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.”
Category : Faculty
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.
“The pathway from education to employment for Indian youth is, simply put, failing them,” says Vish Srivastava, co-founder of India’s newest employment app, Meet. Alongside co-founder Ankit Chugh, the two have built a platform to address the difficulties that India’s job market presents, with 30% of Indians aged 15-29 either unemployed or not enrolled in an educational institution or skills training program.
Over the Spring semester, Professor Rahul Mehrotra of the Harvard Graduate School of Design challenged his students in an Option Studio to examine the sanitation infrastructure of Mumbai. They were given one ultimate goal: to build a wide-ranging strategy that would upgrade the indigenous settlements of the Koli or fishing community and integrate them into the broader urban system through sanitation infrastructure.
Last week, the Mittal Institute held its Annual Cambridge Symposium, welcoming supporters and Harvard faculty to a series of discussions on the Mittal Institute’s and Harvard’s scholarship on science and technology, health, arts, and education in South Asia. With a lively group and a full roster of experts to speak on each topic, the group explored everything from robotics to art conservation in the South Asian region.
Currently in its third year, the Mittal Institute’s Nepal Studies Program — led by Professor Michael Witzel, Wales Professor of Sanskrit at Harvard — continues its work engaging with scholars and practitioners in both Cambridge and Nepal. With each year of the program focusing on a different topic and led by a different faculty member, Witzel has journeyed into an exploration of Hinduism in Nepal and the important role of rituals, from the Vedic period to modern times.
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.
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.
Last week, WGBH News Senior Investigative Reporter Phillip Martin led a panel discussion in his series “Caste in America,” speaking with Mittal Institute Director Tarun Khanna, alongside Suraj Yengde, Laurence Simon, Kavita Pillay, and Swami Venkataraman, about the role of caste in the United States. Martin’s series “explores the discrimination Indian immigrants face in the United States as a result of this ancient hierarchical system of human classification,” with this particular segment evolving to encompass a study of caste in general, touching on its impact in other countries and its relationship to race.
Each year, Asia Week New York gathers the world’s best auction houses, museums, and Asian art specialists for a weeklong event celebrating the importance of Asian art and drawing a crowd of collectors and curators from all over the globe. This year, Professor Jinah Kim — Gardner Cowles Associate Professor of History of Art and Architecture at Harvard University — and Dr. Katherine Eremin — Patricia Cornwell Senior Conservation Scientist at the Harvard Art Museums — teamed up with Christie’s to give a talk at the event, delving into their work with the color and pigments used in Indian paintings and the science behind conservation and restoration as part of the Mittal Institute’s Arts Program.
Dr. Dominic Mao, originally from Manipur, Imphal — a state in the extreme northeastern region of India — recently set out to create a program there to engage high school students and college-level teaching assistants in a Western-style educational format. He teamed up with three Harvard undergraduates and one alum to make it happen.
Last week, Dr. Pratap Bhanu Mehta — Vice Chancellor of Ashoka University in India — visited the Mittal Institute for an informal lunch with faculty and doctoral students. At the lunch, Dr. Mehta discussed the creation of Ashoka University, its commitment to the liberal arts, and the plans for its future.