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The Mittal Institute’s New Delhi Office hosted two separate major events over January term: an interdisciplinary conference on indigeneity and a celebration of LMSAI’s past year and new focus on climate change. Read on for photos from both events.

Interrogating the Indigenous Conference

In early January, the Mittal Institute held a conference in New Delhi titled “Interrogating the Indigenous in Northeast India: Political Movements, Cultural Poetics, and the Performative Capital”. The event was conceptualized by the Mittal Institute’s inaugural India Fellow, Ankur Tamuli Phukan, and was made possible thanks to a collaboration with Harvard University’s Gardiner Professor of Oceanic History and Affairs, Sugata Bose.

The theme of the conference centered around the contemporary politics of Northeast India and how discourse on this topic is inextricably linked to themes of indigeneity. The topics of discussion included Indigeneity and Contemporary Northeast India: History and its Contingencies; Vernacular Politics, Ethnic Sovereignties and Politics of Hills and Plains; and Indigeneity and the Politics of Performance. The discussions were spread across one keynote talk and two panel discussions.

The day-long conference included discussions with leading academic experts and traced the “indigenous” as a historical category while investigating the ways in which the indigenous question has become a shared language of social critique in the region. The production of grammars and scripts of indigeneity—how agency, intention and subject-formation co-emerge through everyday encounters with the material world—was also examined. The discussions attempted to make sense, or interrogate, indigeneity and its formidable biography in Northeast India.

Panelists, left to right: Sugata Bose, Joy LK Pachuau, Ankur Taamuli Pukan.

Panelists, left to right: Arupjyoti Saikia, Jangkhomang Guite, Billie Thoidingjam Guarino.

The audience looks on at a panel discussion with Sugata Bose, Joy LK Pachuau, Ankur Taamuli Phukan.

Conference attendees pose for a photo.

LMSAI New Year’s Dinner 

LMSAI held its annual New Year’s celebration event on January 23, 2023, and in attendance were industry leaders, policy experts, and not-for-profit representatives. The event was an opportunity to showcase the work that the Mittal Institute has done over the past year, as well as an informal introduction to the Climate Change project “Climate Adaptation for India and the Global South.” Mittal Institute’s Executive Director Hitesh Hathi welcomed the audience and gave a brief overview of the Institute’s new focus on climate change. Tarun Khanna, Director, LMSAI, opened the floor for discussion on the topic of climate change in the South Asian region and a few guests were invited to give their views on the topic. They explored the importance/intersection of policy, corporates and think thanks when it comes to collaboration aimed at more effective intervention, as well as adaptation strategies for dealing with climate change in the region. The speakers included Amit Prothi (Director General, Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure), Hemang Jani (Secretary, Capacity Building Commission), Sanjay Sharma (Chairman, ArcelorMittal and CEO, ArcelorMittal India) and Alok Kshirsagar (Senior Partner, Mckinsey & Company).

The evening was a chance to engage in deep and meaningful conversation with the LMSAI community. Also in attendance were Chintan Vaishnav (Mission Director, Atal Innovation Mission), Ananya Mukherjee (Vice Chancellor, Shiv Nadar University), Benjamin Hickman (Regional Technical Advisor for Asia and Europe, United Nations Environment Program), Carly Van Orman (U.S. Embassy), Vibha Dhawan (Director General, The Energy and Resources Institute) and Arunabha Ghosh (CEO, Council on Energy, Environment and Water).

Amit Pruthi, Director General, Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure, speaks about climate change.

Hemang Jani, Secretary, Capacity Building Commission, addresses climate change.

Sanjay Sharma, Chairman, ArcelorMittal and CEO, ArcelorMittal India, discusses climate change.

Alok Kshirsagar, Senior Partner, Mckinsey & Company, speaks on climate change.

Tarun Khanna, LMSAI Director, and Hitesh Hathi, LMSAI Executive Director, address the audience.

The Mittal Institute Delhi community poses for a photo.