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How (and Why) to Create an Interdisciplinary Classroom

How (and Why) to Create an Interdisciplinary Classroom

For many years, a group of faculty members at Harvard — Tarun Khanna (HBS), Satchit Balsari (HMS), Rahul Mehrotra (GSD), Krzysztof Gajos (SEAS), and Doris Sommer (FAS) — have taught a GenEd course, entitled “Contemporary Developing Countries: Entrepreneurial Solutions to Intractable Problems.” The course, initially created by Professor Khanna with the support of the Mittal Institute, covers case studies from emerging markets across Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Each year, about 100 students enroll in the course from a variety of backgrounds, including undergraduate and graduate students — from sophomores at Harvard College to budding surgeons at Harvard Medical School.

Evaluating the Prevalence of COVID-19 in India

Evaluating the Prevalence of COVID-19 in India

Recently, a discussion moderated by Richard Cash, Senior Lecturer on Global Health at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, brought together Satchit Balsari, Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and Manoj Mohanan, Associate Professor of Public Policy, Economics, and Global Health at Duke University, to discuss “A Class Apart: COVID-19 Seroprevalence in India.” Together, they explored the findings and implications of a recent seroprevalence survey (the number of individuals in a population who test positive for a specific disease based on serology specimens) conducted by Professor Mohanan’s team in India.

Video: Models of Innovation: Education in South Asia

Video: Models of Innovation: Education in South Asia

Emmerich Davies, Assistant Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, recently moderated a discussion with panelists Ayaz Aziz (Manager, Online Education, Bangladesh Youth Leadership Center), Nishant Pandey (CEO, American India Foundation), Rumee Singh (Founder, Katha4Nepal), and Haroon Yasin (Co-founder and CEO, Orenda) as they showcased their innovative models of education delivery in times of the pandemic.

How Has COVID-19 Impacted Mental Health in India, China, and the US?

How Has COVID-19 Impacted Mental Health in India, China, and the US?

This past week, a panel of experts came together to explore the impact of COVID-19 on mental health and how India, China, and the United States are responding to it. The discussion was moderated by Arthur Kleinman, Professor of Medical Anthropology at Harvard Medical School, and hosted by Winnie Yip, Professor of Global Health Policy and Economics at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Acting Director of the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies.

Unpacking Binaries in the Art of South Asia

Unpacking Binaries in the Art of South Asia

In partnership with Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts (MFA), the Mittal Institute recently hosted a webinar that delved into the history of art in South Asia. Presented by Laura Weinstein, the Ananda Coomaraswamy Curator of South Asian and Islamic Art at the MFA, she discussed with Jinah Kim, George P. Bickford Professor of Indian and South Asian Art at Harvard University, a new publication from the MFA that explores its South Asian collection, while critiquing the binaries based in Western Enlightenment thought that have historically been applied to art from India and its neighbors.

Hands-on STEM Education with the Soft Robotics Toolkit

Hands-on STEM Education with the Soft Robotics Toolkit

The education system in India relies heavily on traditional ways of teaching. However, evidence suggests that active, exploratory learning rather than traditional knowledge–sharing has a more constructive impact on academic performance, creating more motivation and ongoing interest in the subject as it puts the student in direct contact with the learning materials. The Soft Robotic Toolkit, part of the Mittal Institute’s Multidisciplinary Approach to Innovative Social Enterprises supported by Tata Trusts, uses active, hands-on pedagogy to provide cutting edge, high-quality STEM learning.

A History of Urbanism and Architecture in Afghanistan

A History of Urbanism and Architecture in Afghanistan

Our recent seminar series, “Extreme Urbanism: A View on Afghanistan,” explored the urban issues of Afghanistan along the border of Tajikistan to provide a broader conversation on the nation’s architecture and urbanism, presented by Rahul Mehrotra, Professor of Urban Design and Planning at Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD), and Charlotte Malterre-Barthes, Assistant Professor of Urban Design at the GSD.

Partition’s Legacy: South Asian Art on the Line

Partition’s Legacy: South Asian Art on the Line

Recently, the Mittal Institute teamed up with the Peabody Essex Museum for a discussion on “Partition’s Legacy: South Asian Art on the Line.” Post-independent South Asia is depicted in many forms, with the intent to make sense of its complexities. After the Partition of the subcontinent along the Radcliffe Line, the socio-political ruptures and conflicts that ensued created numerous questions.

Re-envisioning Education in India and Nepal During the Pandemic

Re-envisioning Education in India and Nepal During the Pandemic

Education has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic as a record number of children are not attending schools due to lockdowns and social-distancing protocols in effect across the world. The crisis has also laid bare the many inequities and inadequacies in the existing education systems around the world, and especially in South Asia. We spoke with Nishant Pandey, the CEO of American India Foundation (AIF), and Rumee Singh, the Founder of Katha4Nepal — two distinguished organizations that have accomplished remarkable work in the field of education delivery during the pandemic.

Vidya Subramanian: From Citizen to Consumer in a Data-Driven Society

Vidya Subramanian: From Citizen to Consumer in a Data-Driven Society

This time of the year, we would normally be welcoming the new Mittal Institute Raghunathan Family Fellow to Harvard’s campus in Cambridge. But, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the fellowship has been adjusted to meet the needs of our newly selected Fellow. Vidya Subramanian, an interdisciplinary scholar whose research interests lie at the intersection of technologies and societies, joined us virtually this fall as a Mittal Institute Research Affiliate. She will defer her in-person fellowship term to a time when she can join the team on campus to make the most of Harvard’s intellectual resources and student and faculty interactions.

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