Each year, the Mittal Institute’s Seed for Change (SFC) competition for Harvard students aims to develop a vibrant ecosystem for innovation and entrepreneurship in India and Pakistan. Grant prizes are awarded to interdisciplinary student projects that positively impact societal, economic, and environmental issues in India and Pakistan. As a result of COVID-19, we have all had to make adjustments to our daily lives, and Harvard students are continuing to learn in new and creative ways. In light of this, the Mittal Institute recently offered SFC Exploratory Grants to students who are currently working on ideas or a project that addresses intractable problems in India and Pakistan.
Category : India
By Divya Saraf. This past summer, with COVID-19 restrictions in place, I utilized the research grant awarded to me by the Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute to investigate the postcolonial effects of the so-called “Company Painting” style, which was developed in the Indian subcontinent over the 18th and 19th centuries under the “patronage” of the British East India Company. The paintings were a result of British attempts to survey, record, and display Indian culture for British citizens, and the paintings have been instrumental in shaping public perceptions of India abroad.
We spoke with Raile Rocky Ziipao, a multidisciplinary researcher, development practitioner, and former Raghunathan Family Fellow at the Mittal Institute. He is currently tenured at the Central University of Punjab, and has recently published a book entitled “Infrastructure of Injustice: State and Politics in Manipur and Northeast India.” Raile’s research delves into the dynamics of infrastructural development in northeast India, especially in his home state of Manipur, from a socio-anthropological perspective.
The China-India relationship is one of the keys to international security, the future of Asia, and the well-being of nearly 3 billion people, and recent border tensions between the two powers perpetuate the potential for conflict. But while these small clashes continue, the two countries have also built a system of cooperation to manage their conflict and larger rivalry. We spoke with Professor Miller to learn more about the China-India relationship, the opportunities to manage conflict, and the steps forward.
On August 15, Prime Minister Modi will announce India’s National Digital Health Mission — underpinned by the Personal Health Record design that was proposed by India Digital Health Network (IDHN) collaborators at a Radcliffe Seminar in 2016. IDHN is a Harvard-wide research and policy collaborative that works with public and private sector partners in India to advance meaningful health data exchange with the intent to improve clinical care and population health.
Recently, the internationalization of higher education has been deeply impacted by the twin forces of the COVID-19 pandemic and international politics. While resurgent nationalism and xenophobia around the world had already cast doubts on the importance of a globalized system of higher education, the pandemic has only added to the conundrum by imposing restrictions to the normal movement of people within and between the world’s universities.
By Raile Rocky Ziipao. In the light of the Indo-China face-off in Ladakh that led to the deaths of 20 Indian soldiers along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) at Galwan Valley, there is now an acute urgency to focus on border infrastructure. From a policy perspective, India needs an infrastructural revolution at its borders for national security, to fortify against external threats, to bring connectivity to unconnected territory, and to maintain peace and prosperity.
The Mittal Institute’s recent panel webinar, “Swaraj: Dadabhai Naoroji and the Birth of Indian Nationalism,” was moderated by Sven Beckert, Laird Bell Professor of History at Harvard University, in discussion with Dinyar Patel, Assistant Professor at S.P. Jain Institute of Management and Research.
“There is nothing as epochal as the cataclysmic event that was visited upon the people of South Asia when decolonization occurred and the British withdrew during the dismantling of the British empire. That forced event — that trauma — continues to shape the lives of two billion of the world’s seven billion people today,” says Professor Tarun Khanna, Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor at the Harvard Business School and Director of the Mittal Institute. Despite the abundant historical and political scholarship on the Partition of British India in 1947, there are still gaps in our understanding of the event — and the Mittal Institute’s research team set out to change that.
Suhasini Kejriwal, a mixed media artist from India, joined the Mittal Institute earlier this Spring in our latest group of Visiting Artist Fellows. Through photography, paintings, embroidery, and more, Suhasini’s practice acts as witness to the lived experiences of those whom she observes, living out their lives in the busy streets of India’s urban landscapes.
This past winter break, with the support of the Mittal Institute, my classmate Jay and I ventured on a three-week journey through India. We hopped on a 16-hour flight from JFK to Mumbai the night after our last final, excited to hit the ground running. I couldn’t have imagined how enriching and fun our adventure would turn out to be. We were traveling to South Asia to meet with engineers, clinicians, and entrepreneurs to discuss medical technology innovation.
Recently, Dr. Tarun Khanna, Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor at the Harvard Business School and the Director of the Mittal Institute, addressed an online audience of more than 15,000 youth at the South Asia Youth Resilience Summit organized by Bangladesh Youth Leadership Center (BYLC).