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Mission and Goals


The Mittal Institute is a university-wide research institute at Harvard that engages faculty members, students, and in region institutions through interdisciplinary programs to disseminate knowledge, build capacity, inform policy, and engage with issues that are shaping South Asia today.

With 2 billion people facing similar challenges throughout South Asia, there is a critical need for solutions and systems to support such a significant global population. The Mittal Institute programs and projects are working to actively address issues of equity, sustainability, and livability. Through research conducted by students and faculty, to partnerships with governments and organizations to seminars held on campus and across the world, The Mittal Institute is working to improve the lives of all people throughout the region and beyond.

Harvard University formally recognized the South Asia Initiative as an academic institute in 2013, signaling the university’s longstanding commitment to the region and the beginning of an exciting new era for South Asian studies at Harvard. The Mittal Institute now serves as the premier center on regional studies, cross-disciplinary research, and innovative programming, pertaining to South Asia.


  • Facilitate scholarly exchanges among Harvard faculty and students, international South Asia specialists, visiting academics, and public figures from South Asia.
  • Sponsor lectures and conferences at Harvard and in the region by distinguished academic, governmental, and business leaders whose work contributes to a better understanding of the challenges facing South Asia.
  • Support Harvard students with grants for language study, research, and internships in-region.
  • Bring knowledge from South Asia to Harvard by supporting faculty with grants for research.
  • Build a community of stakeholders committed to building scholarship on South Asia at Harvard and in-region.

Countries we work with:

Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and diaspora populations from these countries