Select Page

Category : Students


Electrifying Rural India with Solar Energy

Electrifying Rural India with Solar Energy

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.

2019 Student Summer Grants

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.

Gramhal: Breaking the Cycle of Debt for India’s Farmers

Gramhal: Breaking the Cycle of Debt for India’s Farmers

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.

Meet: Rebuilding Trust in India’s Job Market

Meet: Rebuilding Trust in India’s Job Market

“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.

Transforming Mumbai’s Indigenous Settlement Infrastructure

Transforming Mumbai’s Indigenous Settlement Infrastructure

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.

Riskboard: Using Tech and Social Media to Protect Human Rights

Riskboard: Using Tech and Social Media to Protect Human Rights

Each year, the Mittal Institute’s Seed for Change competition invites Harvard students to propose projects that can positively impact societal, economic, or environmental issues in India and Pakistan, helping to develop innovation and entrepreneurship in the two countries. This year, a close competition provided grants to one winning team and two runners-up to develop their projects. Riskboard, a runner-up, is an app in development by four Harvard students that will harness online data via social media and open source media data sites to monitor political risk and human rights abuses in India.

Ashoka University Builds Up Liberal Arts in India

Ashoka University Builds Up Liberal Arts in India

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.

1 2 3 4 5 19