The Mittal Institute’s 1947 Partition of British India project seeks to unravel the history behind one of the world’s largest forced migration events, allowing us to understand the implications of mass dislocations across geographies. Despite the amount of established historical and political scholarship on the Partition, there is still much to uncover through oral accounts from minority groups within India — specifically, from Muslim families who did not migrate to Pakistan.
Category : In Region
The Building Bharat-Boston Biosciences (B4) Program, run by the Mittal Institute and funded by the Department of Biotechnology within the Government of India, aims to connect the scientific institutions of India and Boston to collaborate, share research, and build new knowledge in the field of biosciences. As part of the program, the Mittal Institute brings five scientific fellows from India to Cambridge to work in labs with faculty mentors across Harvard University and other local institutions. This week, our five visiting B4 fellows and some of their mentors came together over a lunch hosted by the Mittal Institute with Professor Venkatesh Murthy, faculty lead of the B4 program and Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Harvard, to kick off the B4 fellowship.
Listen to our latest podcast featuring Gautama Vajracharya from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in a lecture on the ceremonial purposes of the lunar calendar, entitled “Newar Ritual Calendar — New Methodology, New Discovery.”
Applications are now being accepted for the next Crossroads Emerging Leaders Program! For the past few years, the Mittal Institute has teamed up with the Harvard Business School Club of the GCC to facilitate a multi-day program that brings university students from Africa, South Asia, Central Asia, and the Middle East to Dubai to learn from Harvard professors in an intensive, multidisciplinary classroom-based program. Now, the in-region program will be accepting applicants from Latin America, too! In addition to the in-person classes in Dubai, the newest installment of the Crossroads Program will also include curated online courses via a digital learning platform, providing applicants with online courses they can complete within a specific timeframe. These online courses will also be available to student applicants from the United States.
The rural community of Pind Begwal, Pakistan, lies just 20 miles from the capital city of Islamabad. But throughout the community, medical infrastructure remains limited, only assuaged by a small, dilapidated health center that suffers from regular doctor absenteeism. Last year, a team by the name of Saving 9 participated in the Mittal Institute’s Seed for Change competition, earning a grant to help launch their Community Aid and Response in Emergencies (CARE) project in Pind Begwal. In September 2018, the team launched the program, their goal to create a robust system that would provide emergency medical treatment to a community that has limited access to healthcare.
In 1979, an organization named Gram Vikas emerged in Odisha with the goal of supporting marginalized communities in India — from providing cleaner ways to access water and sanitation, to the construction of schools and renewable energy sources. Today, Gram Vikas is working on a project to revive a solar micro-grid in Maligaon that had broken down in 2013 after its power source became depleted. Without improvement of the micro-grid, electricity in the community is unstable, and blackouts can last months at a time. Eshaan Patheria, a Harvard College ’18 alumnus, joined the organization as an SBI Youth for India Fellow in 2018, and now oversees the micro-grid renewal project in Maligaon. In partnership with the local community, Patheria’s team is using modern technologies to improve quality of life throughout the district.
Over 80% of Nepal’s population identifies as Hindu — a religion that has been practiced in the nation for hundreds of years. Click play above to listen to our latest podcast featuring Axel Michaels from Heidelberg University in a fascinating lecture on Hindu ritual in Nepal, entitled “The Meaning of the Meaninglessness of Rituals.”
The Mittal Institute offers a variety of learning opportunities in South Asia for Harvard students through its grants program. Undergraduate and graduate students are invited to apply for research grants to support independent research and thesis field work. The Mittal Institute has partnered with over 50 organizations in South Asia to offer internships to Harvard students. Here are this year’s summer grant recipients.
The Mittal Institute has curated its latest publication that explores scientific developments in South Asia, bringing together papers written by Harvard faculty and conservators, as well as faculty and experts from across the US and South Asia. The publication is now available digitally and covers a vast array of topics, from healthcare in India to the new, sophisticated technology behind art conservation. You can access the Science & South Asia publication by clicking the button below.
Every 30 minutes, a farmer in India commits suicide. That haunting fact is the inspiration behind a new social enterprise and digital platform called Gramhal, which will streamline the work of smallholder farmers in India, while increasing their income. Co-founders Vikas Birhma, originally from a village in Northern India, and Pankaj Mahalle, from a small village in Central India, met and became friends at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai. “We both had lived experiences of agrarian hardships and poverty, which became a strong undercurrent of our friendship,” Birhma said.
In our first episode of our Art in South Asia podcast series, we sat down with Sneha Shrestha, the Mittal Institute’s Arts Program Manager, to learn more about the meaning behind her Nepali-inspired work, the most exciting art piece she’s ever worked on, and the Visiting Artist Fellowship, which brings artists from South Asia to the Mittal Institute to perform research and utilize Harvard’s resources.
Read our 2018-2019 Year In Review, now available digitally, to learn about the recent developments in the Mittal Institute’s programs, projects, research, events, and more!