00 P.M – 3:45P.M, HGSE

Sanjli Gidwaney, Director, Design for Change (DFC), USA Explored design thinking through the lens of an educator in a unique opportunity. There was a Design Thinking Workshop conducted by Sanjli Gidwaney, Director, DFC, USA. Image taken from poster for event. Credits: “Remembering Malcolm” Harlem. Photo by Jamel Shabazz

Organizers: This conference was being conducted by HGSE South Asia Education Initiative, a student body at HGSE, aimed to build a bridge between students and faculty in Harvard and beyond with education practitioners and academics in South Asia. It was co-sponsored by SAI.

APRIL 5, 2017

Word, Sound, Struggle: Hip-Hop, Spoken Word and the Fight for Brown and Black Lives • Tef Poe (St. Louis, MO) • Shadia Mansour (UK/Palestine) • Himanshu “Heems” Suri (Queens, NY) • Bambu (Los Angeles, CA) • Didi Delgado (Cambridge, MA) • Chee Malabar (New York, NY) • Tanzila “Taz” Ahmed (Los Angeles, CA) • Sohail Daulatzai (Los Angeles, CA) • Cheech Forreign (Jacksonville, FL)

APRIL 15, 2017

South Asia ConnectED Conference

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APRIL 18, 2017

APRIL 25, 2017

Rethinking Empires and Space: Histories of South Asia(ns), Mobility & Boundary Making

Trump and Asia: Business as Usual?

Kornel Chang, Associate Professor of History and American Studies at Rutgers University-Newark Catherine Warner, College Fellow in South Asian Studies and History at Harvard University Vazira Zamindar, Associate Professor of History at Brown University Discussants: Sunil Amrith, Mehra Family Professor of South Asian Studies Professor of History at Harvard University Hardeep Dhillon, Ph.D. Candidate, History at Harvard University In the last several decades, the historiography of South Asia has grappled with the prevalence of circulation and mobility in the past, overturning long-held notions of South Asia as a static society prior to colonial intervention, and developed increasingly nuanced analyses of global connections. The production of itinerant subjectivities, the making of new forms of sovereign power, and the creation of a modern, centralizing state are historical dynamics that all call for a re-examination of empire and space. This panel explored these and related issues through forms of boundary making and mobility.

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Organized by SAI and South Asia Across Disciplines Workshop. Co-sponsored by Boston University School of Global Studies Center for the Study of Asia, Task Force on Asian & Pacific American Studies, Tufts Center for South Asian and Indian Ocean Studies

SAI Director Tarun Khanna, Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor at HBSl, moderated a panel discussion on the impact of the election of Donald Trump on America’s trade and business dealings with Asian countries. Panelists: Mark Wu, Assistant Professor, HLS; member of the Faculty Advisory Committees of the East Asian Legal Studies Program and the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies Mireya Solis, Senior Fellow and Knight Chair in Japan Studies, The Brookings Institution William Kirby, T. M. Chang Professor of China Studies, Harvard University; Spangler Family Professor of Business Administration, HBS Chaired by: Andrew Gordon, Victor and William Fung Director, Harvard University Asia Center; Lee and Juliet Folger Fund Professor of History This event was part of a new series at Harvard on the Asia-Pacific region during Trump’s presidency.


Webinars on Livelihood Creation Project

NOVEMBER 30, 2016

DECEMBER 13, 2016

Webinar: Innovation in Tradition: Six Case Studies in the Indian Crafts Sector

Webinar: Home-Based Workers: Invisible and Voiceless

Mukti Khaire, Cornell Tech Shashank Shah, SAI

Home-based workers produce goods or services for the market from within or around their own homes. In countries both rich and poor, they produce a wide range of low- and high-end goods and services for both domestic and global markets. Some of them are selfemployed while others are sub-contracted. Today, these workers represent a significant share of urban employment in some countries, particularly for women, and especially in Asia.

Professor Mukti Khaire and Dr. Shashank Shah discussed learnings from six field projects in the Indian crafts sector, funded by Tata Trusts. The grants supported and enabled the implementation of social and technological innovations at: • Women Weave, Maheshwar, Madhya Pradesh • Kumaun Grameen Udyog, Kasiyalekh, Uttarakhand • Freeset Fabrics, Berhampore, West Bengal • Chitrika, Mandapeta, Andhra Pradesh • Craftizen Foundation, Bangalore, Karnataka • Raah Foundation, Jawhar, Maharashtra The webinar highlighted organizational best practices and ground-level innovations for impact in the Indian crafts sector. It was for practitioners in the Indian handicrafts and handloom sectors. All those who were interested to know more about the current state of the sector and the immense potential it holds for rural livelihood creation would have been most benefited. This webinar was part of SAI’s Livelihood Creation Project with the Tata Trusts.

This webinar highlighted that: • Homes are workplaces, especially for women workers. • Most home-based workers do not enjoy adequate economic opportunities, legal rights, social protection or representative voice. • Working from in or around their own homes, home-based workers’ contribution to the economy remain largely invisible and undervalued. Dr. Martha (Marty) Chen, HKS; GSD Professor Chen is a Lecturer in Public Policy at HKS and an Affiliated Professor at GSD. She is also the Co-Founder and International Coordinator of WIEGO. A renowned development scholar, Marty has steered WIEGO since its inception, turning the research, policy and action network into one of the world’s leading organizations focused on the informal economy. Her specialization

includes employment, gender, and poverty with a focus on the working poor in the informal economy. Marty’s expertise is sought globally by a range of major institutions, from the European Commission and the International Labour Organization to the World Bank and the United Nations. Sudhaben Sudhaben is a home-based worker from the slums of Delhi. A migrant from eastern Uttar Pradesh, she works as an embroidery worker, often doing embellishment work on products for global companies and brands. Suhdhaben’s income is critical to the well being of her family, and for the education of her children. Moderated by Shalini Sinha, India Country Representative and Home-based Sector Specialist, WIEGO Shalini’s work focuses on developing and documenting decent work and livelihoods opportunities for women workers in the informal economy, especially women homebased workers in urban locations in India. Shalini specializes in labour, gender and social development issues and has worked with several national and international NGOs and funding agencies.

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Webinars

DECEMBER 14, 2016

Webinar: Cities and HomeBased Workers Local government policies and urban plans have a direct and strong impact on homebased workers. Because their home is their workplace, home-based workers are more directly affected than other workers by government policies and practices regarding housing (notably, slum upgrading and/or slum eviction-relocation schemes), basic infrastructure services (notably, the availability and cost of electricity but also water and sanitation), and zoning regulations (notably, whether commercial activities are allowed in residential areas). They may also be affected by the accessibility and cost of public transport, especially if they are forced to relocate at great distances from their customers, markets or contractors. This webinar highlighted: • Why the city governments and urban planners need to integrate home-based workers and their livelihood activities into local economic development plans. • Why the city governments need to extend basic infrastructure to the homes-cumworkplaces of home-based workers and transport services to the settlements where they live and work. • Some promising examples of where and how this can be done.

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Moderated by Shalini Sinha, India Country Representative and Home-based Sector Specialist, WIEGO Shalini’s work focused on developing and documenting decent work and livelihoods opportunities for women workers in the informal economy, especially women homebased workers in urban locations in India. Shalini specializes in labour, gender and social development issues and has worked with several national and international NGOs and funding agencies. Bijal Brahmbhatt, Director, Mahila Housing SEWA Trust, Ahmedabad


Graduate Student Associates Events

Every year, SAI selects Graduate Student Associates (GSAs) from across the different schools at Harvard to support their research on South Asia. Each GSA gives a seminar, chaired by a faculty member or fellow doctoral student, to showcase their research and receive feedback from their peers.

DECEMBER 1, 2016

FEBRUARY 8, 2017

Candidate Connections vs. Party Performance: How do Voters Choose in a Low Information Environment?

Citizenship Denied: A Microhistory of Indian Immigration in the Early Twentieth Century

Asad Liaqat, Doctoral candidate, Public Policy PhD program, HKS

Hardeep Dhillon, PhD Candidate, Dept. of History, Harvard University; SAI Graduate Student Associate

Discussant: Sharan Mamidipudi, Doctoral candidate, Public Policy PhD program, HKS We investigated the relationship between candidates’ connections, party performance, and voting in the 2015 local government elections in Pakistan combining: (i) data on political connections between candidates and more senior politicians; (ii) a large scale field experiment; and (iii) direct measurement of election outcomes. Provided information on past party performance effects citizen satisfaction with the government, but not supported for candidates from the ruling party. Provided information on connections does affect support. Consistent with the experimental results, more connected candidates received more votes and were more likely to win office, but there was no detectable electoral benefit to past service provision. The results had strong implications for democratic accountability in many settings.

Discussants: Sunil Amrith, Mehra Family Professor of South Asian Studies, Harvard University Sugata Bose, Gardiner Professor of Oceanic History and Affairs, Harvard University In the early twentieth century, immigration from Asia to the U.S. propelled local, national, and global questions on race, labor, imperialism, and citizenship. This talk presented a microhistory of these events.

This paper was co-authored with Michael Callen (UCSD), Ali Cheema (Lahore University of Management Sciences), Adnan Khan (LSE), Farooq Naseer (Lahore University of Management Sciences) and Jake Shapiro (Princeton University).

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GRADUATE STUDENT ASSOCIATES EVENTS

FEBRUARY 28, 2017

MARCH 30, 2017

APRIL 20, 2017

Strength in Numbers: How Women’s Networks Close India’s Political Gender Gap

Old Stories in New Moments: Digambara Jain Ramāyana Literature in Early Modernity

Legal Identity for Children in South Asia: The Role of Birth Registration and Biometric Identification

Soledad Prillaman, Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Government, Harvard University; Graduate Student Associate, SAI

Gregory Clines, Ph.D. Candidate, Committee on the Study of Religion, Harvard University; Graduate Student Associate, SAI

Discussant: Zeynep Pamuk, Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Government, Harvard University

Discussant: Catherine Hartmann, Ph.D. Candidate, Committee on the Study of Religion

In India there persists a striking gender gap in political participation and representation, despite several decades of targeted policy interventions. Women’s political participation is important not only on normative grounds of inclusion, but because we know that when women do participate, politics changes. Prillaman presented a theoretical model of political behavior in rural India which argued that women’s lack of political participation was the result of coordinated political behavior in the household. Prillaman then argued and showed that women’s access to networks of other women was one channel through which we can see a shift towards a gender-inclusive equilibrium, even when resource allocations, social norms, and household dynamics suggested otherwise.

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The fifteenth-century author Brahma Jinadāsa, a member of the Digambara Balatkāra Gaņa, was credited with composing over eighty works in both Sanskrit and Old Gujarati. One of those compositions was the Padmapurāņa, a Jain version of the story of Rāma composed in Sanskrit. In the introduction to the work, Jinadāsa acknowledged that his Padmapurāņa was based off of the acclaimed poet Raviņeņa’s seventh-century work of the same name. This talk examined the relationship between the two works, analyzed the literary changes that Jinadāsa made to his precursor’s text and the social implications of those changes.

Amiya Bhatia, Doctor of Science student in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the HSPH; Graduate Student Associate, SAI Discussant: Connor Jerzak, PhD student, Government Department South Asia has the largest number of children who do not have birth certificates. As biometric identification programs (e.g. Aadhaar in India, NADRA in Pakistan) expand, many countries continue to have weak birth registration systems, denying children access to legal identity. This talk examines the unequal distribution of birth certificates and identification documents within each country in South Asia, and whether biometric identification programs could weaken, complement or improve birth registration systems.


Students SAI supports students by awarding grants for internships, research, and the study of South Asian languages during the summer and winter sessions. SAI sponsors student events organized by the over twenty South Asia–related student groups at Harvard. SAI is the administrative unit for three student groups: the Harvard India Student Group, the Harvard Pakistan Student Group, and Harvard Students for Myanmar.

Undergraduate and graduate students brainstorm SW47 final projects

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Seed for Change

The Seed for Change Program aims to develop a vibrant ecosystem for innovation and entrepreneurship in India and Pakistan through an annual competition run by SAI, in which grant prizes are awarded to interdisciplinary student projects that positively impact societal, economic, and environmental issues in India and Pakistan. Projects require at least one Harvard Faculty as a mentor, and an in region partner to be members of the team.

Nayab Ahmad representing Barakat Bundle at the pitch presentation

2017 Finalists ANANTARA It is addressing the problem of forest degradation by increasing the income of forest communities through a variety of activities geared towards organised collection, value addition and marketing. They partner with forest support institutions to set up storage, value added facilities for non timber forest products and expanded economic avenues at forest sites. Team Members: Aaron Mendonca, Harvard Graduate School of Design; Prathima Muniyappa, Harvard Graduate School of Design; Prabhat Kumar; Elena Mechik

BARAKAT BUNDLE It is aiming to reduce preventable infant and maternal mortalities and morbidities in South Asia by packaging together a low-cost, educational, and accessible newborn kit for mothers and babies. The package contains demand-inducing newborn essentials such as baby clothes and baby powder as well as low-cost evidence-based public health items such as clean delivery kits for safe births and oral rehydration salts for diarrhea. Team Members: Karima Ladhani, Harvard School of Public Health; Nayab Ahmad, Harvard College; Dr. Jyoti Ramakrishna, Harvard School of Public Health; Amanda Hahnel

SAKHI It is addressing the significant challenges to menstrual hygiene management (MHM) in India by promoting and distributing menstrual cups that are high-quality, affordable, and environmentally safe in India. Team Members: Sutopa Dasgupta, PhD Student, Harvard University; Andrew Powell, CEO, Casco Bay Manufacturer; Rakhee Goyal, Independent Consultant; Usha Venkatachallam, CEO, Appropriate IT

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Kevin Kung of representing Torr Energy

2016 Finalists TORR ENERGY It is a for-profit company that uses a series of technologies and a unique model to produce and sell cheap fuel derived from agricultural waste in rural areas. The project has various social and environmental benefits such as provision of renewable energy, waste management, pollution reduction, and greenhouse gas mitigation. Team Members Kasey Wang, Harvard Law School, class of 2017; Kevin Kung, MIT PhD; Swati Rao, MIT MBA; Zach Cohen, MIT Alum

THE CRAFTSMEN It promotes the idea that rather than forest conservation, sustainable forest management strategies is needed. The Craftsmen is a small forest enterprise facilitator that creates new value chains and setting up value-added facilities for forest products, provides year-round employment to forest communities, and trains communities in sustainable harvesting practices. Team Members: Aaron Mendonca, Graduate Student, Harvard Graduate School of Design; Elena Mechik Congratulations to GoMango, winners of SAI’s 2016 Inaugural Seed for Change Competition!

GOMANGO It is addressing the problem of waste of 40% of the fruits and vegetables in India before it ever reaches the market. Food waste has had profound consequences for India,including malnutrition, economic volatility, and political unrest. India wastes food because it lacks the “cold chain” infrastructure—refrigerated trucks and cold storage—to protect perishable food from tropical heat on its journey from farm to market. GoMango is developing a low-cost rental network of refrigerated boxes that will enable farmers and wholesalers to keep their goods cold both en route to market and while waiting to be sold at the market—reducing food waste while creating tremendous social and economic value for India. Team Members: Naren Tallapragada, Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2018; Francesco Wiedemann, MIT; Member Harvard i-Lab Venture Incubation Program

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Undergraduate & Graduate Student Grants Internship, Language Study, and Research

2017 Winter Session Grants UNDERGRADUATE INTERNSHIP GRANTS Mei Yin Wu, Applied Math, 2017 Harvard College

Wildlife Conservation Trust Internship UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH GRANTS Zayan Faiyad, Economics 2018 Harvard College

GRADUATE RESEARCH GRANTS Isabella Bennett, MPP 2017 HKS Making a Peace Deal Work: Options for Integrating Taliban Fighters Joshua Ehrlich, PhD History 2016 English- and PersianLanguage Sources on South Asia in the UK Joshua Jeong, Doctor of Science Global Health and Population 2019

Field research to identify root causes of achievement gap in state-regulated Madrasas in Bangladesh

Understanding the Role of Fathers in Their Young Childrens Care, Health, and Development: A Qualitative Study

Mahnoor Khan, Government 2017 Harvard College

Amulya Mandava, PhD Anthropology 2021

Desensitization to Violence and its Affect on an Individual’s Moral Decision Making in Pakistan

Caste, Political Economy, and Marriage in Contemporary Tamil Nadu Kunal Mangal, PhD Public Policy 2021 HKS

GRADUATE INTERNSHIP GRANTS Kusalagnana Derangala, MDS 2017 HDS Internship with “Upper Myanmar Manuscript Preservation Project” Priya Rakkhit Sraman, MDS 2017 HDS Internship with “Upper Myanmar Manuscript Preservation Project”

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Learning How to Navigate Big City Labor Markets in Small-Town India Mary Pham, Master of Education 2017 HGSE Assessing Educational Needs of Internally Displaced Pre-Primary Children in Kachin State, Myanmar Cresa Pugh, PhD Social Policy 2022

Constructions of citizenship and belonging for the stateless Rohingya of Burma Priyasha Saksena, SJD HLS 2020 Jousting Over Jurisdiction: Sovereignty and International Law in Colonial South Asia, c. 1858-1947 Ashley Thompson, Master in Design 2017 GSD Gendered Risk Geographies: Land and Conflict in a World of Women Villages Lydia Walker, PhD History 2018

GRADUATE LANGUAGE STUDY GRANTS Divya Chandramouli, PhD 2022 FAS Independent Tamil Language Study Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India Chuming Chen, MTS 2018 HDS Intermediate Classical Tibetan in Rangjung Yeshe Institute Lei Lin, PhD 2019 GSAS Intensive Intermediate Nepali at Rangjung Yeshe Institute, Kathmandu University Kathmandu, Nepal

GRADUATE RESEARCH GRANTS Elizabeth Angowski, PhD 2018 GSAS Traveling Storytellers and Their Scripts: Research on the Literary Heritage of the Performing Arts in Thimphu and Tang, Bumthang, Bhutan

States-in-Waiting: Nationalism, Internationalism, Decolonization

Gustavo Diaz Paz, Master of Architecture in Urban Design GSD Learning from Indigenous Water Technologies: the Johad as Territorial Strategy Rajasthan, India

2017 Summer Grants

Shefali Khanna, PhD 2021 FAS Understanding Household Demand for Electricity and the Role of Distributed Energy Resources for Rural Electrification Delhi, India

UNDERGRADUATE INTERNSHIP GRANTS

Maung Nyeu, EdD 2020 HGSE Between Extinction and Hope: Extending Education Opportunities through Culturally Relevant Curriculum for the Most Marginalized Students Bandarban, Chittagong Hill Tracts Bangladesh

Jeremy Tsai, Harvard College 2020, Internship at India Research Center, Harvard Business School Mumbai, India Vojtech Drmota, Harvard College 2020, Internship at Jana Care Bangalore, India

UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH GRANTS: Angela Leocata, Harvard College 2018 AB Anthropology Considering the Lay-Counselor Experience through a framework of Caregiving Goa, India

Rhea Shah, Master in Landscape Arch 2018 GSD Navigating Flux—A Cartographic Study of the Relationship of Indigenous People with Cloud Forests, through their Language and Ritual Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu India Ranjani Srinivasan, Master in Design Studies 2018 GSD An Unfinished Biography of Colonialism: A Portrait of Caste Politics at the Kolar Gold Fields Kolar Gold Fields, Karnataka India


Student Events

SAI provides administrative and financial support to undergraduate and graduate student organizations at Harvard for programming pertaining to South Asia, both at Harvard and in the region.

Atlantic slavery has been called the “second abolition,” helped launch his political career in India. Yet the campaign against indenture occupies an obscure and undigested role in the scholarship on Gandhi and on modern India. This talk shed light on the abolition movement in India and explored its implications for understanding Gandhi’s politics. Welcome Back Mixer for students and community members

Cosponsored by the South Asia Across Disciplines Workshop and the W. E. B. Du Bois Research Institute

SEPTEMBER 8, 2016

Welcome Back Mixer Students celebrated the start of the school year with SAI. This gave them the chance to meet SAI’s Visiting Fellows and faculty, learn about student funding opportunities, meet with representatives from Harvard South Asia student groups and enjoy delicious South Asian food.

SEPTEMBER 26, 2016

Grant Opportunities Open House

OCTOBER 15, 2016

Hackathon 2016 Pakathon Boston was partnered with SAI, the Harvard Pakistan Student’s Group, and the HKS Pakistan Caucus this year to organize its annual ‘hackathon.’ Teams worked to create a solution for a social issue in Pakistan and worked on a business plan to implement this solution. This was a good opportunity for students who were interested in returning to Pakistan and starting their own.

OCTOBER 26, 2016

Students learned about SAI summer funding opportunities from past grant recipients. Learned about the various types of grants (research, internship, language), the application process, how to write an appropriate budget for a summer in South Asia, and enjoyed some delicious South Asian food.

Getting Better: Stories from KEM Hospital and GS Medical College, India

RESPONDENTS

OCTOBER 6, 2016

NOVEMBER 2, 2016

Sunil Amrith, Mehra Family Professor of South Asian Studies, Professor of History Mou Banerjee, PhD Candidate, Dept. of History, Harvard University

Afghan Refugees Left Behind–Crisis in Europe

SEPTEMBER 15, 2016

Gandhi’s Forgotten Campaign: The Abolition of Indenture and the Mahatma Mrinalini Sinha, Alice Freeman Palmer Professor of History; Professor (by courtesy) of English and Women’s Studies; Senior Fellow, Michigan Society of Fellows (2015-), University of Michigan

The indentured labor system, which had been put in place in the aftermath of Atlantic slavery to replace emancipated African slaves with indentured Indians on colonial plantations overseas, came under widespread attack by the early decades of the 20th century. M.K. Gandhi’s involvement in the movement for the abolition of indenture, or what following the abolition of

Alexandra Chen, PhD student, HGSE Zohal Atif, Graduate of HGSE

Students joined for a film screening, dinner, & discussion with Gulserene Dastur, the filmmaker, & Dr. David Jones, A. Bernard Ackerman Professor of the Culture of Medicine. The film was about “The Hospital that never turns anyone away”: A 2200 bed, state-run hospital which treats 1.7 million people a year—overcrowded, used and abused, KEM Hospital is the last resort for the destitute.

Diwali Tea Break Harvard faculty, students, fellows, staff, and affiliates were invited to a special edition of SAI’s weekly tea break at SAI’s office, 4th floor of 1730 Cambridge Street.

Alexandra Chen is a child protection and mental health specialist working with refugees in conflict and post-conflict zones. Zohal Atif is a graduate of HGSE. Her focus is on education for refugees in conflict and post-conflict zones. YEAR IN REVIEW

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STUDENT EVENTS

JANUARY 26, 2017

MARCH 10, 2017 - MARCH 11, 2017

Summer Grant Opportunities Open House

Global and International History: The Economic Dimension

To hear about SAI Summer Funding opportunities, including research and internship grants, and opportunity to ask any last minute questions about the application process.

Harvard Graduate Student Conference on International and Global History Financial, economic and political-economy issues have played a fundamental role in world development and continue to do so. They involve multiple agents besides the nation state; they prompt refined policy analysis; and they challenge historians to turn to the broadest range of sources and demand interdisciplinary analysis. Con-IH 16 discussed cutting-edge studies that take up the dimensions of economics in international, regional, and global historical study, for any era from Antiquity to the present, and proceeding outward from any world region.

MARCH 9, 2017

MARCH 25, 2017

The Astrolabe in Medieval India

Asian Borderlands Conference

Owen Cornwall, Columbia University This talk discussed the history of the astrolabe in South Asia between 1200-1600CE. As the most important astronomical instrument in the medieval period, the history of the astrolabe in Europe is fairly well known. The history of the astrolabe in South Asia, however, contains many intriguing gaps and puzzling questions. This talk outlined some of these questions while discussing the ways that the astrolabe figured in the political and literary imaginations of medieval South Asia. It argued that the Sultans of Delhi positioned themselves as the second coming of the Greeks (particularly Alexander the Great, himself directly associated with the astrolabe in Persian literature) in order to emphasize the civilizational benefits of Islamicate empire in India, including an increased control over the powers of the stars. Cosponsored with the Early Sciences Working Group, SAI and South Asia Across Disciplines.

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This was the first meeting of a proposed annual conference of a research network that meet every year at a different university, our other partner institutions being Chicago, Columbia and Cornell. Graduate Students from Harvard and beyond convene to discuss a range of historical topics about border-making and border-crossing in various parts of early modern and modern Asia. The topics were of interest to students of South Asian, South-east Asian, Indian Ocean and EastAsian history.

development. More than 50 senior executives joined from the World Bank, UNDP, Asia Development Bank, McKinsey&Company, Nordic Development Fund, Unilever, Citigroup, The Bridgespan Group, MIT D-Lab, One Acre Fund, Millenium Challenge Corporation, SK Group, Rural and Agricultural Finance Learning Lab, Cignifi, Bankable Frontier Associates, Medecins Sans Frontieres, Technoserve, Center for Global Development, Global Green Growth Institute, and many more.

APRIL 15, 2017

South Asia ConnectED Conference Harvard South Asia Education Initiative South Asia ConnectED was the first ever South Asia-centric education conference at the HGSE. Attendees explored catalyzing for scale in education policy, social change and education technology with leaders from South Asia.

APRIL 15, 2017–APRIL 16, 2017

Bol: Underrepresented Voices of Pakistan

APRIL 1, 2017

Harvard Pakistan Forum

Rethinking Development: The World in Transition

Now in its fourth year, the Forum remains committed to its mission of addressing Pakistan’s socio economic and political predicaments. Given the rise of international turmoil, this year’s theme Bol: Underrepresented Voices of Pakistan fostered significant discourse over issues of gender, ethnicity, religion, and national identity. Over the course of two days, our goal was to shed light upon the progress and the current needs of Pakistan’s social mosaic and the intractability of the issues Pakistan suffers from.

Center for International Development at Harvard University This year, the conference discussed fundamental questions on technology, policy frameworks, financing and contemporary issues in global


STUDENT EVENTS

APRIL 9, 2017

Ismaili South Asian Students Gathering Ismaili Student Group An event with food and beverages to bring South Asian undergraduate and graduate Ismaili students together to talk with Professor Ali Asani in a more private setting.

In the last several decades, the historiography of South Asia has grappled with the prevalence of circulation and mobility in the past, overturning long-held notions of South Asia as a static society prior to colonial intervention, and developed increasingly nuanced analyses of global connections. The production of itinerant subjectivities, the making of new forms of sovereign power, and the creation of a modern, centralizing state are historical dynamics that all call for a re-examination of empire and space. This panel explored these and related issues through forms of boundary making and mobility.

Archive Making and Archival Silences in Mughal Punjab Speaker Purnima Dhavan, Associate Professor, Director of Graduate Studies, Howard and Frances Keller Endowed Professor in History at University of Washington Discussants Sunil Sharma, Professor of Persian & Indian Literatures at Boston University Neelam Khoja, Ph.D. Candidate Histories and Cultures of Muslim Societies at Harvard University

Wednesday, April 26th 5 - 7 pm William James Hall 1550 Lahore, the major urban hub and occasional seasonal capital of the Mughal Empire, has a welldocumented history of Persian literary production. The historical roots of a local literary vernacular, and in particular Punjabi, is far less documented and somewhat opaque. Written in several scripts and never fully formalized into a regular orthography and grammar during this early period, Punjabi had a robust presence in every day settings, yet has left a slender archival presence. In this paper, I will contrast a well-known cluster of Persian scholars from seventeen-century Punjab with less familiar regional networks to demonstrate how Persian learning and literacy had intimate but complicated connections with Punjabi literary culture. Both archival presence and silence hint at more fruitful ways of thinking about the literary practices of Punjabi scholarly communities as well as the circulation of their efforts in overlapping circles.

Organized by the Harvard South Asia Institute and South Asia Across Disciplines Workshop Photo Dara Shikoh Visiting a Hermit, courtesy of Christie’s

APRIL 26, 2017 APRIL 20, 2017

Chat with Rana Dasgupta

APRIL 18, 2017

Rethinking Empires and Space: Histories of South Asia(ns), Mobility & Boundary Making South Asia Across Disciplines, Task force on Asian Pacific Americans Panelists: Kornel Chang, Associate Professor of History and American Studies at Rutgers UniversityNewark Catherine Warner, College Fellow in South Asian Studies and History at Harvard University Vazira Zamindar, Associate Professor of History at Brown University Discussants: Sunil Amrith, Mehra Family Professor of South Asian Studies Professor of History at Harvard University Hardeep Dhillon, Ph.D. Candidate, History at Harvard University

Archive Making and Archival Silences in Mughal Punjab

Harvard Advocate

South Asia Across Disciplines Workshop

Acclaimed British-Indian author Rana Dasgupta came to the Harvard Advocate building to deliver a public reading on Thursday, April 20th. The Advocate is the nation’s oldest college literary and arts magazine, and is managed and edited by Harvard College undergraduates. Dasgupta’s reading focused on his craft and aesthetic approach to writing the contemporary moment in South Asia. His work-in-progress looks to history, and Dasgupta spoke about the layering of past and present in Delhi. The event began with a short (20–30 minute) reading, and was followed by a discussion.

Speaker: Purnima Dhavan, Associate Professor, Director of Graduate Studies, Howard and Frances Keller Endowed Professor in History at University of Washington

APRIL 22, 2017

Reflections Asian American Brotherhood Once a year, all organizations in the Asian American Community come together to honor the graduating seniors of our community. Reflections were open to all Harvard College students. Over 60 to 70 seniors are awarded every year and many from our community come to this event to listen to the seniors speak about their time at Harvard.

Moderators: Sunil Sharma, Professor of Persian & Indian Literatures at Boston University Neelam Khoja, Ph.D. Candidate Histories and Cultures of Muslim Societies at Harvard University Lahore, the major urban hub and occasional seasonal capital of the Mughal Empire, has a well-documented history of Persian literary production. The historical roots of a local literary vernacular, and Punjabi, is far less documented and somewhat opaque. Written in several scripts and never fully formalized into a regular orthography and grammar during this early period, Punjabi had a robust presence in everyday settings, yet has left a slender archival presence. In this paper, Dhavan compared a well-known cluster of Persian scholars from the 17th century Punjab with less familiar regional networks to demonstrate how Persian learning and literacy had intimate, but complicated connections with Punjabi literary culture. Both archival presence and silence hint at more fruitful ways of thinking about the literary practices of Punjabi scholarly communities as well as the circulation of their efforts in overlapping circles.

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Student Organizations

There are 23 student organizations across Harvard that bring together diverse student interests from the various schools and host cultural, social, and educational events on South Asia.

Dharma

Harvard India

Harvard US India Initiative

Harvard College

Student Group*

Harvard College

HISG is a university-wide student group that provides a platform for communication and collaboration among students and faculty on India-related topics.

The Harvard US India Initiative is a student run organization that aims to empower the youth and promote awareness about India’s most pressing issues.

Dharma, Harvard’s Hindu Students Association, provides Harvard students with the opportunity to learn about and participate in Hindu festivals and traditions on campus within a close-knit community of fellow students.

Harvard Bhangra

Harvard Mirch

Harvard Graduate School of Design Harvard College

Harvard College Harvard Bhangra exposes the Harvard community to the art form of Bhangra through campus performances, represents Harvard at competitions, and teaches Bhangra to interested individuals.

Harvard College for Bangladesh This is Harvard College’s official organization dedicated to celebrating the Bengali Culture and organizing outreach and fundraising events dedicated to Bangladesh.

Harvard Mirch is a co-ed South Asian a capella group aiming to bring together the best of the South Asian and Western pop music.

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.

Harvard Pakistan Student Group*

India Caucus HKS

HPSG is a Harvard University–wide group that mobilizes intellectual, activist, and entrepreneurial interest in Pakistan across thirteen schools.

Harvard Students for Myanmar Harvard College

Harvard College

Harvard Students for Myanmar is an organization that serves the purpose of raising awareness about the country of Myanmar (Burma).

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The group’s mission is to bring India-centric events, opportunities, and resources to the students and faculty at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

Pakistan Caucus HKS

Harvard Deepam

Deepam seeks to inspire enthusiasm for the vibrant, energetic and graceful tradition of Indian classical dance on campus and in the greater Boston area.

India GSD

The Pakistan Caucus at the Harvard Kennedy School seeks to present Pakistan’s culture and diversity, research and innovation, and importantly, Pakistan’s role within the international community. The Caucus facilitates the transition of Pakistanis into the Kennedy School as global citizens. Lastly, the group promotes the notion of learning through experience - the best way to learn about Pakistan, is to visit Pakistan.


STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS

Pakistan Student Group Harvard College The Harvard College Pakistan Student Association aims to create a vibrant community of students at Harvard with a deep interest in Pakistan.

Pakistan Students Harvard Graduate School of Education HGSE Harvard Pakistan Student Group creates opportunities for HGSE students to connect on activities and topics of interest related to Pakistan.

Sangeet

South Asia Business Association

South Asian Dance Company

Harvard Business School

The Harvard South Asian Dance Company (SADC) aims to encourage creative expression through fusion of classical, folk, and Bollywood South Asian dance styles with Western styles such as hip-hop and modern dance.

The South Asian Business Association (SABA) provides a forum for students who want to participate and lead initiatives related to South Asia. Objectives include community unification, education, representation of South Asia on campus, and inclusion.

South Asia Caucus Harvard Kennedy School of Government The HKS South Asia Caucus serves as a forum for all HKS 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 College

South Asian Dance Troupe Harvard Graduate School of Education To preserve and bring upon Bollywood and Bhangra classics and choreography while adding a contemporary spin to the Harvard campus via an official group/team. It is also to bring Harvard students who want to dance and learn, practice, and potentially perform at local events.

Harvard College 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.

South Asia Association Harvard College The Harvard South Asian Association brings the Harvard community closer to South Asia and its Diaspora through academic, political, social, outreach, and cultural initiatives.

South Asia Law Students Association

South Asian Student Association

Harvard Law School

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

The Harvard South Asian Law Students Association (SALSA) provides a forum for those in the Harvard Law School community interested in South Asian American and South Asian legal issues.

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.

South Asia Men’s Collective Harvard College SAMC works to strengthen a sense of brotherhood between members and create a supportive arena for dialogue and discussion.

*The Harvard India Student Group and the Harvard Pakistan Student Group are recognized by Harvard as university-wide initiatives.

For links to these student group webpages, please visit our website: southasiainstitute.harvard.edu/studentorganizations

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Graduate Student Associates

Each year, SAI selects Graduate Student Associates (GSAs) from across the different schools at Harvard to support their research on South Asia. Each GSA gives a seminar, chaired by a faculty member or fellow doctoral student, to showcase their research and receive feedback from their peers.

The GSAs are an integral part of SAI community. They serve as mentors for the undergraduates and graduates, help SAI review applications for student grants, and facilitate discussions at our seminars. The 2017 GSAs and bit about their research is described below. Amiya Bhatia, Doctor of Science student in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Amiya studies the causes, structures and policies that produce health inequalities among children and adolescents in South Asia. Her current work examines how unequal health data are and who is missing in health statistics through an analysis of wealth, gender and urban/rural inequalities in birth registration access to identification documents in South Asia, the history of the civil registration and vital statistics systems that count births, marriages, and deaths. At Harvard, Amiya has worked as a research assistant for the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights and as a teaching assistant at FAS and the School of Public Health. She is a member of Harvard Chan Students for Nepal and a resident tutor in Currier house. Before moving to Boston, Amiya evaluated health programs run by local non-profits for children affected by HIV in India and Ethiopia. She has also worked on health systems strengthening for immunization for the GAVI Alliance and on the polio eradication program for the Gates Foundation. Amiya holds a Masters in Public Health from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and a BA in Social Anthropology from the University of Cambridge.

Gregory Clines, Ph.D. Candidate, Committee on the Study of Religion, Harvard University As a historian of religious literature, Greg is interested in questions of newness: how authors mark newness in their texts; how innovation and tradition are weighed against each other; and why both modern scholars and authors themselves value newness in the first place. His dissertation focuses on a fifteenth-century Digambara Jain author named Jinadāsa, who wrote Rāmāyaņa narratives in both Sanskrit and Middle Gujarati. Greg argues that these works are simultaneously part of a long tradition of Jain Rāmāyaņa composition and also independent texts with identifiable socio-historical goals. Greg holds a MA from Columbia University and a BA from the University of Virginia. He has taught extensively in both FAS and Harvard Extension School and is currently teaching a Junior Tutorial in Religion that focuses on Indian devotional (bhakti) literature.

Hardeep Dhillon, Ph.D. Candidate, Dept. of History, Harvard University Hardeep is a third-year doctoral student in the History Department at Harvard University specializing in Modern South Asian History. Hardeep’s research focuses on the anticolonial claims of Indian migrants who were traveling in and through Southeast Asia and North America at the turn of the twentieth century. The project brings forward well-known historical events such as Bhagat Singh Thind v. United States (1924), the 1914 mutiny of the 5th Light Infantry in Singapore, and the Komogata Maru incident. In her approach, Hardeep centers ideas of race and masculinity and brings the histories of Indians in Manila, Hong Kong, Astoria, Singapore, Berkeley, and San Francisco that have been peripheral in our study of India to the fore. More broadly, Hardeep’s research interests include: minority communities, race, migration, rights, citizenship, law, and gender.

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GRADUATE STUDENT ASSOCIATES

Asad Liaqat, Doctoral candidate, Public Policy Ph.D. program, Harvard Kennedy School Asad’s field of study is the behavioral political economy of development. The common theme in his research is how underlying societal norms and cues and psychological processes affect interactions among citizens and between citizens and the state. In particular, he is doing research on how citizens’ subjective expectations from the state are formed and what the expectations may mean for government performance. He is also conducting a randomized evaluation of an intervention aimed at fostering empathy and tolerance among school children in Pakistan and India. His ongoing co-authored work is focused on bureaucratic decision making, local government capacity, party responsiveness to voter preferences at a local level and the importance of political connections for local government elections. Asad is a Graduate Student Fellow at the Center for Economic Research in Pakistan, plays for the Harvard Cricket Club and often finds himself reading Urdu poetry during work hours. He holds a BA in Political Economy and Philosophy from Williams College.

Soledad Prillaman, Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Government, Harvard University Solé’s research focuses on comparative political economy, economic development, gender, and the politics of the welfare state, with a regional focus in India. Her dissertation seeks to better understand why women in India, and developing countries more broadly, are particularly disengaged from politics and to identify the mechanisms through which the prevailing political gender gap is reduced. In doing so, Solé evaluates the mechanisms by which the state is strengthened through increased political integration of women in India by detailing the oft-unconsidered consequences of development interventions for political behavior and local politics. Additionally, her dissertation evaluates how women who have become active political agents organize politically and are received and resisted by traditional political networks. Prior to entering Harvard, she received a B.A. in Political Science and Economics from Texas A&M University in 2011.

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In Region Events

SAI supports Harvard faculty student research, teaching, field experience in the region through India Country Director, Pakistan Programs Director, and affiliates in Bangladesh and Nepal.

DECEMBER 22, 2016 JULY 29, 2016

One Harvard Young Harvard Mixer The Harvard Club of India, SAI and the Harvard India Student Group invited the public to attend this mixer event in New Delhi. This mixer was open to all incoming students, alumni and other Harvard community members and intended to serve as a great networking opportunity.

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JANUARY 12, 2017

SAI and Tata Trusts Host Workshop on Women’s Rights SAI in collaboration with Tata Trusts, hosted an event titled ‘Women’s Economic and Social Rights in India: Exploring New Collaborations and Engagements’ in New Delhi. The event showcased the outcome of an eighteen-month project on ‘Livelihood Creation in India’. Padma Bhushan awardee, Dr. Ela Bhatt, Founder, SEWA was the Chief Guest for the evening and delivered the keynote address. Martha Chen, HKS and Jacqueline Bhabha, HSPH, shared the project findings and outcomes. The event featured the work of organizations that have been supported through grants and mentoring over past, and over 150 people attended.

Harvard Club of India Event The State of Higher Education in India New Delhi, India SAI hosted a roundtable discussion in Delhi to bring together leaders in the field of higher education in India. The event provided a rare opportunity for the leaders to come together and discuss what is at stake for educational institutions, and what can be learned by looking outside of India. Mark Elliott, Vice Provost for International Affairs at Harvard University, during his first trip to India, delivered the opening remarks. He explained that the key issue facing liberal arts education is making the case to convince students (and their parents) of the value of this type of education. From his time at Harvard, he has learned that it is much more important to teach students how to think than teaching specific skills – especially since many jobs that students will take in the future do not even exist yet. Elliott also discussed the importance of diversity and inclusion for higher education in relation to gender, race, ethnicity, and nationality.


IN REGION EVENTS

Shashank Shah delivering the opening remarks at the conference

JANUARY 23, 2017

Tata Trusts Livelihood Creation Project Conference in Delhi

JANUARY 13, 2017

The Importance of Religious and Cultural Literacy in a Cosmopolitan World

JANUARY 17, 2017

Karachi, Pakistan Ali Asani, Professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic Religion and Cultures Our world is marked by difference. The inability to engage with and understand these differences has led to polarizations, tensions and conflict in many societies. In recent decades, these conflicts have been particularly acute and tragic when they are framed in religious terms. Illiteracy about the nature of religion has led to political climates that are crippling intellectually and threatening to the pluralistic fabric of society. This talk discussed the importance of promoting literacy about the relationship between religion and culture as one of the essential prerequisites for the well-being of societies and the project of democracy globally.

Misaq-e-Ishq: The Covenant of Love Lahore, Pakistan The Lahore Biennale Foundation, the LUMS School of Education and SAI featured music and poetry recital by Ali Sethi and Ali Asani, Professor of Indo-Muslim Religion and Cultures at Harvard University. An introduction to the inaugural Lahore Biennale by Artistic Director Rashid Rana at the Ali Institute of Education.

SAI in collaboration with Tata Trusts, concluded the 18-month project on ‘Livelihood Creation In India’ at an event hosted in New Delhi on Jan. 23. Tarun Khanna addressed nearly 200 people who attended the event at the Taj Mahal Hotel. Guests included representatives from the World Bank, UNDP, Government of India, IIT Delhi, and many other top academic, corporate and civil society institutions. The program showcased the work of the ‘Livelihood Creation in India’ project, with a focus on: rural livelihood creation in the handicrafts and handloom sectors; and science and technology-based social entrepreneurship.

The music-and-poetry recital around the Sufi ideal of love spanned many regions, languages and eras. The ensemble touched upon the works of regional masters and Sufi visionaries such as Amir Khusraw, Shams Sabzwari, Bulleh Shah, and Shah Abdul Latif.

Cosponsored with Habib University, Karachi

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IN REGION EVENTS

FEBRUARY 10, 2017

Debrief Nepal: Reflections on a Rapid Scenario Planning Exercise on Earthquake Preparedness Meena Hewett with Professor Chakravarti at a Partition Forum event in New Delhi

Participants at the Rapid Scenario Planning Exercise in Kathmandu

FEBRUARY 3, 2017

Partition discussions, Lahore and Delhi SAI organized a focused group discussion to reflect upon the mass dislocations during the Partition of British India in New Delhi on February 3, 2017 at the India International Centre, New Delhi. Titled ‘Looking Back, Informing the Future—The 1947 Partition of British India: Implications of Mass Dislocations Across Geographies,’ the discussion was focused on facilitating a personalized dialogue about Partition. The event was a part of an ongoing SAI project to create an accessible archive to digitize the stories, records, and reflections of the 1947 Partition of British India in crowd proportions.

personal stories with regard to Partition through crowdsourcing. This project, she said, will not only provide crucial perspectives about the past but also be instrumental in giving insights about the future, especially with respect to the patterns of migration. Hewett invited the participants to share their impressions of the Partition and how they remember the event. She introduced the speaker and facilitator for the discussion, Professor Uma Chakravarti, noted Historian and Professor of History.

Meena Hewett, Executive Director, SAI, introduced the session and shared the background of the project and the ongoing efforts. She talked about Professor Jennifer Leaning’s work on demographic and humanitarian consequences of conflict, which led to the birth of this project and shared Professor Tarun Khanna’s idea of collecting

Kathmandu, Nepal Jerold Kayden, Frank Backus Williams Professor of Urban Planning and Design, GSD Sarita Maskey, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Urban Development, Nepal Government Shriju Pradhan, Deputy Director, Kathmandu Metropolitan City, Government of Nepal David Sanderson, Judith Nielsen Chair, University of New South Wales Anshu Sharma, Co-founder and Chief Mentor, SEEDS Although scientists can say with near certainty that a major earthquake will strike the Kathmandu Valley in the future, they cannot predict with certainty when that major earthquake will strike. Such uncertainty generates another kind of uncertainty, about what to do now, in the near term, and in the long term. Nepali stakeholders, drawn from government, civil society, and the private sector, joined several outside participants in a one-day exercise using rapid scenario and other planning methods to unlock implementable ideas for securing an earthquake-resilient Kathmandu Valley. In partnership with University of New South Wales, Tribhuwan University, Kathmandu University, and Harvard Alumni Group of Nepal.

FEBRUARY 23, 2017

Remembering Faiz: A Tribute to the Great Poet Emirates international auditorium at Emirates International school, Jumeriah Dubai, UAE Poetic Strokes was proud to join hands with SAI at Harvard University in bringing “Remembering Faiz—A tribute” to Dubai. Grandson of Faiz, Adeel Hashmi recited his poetry along with some other performances by the award winner Sonam Kalra and Asad Anees—The Virtuoso Pianist. Cosponsored with Poetic Strokes.

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Community & Outreach Events

SAI forges connections with communities outside of Harvard interested in South Asian culture and studies, including alumni groups, K–12 schools, peer institutions, and community organizations.

OCTOBER 25, 2016 AND APRIL 4, 2017

Boston Water Group SAI hosted the Boston Water Group, a diverse group of researchers and practitioners from academia, industry and civil-society, who are based in the Greater Boston region, but work across the U.S and around the world to address problems that involve water. MAY 15, 2016

Annual India Poetry Reading At the Annual India Poetry Reading, 32 poets of South Asian origin talked about the interpretation of the environment and dabbled with the various aspects of it through poetry and songs. This year marked the 20th year since the India Poetry Reading group was formed. The event was hosted by SAI and the DSAS of Harvard University.

Some of the themes include urban water trading by individuals within a utility context in Morocco, Water as Power: The Law and Politics of Federalism in the Indus Basin, Current efforts in Jordan, Israel and Palestine dealing with issues at the intersection of the Food, Energy, and Water, nexus, The Networked Digital Earth for Harnessing Complexity and Designing Policy, Climate Change and Developmental Economies, Principled pragmatism and complex water problems. Convener: Shafiqul Islam, Director, Water Diplomacy Program, Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and, Professor, Water Diplomacy, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy

APRIL 9, 2017

Kultar’s Mime The Harvard performance of Kultar’s Mime is a play that blends painting, poetry, theater and music to tell the stories of Sikh children who survived the 1984 Delhi massacre that was organized in the wake of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s assassination. A collective of young Jewish artists decided to commemorate a 1903 Pogrom that targeted Jews in the Russian town of Kishinev. During their journey, they learned about the 1984 massacre of the Sikhs in Delhi and in a powerful moment of embracing the pain of the ‘other’, they shifted focus and decided to tell a story that the world has largely ignored. Kultar’s Mime was directed by J Mehr Kaur, who recently graduated from Smith College and was being presented by Almast Media.

SEPTEMBER 26, 2016

This performance of Kultar’s Mime was sponsored by The Pluralism Project and The Harvard University South Asia Institute.

From India: The Rhythms of Life The event featured music from Grammynominated tabla player Sandeep Das and sitar player Rajib Karmaker and remarks by Anne Monius, Professor of South Asian Religions

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Publications

SAI’s fourth annual publication, The Arts and South Asia, is a collection of essays from artists and scholars on a variety of topics. They offer the reader fresh ways of thinking about the region—the past and the future; the commitment to traditions and the forging of modernity; great political narratives and textures of everyday life; the language of loss and the riotous music of resistance. The series is overseen by Sharmila Sen, Executive Editor-at-Large of Harvard University Press. Visit our website to view full versions of the publications: southasiainstitute.harvard.edu/sai-annual-publications.

“At the Threshold of Paradise: Kashmir in Mughal Persian Poetry” Sunil Sharma, Professor of Persian and Indian literatures, Boston University “Ekushey and Mother Language Day” Fakrul Alam, Professor of English, University of Dhaka and honorary adviser, Department of English, East-West University The Arts and South Asia Released in May 2017, The Arts and South Asia contains the following chapters and contributors:

“Politics of Cartoons, Cartoons of Politics” Shreyas Navare, Editorial Cartoonist and Founder, Toonanza

Released April 2015

“Navigating the Past in India’s Museums” Jinnah Kim, Gardner Cowles Associate Professor of History of Art and Architecture, Harvard University “The Elasticity of Tradition” Shazia Sikander, Pakistani artist - her work has been shown in both solo and group exhibitions at several museums, including the Whitney Museum and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden “Song, Politics, Hashtag: The Story of Contemporary Bengali Music Making” Avishek Ganguly, Assistant Professor, Department of Literary Arts and Studies, Rhode Island School of Design

The book consolidates research findings from the 2013 festival and serves as an example of interdisciplinary research conducted at Harvard.

Technology and South Asia Released January 2016 Readers are invited to think of technology within the context of its cultural, sociological, and political fields of application in South Asia.

“South Asian Modern and Contemporary Art in Britain” Iftikhar Dadi, Associate Professor, Department of History of Art, Cornell University

This publication presents a rich array of solutions to health challenges and the important, and occasionally surprising, ways in which people find solutions to public health problems in South Asia.

“Going! Going! Gone! The Disappearance of Premodern Buddhist Sculpture from Odisha” Sonali Dhingra, PhD candidate, Department of History of Art and Architecture, Harvard University The City and South Asia

“Caring for South Asian Gods, Kings, Heroes, and Legends at the Harvard Art Museums” Rachel Parikh, Calderwood Curatorial Fellow of South Asian Art, Harvard Art Museums

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Health and South Asia Released January 2014

“Art on the Line” Sona Datta, Curator of South Asian Art, Peabody Essex Museum

“Nasreen Mohamedi and South Asian Modernism” Shanay Jhaveri, Assistant Curator of South Asian Art, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art

Kumbh Mela: Mapping The Ephemeral Megacity

Released January 2015 Experts from a variety of fields came together to hold up a cross-disciplinary lens to the paradoxes endemic to urban centers in South Asia.


In the News

SAI activities are covered by the media, both at Harvard and globally. Some examples of recent news coverage are profiled here.

NOVEMBER 25, 2016

DECEMBER 6, 2016

JANUARY 26, 2017

INDIA’S NATIONAL E-HEALTH AUTHORITY (NEHA)

ROHINGYA HEALTH CRISIS

LIVELIHOOD CREATION PROJECT

After decades of discrimination, the Rohingya—a Muslim ethnic group living in Myanmar, Bangladesh, Malaysia and other southeast Asian countries—are experiencing a severe health crisis, according to a study co-authored by experts at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School.

If you thought there was no one to worry about women in rural areas working on looms, straining their backs and hands because of the long hours spent at work, you could be wrong. Today, innovators are coming forward with ergonomic loom designs which prevent health problems. That’s not all. From tribals in remote areas of Odisha to leather craftsmen from a dusty outpost in Rajasthan, Indians from every sphere are aspiring to better their lives and those of others around them. A recent project by the Harvard University South Asia Institute (SAI) and Tata Trusts has also ensured they get adequate support to step on the path of continuous improvement.

By Satchit Balsari, Fellow at the FXB Center for Human Rights and Tarun Khanna, Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor, Harvard Business School; Director, South Asia Institute The Government of India is now scheduled to launch the National e-Health Authority (NeHA). A regulatory body, tasked with overseeing the digitisation of health information, NeHA holds great promise. NeHA and regulatory laws that define India’s health information landscape will have deep, long-lasting ramifications on health care delivery. Giving primacy to the needs of patients and clinicians; adopting humancentered design; abandoning traditional institution-based EMRs in favour of an APIbased eco-system; and passing privacy laws in sync with these new technologies, can usher in an era of unprecedented growth in the scope, quality and safety of Indian healthcare. The necessary ingredients are all present: A digital health greenfield, robust telecom infrastructure, unique ID authentication, and a large talented pool of IT professionals. Utilising them may allow India to shape healthcare delivery globally. Read the full article in the Indian Express: indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/ neha-national-e-health-authority-4393612

In 1982, the Rohingya were stripped of citizenship in Myanmar (known as Burma before 1989), leaving them stateless. Since then they have faced a cycle of poor infant and child health, malnutrition, waterborne illness, and lack of obstetric care, according to the Lancet study. The researchers explore the Myanmar government’s poor treatment of the group and suggest steps that can be taken to address the health and human rights crisis. Authors of the study included Jennifer Leaning, SAI Steering Committee member, and Arlan Fuller, director and executive director, respectively, of Harvard Chan School’s FXB Center for Health and Human Rights; and Harvard Medical School’s Syed Mahmood (first author) and Emily Wroe. Read the full article in the New York Times: nytimes.com/2016/12/05/world/asia/ rohingya-myanmar-health-care.html?_r=0

The 18-month project, Livelihood Creation in India, focused on rural livelihood creation in the handicrafts and handloom sectors; educational, social and economic empowerment of women; and science and technology-based social entrepreneurship. About 125 organisations from across 15 states were selected. Need-based capacity building and strengthening workshops were also conducted in 2016 with 100 participating NGOs, and 20 webinars involving Harvard faculty and subject experts from India. Social innovation grants of Rs 50 lakh were finally given to 16 organisations. Read the full article in the Hindustan Times: hindustantimes.com/education/india-lovewhen-harvard-and-tata-trusts-joined-handsfor-survival-of-artistic-traditions/story6PNwbr7V2Cn2yVKmiYCfGN.html

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Budget Fiscal Year 2017

Fiscal Year 2018 INCOME + SAVED BALANCES

INCOME + SAVED BALANCES Current Use Current Use‑ARTS Endowment Distribution

$1,556,984 $49,091 $92,036

TOTAL

$1,698,111

EXPENSE

Current Use Current Use‑ARTS Endowment Distribution

$1,207,659 $66,028 $102,140

TOTAL

$1,375,827

EXPENSE

Faculty Support Student Support Outreach + Community Programs SAI Arts Programs South Asia Regional Programs Operations FAS Gift Fund Tax (15%)

$348,000 $143,000 $42,215 $29,860 $29,500 $529,339 $108,126

Faculty Support Student Support Outreach + Community Programs SAI Arts Programs South Asia Regional Programs Operations FAS Gift Fund Tax (15%)

$173,686 $216,476 $21,075 $30,000 $25,750 $616,862 $98,886

TOTAL

$1,230,040

TOTAL

$1,182,735

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SOUTH ASIA INSTITUTE


A B B R E V I AT I O N K E Y

ABBREVIATION KEY

AISP

Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Program for Islamic Studies

CMES

Harvard University Center for Middle Eastern Studies

DRCLAS

David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard

DSAS

Department of South Asian Studies

FAS

Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences

FXB

Franรงois-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights

GSAS

Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

SD

Harvard Graduate School of Design

HBS

Harvard Business School

HDS

Harvard Divinity School

HGHI

Harvard Global Health Institute

HGSE

Harvard Graduate School of Education

HHI

Harvard Humanitarian Initiative

HISG

Harvard India Student Group

HKS

Harvard Kennedy School of Government

HLS

Harvard Law School

HMS

Harvard Medical School

HPSG

Harvard Pakistan Student Group

HSPH

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

MIT

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

SAI

Harvard South Asia Institute

SEAS

Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

WCFIA

Harvard Weatherhead Center for International Affairs

YEAR IN REVIEW

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CGIS South, 1730 Cambridge Street Cambridge, MA 02138 USA southasiainstitute.harvard.edu

Year In Review 2016-2017  

A compilation of the Harvard South Asia Institute's activities during the 2016-2017 academic year.

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