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Powering the Personal Health Record: Catalysts and Barriers in India

Powering the Personal Health Record: Catalysts and Barriers in India

On April 3rd, the India Digital Health Net (IDHN), a multidisciplinary research and development initiative established to support an Application Programming Interface-enabled (API) federated health data architecture in India, convened a workshop in New Delhi to learn from the several initiatives across the country that are building components of what may ultimately become India’s health tech grid.  The workshop was organized with support from the Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute and the Asia Center. Dr. Satchit Balsari (Harvard Medical School and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health) and Professor Tarun Khanna (Harvard Business School) served as co-chairs of the event.

5 Ways to Promote Scientific Advancement in India

5 Ways to Promote Scientific Advancement in India

Are we doing enough to promote science in India? Do we understand its link to the economy? And what needs to be done to promote learning and collaboration in India?

These were some of the questions we set out to answer during our first-ever Annual India Symposium, “Science & Society,” in New Delhi on April 4, 2019. We brought together five panel sessions containing Indian and foreign scientists, government representatives, and industry leaders to discuss, debate, and brainstorm ideas that can advance scientific learning and understanding in India.

In South Asia, Who Is the Ideal Educated Girl?

In South Asia, Who Is the Ideal Educated Girl?

In Pakistan and India, the figure of the “educated girl” has emerged over the past few decades, linked to the countries’ politics, educational reform, and campaigns for development. But what is the true meaning behind this idealized figure of Muslim women and girls?

Shenila Khoja-Moolji is an Assistant Professor of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at Bowdoin College, where she examines the relationships between race, gender, religion, and power across nations and with particular attention to Muslim populations. She recently authored the book Forging the Ideal Educated Girl: The Production of Desirable Subjects in Muslim South Asia, where she takes an in-depth exploration of her research into the history and culture surrounding the figure of the “educated girl” in postcolonial Pakistan and colonial India.

Understanding Meritocracy in India and China

Understanding Meritocracy in India and China

On April 5, 2019, Professor Tarun Khanna, Director of the Mittal Institute and Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor at Harvard Business School, traveled to Ashoka University to give a talk to students on meritocracy in India and China.

“I spent an energizing April morning with students and faculty at Ashoka University, one of India’s newer liberal arts universities a couple hours outside of New Delhi. Our conversation unfolded very much like a Gen.Ed class discourse does at Harvard,” Professor Khanna said.

How Can We Solve India’s Scientific Challenges?

How Can We Solve India’s Scientific Challenges?

In the build-up to our Annual India Symposium on April 4, 2019 in New Delhi, the Mittal Institute organized four brainstorming sessions to bring together academics and industry leaders to discuss some of the scientific and technological issues India faces, and the potential solutions to these problems. Four group of experts, who will compose four of the panels at the Annual India Symposium, huddled together to discuss topics related to agricultural advancement, the life sciences, STEM education, and digital health.

Exploring the Centuries-Old Ruins of Bangladesh

Exploring the Centuries-Old Ruins of Bangladesh

Though it might have been the jetlag, my recent field trip to the Paharpur World Heritage and archaeological site in Naogaon District in northern Bangladesh did not feel like my first visit. As a second-year graduate student in the department of History of Art and Architecture, I had written a seminar paper on the vast Buddhist monastery last fall for a class on esoteric Buddhist art and had spent days hunched over site plans, maps, and photographs of the ninth-century complex.

Students and Teachers Take on Robots in India

Students and Teachers Take on Robots in India

The Toolkit team develops low-cost Toolkits that can be used in underserved classrooms in India, their ultimate goal to educate students in cutting-edge soft robotics research through hands-on, cognitive learning. After years of development in the US, the team took its first step in India this week and conducted its first workshop in Delhi with a group of educators and students.

How to Build Bridges Between Scientific Communities: Dr. Suresh Subramani

How to Build Bridges Between Scientific Communities: Dr. Suresh Subramani

We caught up with Dr. Suresh Subramani, Professor of Molecular Biology at the University of California, San Diego and Global Director of the Tata Institute of Genetics and Society, to talk about the need to promote scientific literacy in India and the future of collaboration between India- and US-based scientific organizations. At the Symposium, he will be part of the panel entitled Technological Advancements in Agriculture.

In Pakistan, Life and Society Become Art

In Pakistan, Life and Society Become Art

“I was born in a very literary family full of artists, poets, and writers. The art was in the blood, and then my uncle, who is also a visual artist internationally recognized, so he basically channeled my interest into visual arts. Since then I have been involved in visual arts,” says Mahbub Jokhio, one of the Mittal Institute’s newest Visiting Artist Fellows for Spring 2019.

Robots in Classrooms? Next Stop, India

Robots in Classrooms? Next Stop, India

We recently sat down with Dmitry Popov and Ankur Goel, two members of the Soft Robotics Toolkit team at Harvard. This project — currently in the research, development, and testing phase — will become a comprehensive resource that teaches students how to design, fabricate, model, and test their own soft robotic devices.

Navigating the Gray Area Between Ethics and Genetics

Navigating the Gray Area Between Ethics and Genetics

Does the issue of ethics apply to all areas of genetics research? The news is constantly filled with stories questioning the authority of scientists to make decisions about human gene-editing and the future of the human race — but there’s more to genetics research than changing someone’s eye color or other physical predispositions. Genetics research opens the door to profound advancements in food security and public health, the management of which will become crucial in the years to come. 

Music Tells a Story of Uprising and Grief in Northeast India

Music Tells a Story of Uprising and Grief in Northeast India

The landlocked, extreme northeastern region of India is connected to the rest of the nation via a corridor of land between Bangladesh and Myanmar. In the 1960s, its tribal community rose in an insurgency against the Government of India, with songs their call-to-arms. Mittal Institute Raghunathan Family Fellow Roluahpuia explains how.

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