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Image by Markus Winkler.

A roundup of Mittal Institute faculty and affiliates who have been featured in the news in recent weeks.

New Book on Leadership: Tarun Khanna

Congratulations to Tarun Khanna, Mittal Institute director and Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor at Harvard Business School, on the release of the print edition of his new book, Leadership to Last: How Great Leaders Leave Legacies Behind. It is co-written by Geoffrey Jones and is out in India via Penguin Books. 

Society tends to glorify the get-rich-quick entrepreneur–who builds a company, takes it public and then (maybe) contributes to charity. In Leadership to Last, Geoffrey Jones and Tarun Khanna interview iconic leaders in India who have demonstrated leadership to last. There are leaders from South Asia and other emerging markets as well to illustrate that the ideas Indian entrepreneurs speak about are echoed by their counterparts in the Global South. All these magnates–Ratan Tata, Anu Aga, Adi Godrej, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Devi Shetty and Rahul Bajaj, to name a few–have built, to general acclaim and acknowledgement, organizations that are seen as forward-looking and innovative. They subscribe to a code of ethics and contribute to the betterment of society. The authors demonstrate that this is a lot harder to achieve than unicorn status. The authors corroborate how these stories are less about building a get-rich-quick organization and much more about triggering foundational and institutional change in society. These interviews, encapsulating the history of recent decades, eloquently lay out the opportunities and challenges of today and the future. The profiled leaders inspire awe by displaying audacity of intent, humility of demeanour and steadfastness of purpose.

Podcast on Science and Policy: Sheila Jasanoff

Sheila Jasanoff, Mittal Institute Steering Committee member and Pforzheimer Professor of Science and Technology Studies at Harvard Kennedy School, joined the CSaP: The Science & Policy Podcast from the University of Cambridge, where she was in conversation with host Dr. Rob Doubleday and Sir Patrick Vallance, UK Government Chief Scientific Adviser. Listen here.

New Study on Air Pollution: Subu Subramanian

S (Subu) V Subramanian, Mittal Institute Steering Committee member, released a new study in Science of the Total Environment on “Robust relationship between ambient air pollution and infant mortality in India.” Ambient exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) is one of the top global health concerns. The study estimates the associations between in-utero and perinatal exposure to PM2.5 and infant, neonatal and postneonatal mortality in India. The team evaluated the sensitivity of this association to two widely-used exposure assessments.

Open Letter to Indian Health Officials: Satchit Balsari

In an Open Letter published in numerous publications, including The Times of India, Science Wire, and The Print, 35 top healthcare professionals made an appeal for an “evidence-based response” to the current wave of COVID in India. They write that the current wave is characterized by unwarranted testing, medication and hospitalizations, and they appeal to the central and state health authorities to stop these “unwarranted” practices. Satchit Balsari, Mittal Institute Steering Committee member and Assistant Professor in Emergency Medicine at Harvard Medical School comments: “Patients have struggled with misinformation around the world. While vaccine hesitancy has been one of the greatest challenges in America where vaccines are so widely available, the wanton use of unwarranted drugs pushed by medical professionals and state representatives in India has been disappointing. One would have hoped that the crushing toll of the Delta wave would have been cause for pause.” Read more.

Featured in the New York Times: Rahul Mehrotra

In the New York Times article “The Plans for the World’s Next Largest City Are Incomplete,” which discusses the complexity of urbanization as Delhi grows far beyond the formal confines of the city, Rahul Mehrotra, Mittal Institute Steering Committee member and professor in the Department of Urban Planning and Design at Harvard Graduate School of Design, was quoted. “If you look at night lights on satellite images, that is a good proxy for what urban India looks like, and that’s not as clear as what maps tell you,” Rahul Mehrotra, founder and principal of R.M.A. Architects, said. The “galaxy of settlements” revealed by these nighttime images, Mr. Mehrotra said, functions as a large conglomerate, including cities such as Gurgaon, 20 miles southwest of Delhi’s center, and Noida, in the east, where glitzy high-rises and office complexes sit next to tin roofs and tarpaulin shelters. Read the full article. 

Article in The India Forum: Vikram Patel

Vikram Patel, Mittal Institute Steering Committee member and Pershing Square Professor of Global Health at Harvard Medical School, penned an article in The India Forum on “Unshackling Science in India.” His article argues that India has the talent for research, but to realize the potential, a number of things are required: greater outlays; a transformation of the environment; loosening of government control and a recognition, especially in medical science; the contribution of CSOs and the private sector. Read the article.

Published in The Print: Sanjeev Chopra

Sanjeev Chopra, Mittal Institute Research Fellow and an IAS Officer, penned several articles commenting on government and civil servants in The Print. Read his articles here.