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Use of Mobile Technology to Change Societies in India

Summer Program, 2015

The use of mobile technology is ubiquitous and fills the gap of information, communications, and access to social services for large populations. These technological devices are proving to be a powerful tool not just to promote economic growth in emerging markets, but to restructure societies and social relationships. India ranks second after China in the mobile phone market. Approximately 76% of the 1.25 billion people have access to mobile phones in India, and thus this device has huge potential to favorably impact the lives of many.

The program for Harvard undergraduate students, located in India, provides an opportunity to examine the use of mobile technology to deliver services in the areas of education, health, agriculture, and banking. Students will be given a background into the landscape of mobile technology in India, and be introduced to an analytic framework based on three major components – the technology itself, regulations and policy around the use of technology, and the individual users of the technology. Equipped with this background, students will conduct observations and interviews with those utilizing the technology and with those who are served by the technology.

This 8 week program will take place Ahmedabad, Bangalore, and Delhi, hotspots for mobile technology innovation and policy.


Tarun Khanna, Director of the Harvard South Asia Institute; Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor, HBS
JP Onnela, Assistant Professor, Department of Biostatistics, HSPH
Satchit Balsari, Fellow, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative

Please note this program is only open to Harvard undergraduate students. 

The application materials are due Monday, February 28, 2015 (new deadline).

a)     Cover Sheet (click here)
b)    Statement of purpose describing your rationale for pursuing this project (750 words)
c)    Current one-page resume
d)    Transcript (Student Record is accepted)

The above materials should be emailed to Nora Maginn,

e)    Two confidential letters of recommendation to be submitted directly by recommender as PDF attachments to Nora Maginn,

Sample budget for Students

Learn more about SAI’s Mobile Technology project.