By Pranati Parikh. This summer, I participated in the Sanskrit program in Pune, Maharashtra, offered by the American Institute of Indian Studies. It surprised no one, I think, that I spent approximately ten weeks of my summer in India — a country to which I owe my cultural and religious heritage, a country which is home to people who look like me, who use similar blends of spices in their daily cooking, and from whose mouths spills a cadence of speech that echoes my own family. India is as familiar to me as my mother’s hands. And, yet, this summer was a glimpse into a new India. It was a time for appreciating granularities in a familiar topography, and finding it splendidly unfamiliar at every step, yet, in the end, discovering a place for myself.
Category : In Region
Bangladesh is growing rapidly — both in population size and its economy. Its rich and complex history continues to guide its growth and development today, creating a thriving mix of cultures and ideals. We spoke with Gary Bass — a keynote speaker at our upcoming Bangladesh Rising conference, Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University, and author of The Blood Telegram: Nixon, Kissinger, and a Forgotten Genocide — to learn his perspective on the current state of Bangladesh’s politics, economics, and humanitarian efforts.
Until recently, Jhabua — a district in the western part of Madhya Pradesh — was largely a tribal area. But despite its recent development, village communities in the area still lack access to basic resources, such as education, proper nutrition, and clean drinking water. In these communities, excess fluoride in the water has caused skeletal and dental fluorosis, which, at their most severe, can result in stunted, abnormal growth, and damaged joints and bones.
Looking to fund your research, internship, or language study in South Asia this winter? Applications to our graduate and undergraduate grants are open for Winter 2019! Be sure to apply by Friday, October 11, 2019 at 11:59 PM.
Bangladesh has a complicated history, existing under many names and empires — sometimes independently, other times as a colony or kingdom. Its borders have been drawn and redrawn extensively over the past 4,000 years. At different points in its history, this small section of South Asia repelled Greek invaders, housed a series of Indian dynasties, was conquered by an Islamic empire, supported multiple Hindu kingdoms, was colonized by Europe, and regained its independence as a modern nation.
India’s National Digital Health Blueprint (NDHB) illustrates yet another example of the Government of India moving forward with a major health digitization program that will affect millions of citizens. However, data researchers, academics, and activists have expressed some concerns about the development of this policy, bringing up fears of security breaches and privacy controls.
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.
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.