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SAI Event Region : India

Reimagining India’s Health System: The Lancet Citizens’ Commission at Harvard

Mon, Feb 8, 2021 at 09:00am

Mon, Feb 8, 2021 at 10:15am


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9:00 AM–10:15 AM ET // 7:30–8:45 PM IST

The Lancet Citizens’ Commission on Reimagining India’s Health System is an ambitious, cross-sectoral initiative to lay out the path to universal health coverage in India. Its guiding principle is that structural change toward universal health coverage can only be achieved through consultative and participatory engagement with the diverse sectors involved in healthcare and, most importantly, with India’s citizenry.

This event aims to introduce the Commission to the Harvard community and invite students, researchers, faculty, and alumni to participate in the initiative. It will consist of a panel discussion featuring several of the Commission’s co-chairs and commissioners, who are leading voices from across India’s healthcare landscape. They will discuss the Commission’s five work streams (citizens’ engagement, financing, governance, human resources, and technology) and ways to get involved.

Those interested in participating in the Commission are encouraged to fill out this survey. For more on the Commission, please read the launch commentary in the Lancet and visit the Commission website.

  • Tarun Khanna, Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor, Harvard Business School; Director, The Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute, Harvard University
  • Yamini Aiyar, President and Chief Executive, Centre for Policy Research
  • Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Executive Chairperson, Biocon Ltd.
  • Poonam Muttreja, Executive Director, Population Foundation of India
  • Vikram Patel, The Pershing Square Professor of Global Health, Harvard Medical School; Professor, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; Co-founder, Sangath
  • Sharad Sharma, Co-founder, iSPIRT Foundation
  • S.V. Subramanian, Professor of Population Health and Geography, Harvard University
  • Rajani Ved, Former Executive Director, National Health Systems Resource Centre

This event is co-sponsored by the Harvard Club of India, the Harvard Club of Mumbai, the Harvard Business School Club of India, the Harvard Club of Bengaluru, The Harvard Business School India Research Center, and the Harvard T.H. Chan India Research Center.

Why Do Indians Shun Science?

Sat, Dec 19, 2020 at 08:00am

Sat, Dec 19, 2020 at 09:30am


8:00 AM ET // 6:30 PM IST
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It might be odd to aver that Indians shun science — in a country that is lauded as a fount of software engineering, has just touched the heavens with Mangalyaan, and will likely make most of the vaccines for the world.  But, the fact remains that India dramatically underinvests in science, to its detriment. Perhaps worse, we seem to eschew a scientific mindset to promote instead a variety of other modes of reasoning: parochial concerns, religious sentiment, and tradition.

While these have their place, in this talk Tarun Khanna, Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor at the Harvard Business School and Director of the Mittal Institute, will illustrate the costs of our apparent science-phobia by briefly discussing benefits of higher scientific literacy which we could tap into in three disparate Indian settings: the moribund market for jobs among youth, a polluted environment, and crumbling art and architectural heritage. To be clear, this is not a diatribe against the humanities and the social sciences, but rather it is an attempt to direct attention to a costly societal myopia. 


Tarun Khanna is the Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor at the Harvard Business School and Director of Harvard University’s Lakshmi Mittal & Family South Asia Institute. For over 25 years, he has studied entrepreneurship as a means of economic development. He currently teaches courses related to creativity in emerging economies. An online version, Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies, one of Harvard’s most popular, has been taken by ~600,000 students in over 200 countries. A recent book, Trust, and an earlier one, Billions of Entrepreneurs, chronicle creative ventures in China, India and beyond.

In 2007, he was nominated to be a Young Global Leader (under 40) by the World Economic Forum. In 2009, he was elected a Fellow of the Academy of International Business. In 2016, he was recognized by the Academy of Management as Eminent Scholar for Lifetime Achievement in the field of International Management. The Government of India appointed him to lead several national committees connected to entrepreneurship and higher education. In 2020, he was asked by The Lancet, the world’s leading medical journal, to co-chair a commission to re-imagine the future of India’s health system.

Outside Harvard, he serves on the boards of the Washington-based global power company, AES Corporation, the global adtech company and India’s first unicorn, InMobi, Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, PRS India, a non-profit dedicated to India’s parliamentary governance, is a cofounder of Axilor, a Bangalore-based incubator, and of several ventures across the developing world.

Reimagining India’s Health System: A Lancet Citizens’ Commission

Fri, Dec 11, 2020 at 06:30am

Fri, Dec 11, 2020 at 07:30am


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The Lancet Citizens’ Commission on Reimagining India’s Health System is an ambitious, cross-sectoral endeavor to lay out the roadmap to achieving universal health coveragefor the people of India. The Lancet is a leading international medical journal that has paved the way for medical reforms and global health discussions around the world.The Commission on Reimagining India’s Health System will be the first participatory report of its kind to be published by the journal.

A guiding principle for this Commission is that structural change towards UHC can only be attained through consultative and participatory engagement with the diverse sectors involved in healthcare and, most importantly, with India’s citizenry. The Commission has already brought together leaders from academia, the scientific community, civil society, and private healthcare to spearhead this effort. We now aim to go beyond the traditional boundaries of expertise to actively engage stakeholders whose voices have rarely been heard in previous reports: those who deliver healthcare and those who receive it. We envision our efforts be underpinned by a Citizens’ Commission, an unprecedented attempt to gather insights from across the country through grassroots surveys, public consultations, and online discussions.

The launch event on December 11th aims to formally announce the Lancet Citizens’ Commission to the public. It will consist of a panel discussion among three leading voices in healthcare, followed by a conversation among co-chairs, commissioners and the public on the Commission’s aim and the Indian health system more broadly.


  • Tarun Khanna, Director, Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute, Harvard University
  • Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Executive Chairperson, Biocon Ltd. 
  • Vikram Patel, Professor of Global Health, Harvard Medical School
  • Gagandeep Kang, Professor, Christian Medical College, Vellore


  • Pamela Das, Senior Executive Editor, The Lancet
  • K. Vijay Raghavan, Principal Scientific Advisor, GoI
  • Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist, WHO
  • V.K. Paul, Member, NITI Aayog

Models of Innovation: Education in South Asia

Wed, Nov 11, 2020 at 09:30am

Wed, Nov 11, 2020 at 10:30am

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In this interactive session, four organizations will showcase their innovative models of education delivery in times of the pandemic. These success stories, from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Pakistan, bring together learning from all corners of the region and illustrate how the shared challenge of quality and access can be mitigated through partnership, research, and resilience.

Emmerich Davies, Assistant Professor of Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Ayaz Aziz, Manager (Online Education), Bangladesh Youth Leadership Center
Nishant Pandey, CEO, American India Foundation
Rumee Singh, Founder, Katha4Nepal
Haroon Yasin, Co-founder and CEO, Taleemabad

Date: 11 November 2020
Time: 9:30–10:30a EST //8:00–9:00p IST // 7:30–8:30p PKT // 8:15–9:15p NPT // 8:30–9:30p BST

Book Talk: Rahul Mehrotra’s “Working in Mumbai”

Fri, Nov 13, 2020 at 01:30pm

Fri, Nov 13, 2020 at 02:30pm


Rahul Mehrotra will present his new book, Working in Mumbai, with panelists Eve Blau and Mark Lee.

Working in Mumbai is a critical reflection on thirty years of the practice of RMA Architects. Rahul Mehrotra weaves a narrative to connect his multiple engagements in architectural practice, including teaching, research, documenting, writing, and exhibiting since the establishment of the practice in 1990. The book is structured around the subjects of interior architecture, critical conservation, and work and living spaces that straddle the binaries of the global and the local as well as the rural and the urban.

While the book is a portfolio of the selected works of RMA Architects, the projects are curated so as to unravel and clarify the challenges faced by architects in India and in several parts of the “majority” world where issues related to rapid urbanization and the impacts of global capital are among the many that dispute conventional models of practice. Working in Mumbai is used emblematically to interrogate the notion of context and understand how the practice evolved through its association with the city of Bombay/Mumbai.

This Graduate School of Design (GSD) series offers the opportunity for faculty to discuss their recent publications, their research, or their thoughts on teaching. It serves as a forum in which faculty can share and discuss their research and projects while in process, in addition to finished publications. 

How to Join

Register to attend the next lecture here. Once you have registered, you will be provided with a link to join the lecture via Zoom. This link will also be emailed to you. If you have any questions regarding this event, contact

Anyone requiring accessibility accommodations should contact the events office at (617) 496-2414 or

This event is organized by the Frances Loeb Library and South Asia Institute.

Daastan è South Asia

Thu, Oct 8, 2020 at 01:00am

Thu, Oct 8, 2020 at 02:00am


This 60-minute presentation will showcase the range of work Harvard has been able to do in South Asia. It will focus the spotlight on efforts to drive public health communication and policy translation, influence management practice and capability building in education, and how leaders in South Asia are making a difference in the places where they live and work by adopting smart business models, leveraging technology, and using business as a force for good.

Using the visual storytelling medium, Dastaan è South Asia strings together stories from frontline workers, leaders in business, academia, government, our alumni, donors, and other stakeholders bringing to life the diversity, development challenges, and cultural context of the region. 

Time: 1:00a EST / 10:30a IST / 10:00a PKT / 11:00a BST 

Venue: Live on 24 hours of Harvard website 

This event is presented as part of “24 Hours of Harvard,” a special feature of Worldwide Week at Harvard 2020. It is co-sponsored by the Harvard Business School India Research Center, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health India Center, Harvard Business Publishing, and the Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute. 

Channels of Expression in Times of Change

Wed, Oct 7, 2020 at 01:00pm

Wed, Oct 7, 2020 at 02:00pm


Featuring music and dance across continents, this session sheds light on creative and expressive processes and celebrates the means of resilience they provide. Four units of Harvard University across continents will present dance expressions of ancient, modern, and contemporary understandings of:

  • Cosmic synergies encompassing both change and equilibrium in the cosmos (Asia)
  • Timeless truths on human emotion and experience to seek answers to contemporary questions (North America)
  • Human relations and their dynamics (Europe)
  • Universal connections between humanity and elements of nature (South America)

The presentation of these four dance performances will be followed by a conversation among the artists and special guests.

Opening remarks by Sanjay Kumar (The Mittal Institute, New Delhi), Helena Monteiro (DRCLAS Brazil), Evan Katsarelis (CHS Greece), and Zoie Lafis (CHS US, also the curator of this event)

Guest respondents: Panayotis League, Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology and Director of the Center for Music of the Americas, Florida State University

Time: 1:00p EDT / 10:30p IST / 2:00p BRT / 5:00p UTC / 8:00p EET 

Venue: Live on 24 hours of Harvard website 

This event is a collaboration between David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies (Brazil), The Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute, Center for Hellenic Studies, and Center for Hellenic Studies in Greece. It is presented as part of “24 Hours of Harvard,” a special feature of Worldwide Week at Harvard 2020

COVID and Telemedicine: Experience from China, India, and the U.S.

Wed, Oct 7, 2020 at 10:30pm

Wed, Oct 7, 2020 at 11:30pm


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COVID-19 has claimed many lives in the world. It has also caused catastrophic economic, social, and psychological costs that have far-reaching implications on human welfare. This session examines the effects of COVID-19 on the economy of China, the first country hit by COVID-19 and the first major economy that is gradually re-opening.

Hongqiao Fu, Assistant Professor in Health Economics and Policy in School of Public Health, Peking University
Ajay Nair, Co-founder, MeraDoctor
Atveev Mehrotra, Associate Professor of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School

Moderator: Winnie Chi-Man Yip, Professor of Global Health Policy and Economics, Harvard School of Public Health; Director, Harvard China Health Partnership; Interim Director, Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies.

Sponsored by Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies and Harvard China Health Partnership. Co-sponsored by the Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute and the Harvard University Asia Center. This panel discussion is presented as part of “24 Hours of Harvard,” a special feature of Worldwide Week at Harvard 2020.

This discussion will be streamed online. Check back soon for viewing information.

The Border Crisis and the Future of India-China Relations

Mon, Sep 28, 2020 at 11:00am

Mon, Sep 28, 2020 at 12:30pm


Register here to join the webinar.

Join Shivshankar Menon (Brookings), Tanvi Madan (Brookings), and Taylor Fravel (MIT) to discuss recent conflicts surrounding the border between China and India.

Chair: Vipin Narang, MIT

Shivshankar Menon is Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Institute of Chinese Studies, New Delhi, and a Distinguished Fellow of Brookings International. He has been a Richard Wilhelm Fellow at MIT and Fisher Family Fellow at Harvard. Menon was National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister of India from January 2010 to May 2014. Menon was previously Foreign Secretary of India from October 2006 to August 2009. He has served as Ambassador and High Commissioner of India to Israel (1995-7), Sri Lanka (1997-2000), China (2000-2003) and Pakistan (2003-2006). He was also a member of the Atomic Energy Commission, 2008-14.  A career diplomat, he served in China (thrice), in Japan, and in Austria in the Embassy and the Mission to the IAEA and UN. His professional experience included India’s relations with her neighbours, atomic energy and disarmament issues, and India’s relations with the major powers. 

Tanvi Madan is a senior fellow in the Project on International Order and Strategy in the Foreign Policy program, and director of The India Project at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC. Madan’s work explores India’s role in the world and its foreign policy, focusing in particular on India’s relations with China and the United States. She also researches the intersection between Indian energy policies and its foreign and security policies.

M. Taylor Fravel is the Arthur and Ruth Sloan Professor of Political Science and Director of the Security Studies Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Taylor studies international relations, with a focus on international security, China, and East Asia. His books include, Strong Borders, Secure Nation: Cooperation and Conflict in China’s Territorial Disputes, (Princeton University Press, 2008) and Active Defense: China’s Military Strategy Since 1949 (Princeton University Press, 2019). 

Please go to the Watson Center website to register for the webinar.

This seminar series is co-sponsored by the Watson Institute at Brown University, the MIT Center for International Studies, the Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute, and the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University.

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Rediscovering Partition from New Perspectives

Tue, Sep 1, 2020 at 10:00am

Tue, Sep 1, 2020 at 11:30am


Partition Webinar Poster
10:00 AM EDT  |  3:00 PM BST  |  7:00 PM PKT  |  7:30 PM IST
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The impact of the 1947 Partition still ripples throughout South Asia, 73 years later. However, our knowledge of this historic event is constantly being reevaluated by academics and researchers who have continued to illuminate the details of what occurred. This panel will explore how new research efforts help us understand the full depth of the history and legacy of Partition.


  • Jennifer Leaning, Professor of the Practice of Health and Human Rights, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health


  • Ian Talbot, Professor of History and Director of the Centre for Imperial and Post-Colonial Studies, University of Southampton
  • Yaqoob Bangash, Assistant Professor, Information Technology University, Lahore

Registration not required. This event is co-sponsored by the Harvard Club of India and the Harvard Club of Pakistan.

Maintaining Peace in China-India Relations: Discussion and Book Launch

Thu, Sep 3, 2020 at 08:30am

Thu, Sep 3, 2020 at 09:30am


The China-India relationship is one of the keys to international security, the future of Asia, and the well-being of nearly 3 billion people. Since early May 2020, border tensions between the two powers have underlined the potential for conflict. In 2017, their armies faced off for 73 days. At the same time, they have built a system of engagement designed to manage conflict and their larger rivalry. Their leaders meet regularly, they hold talks on the border quarrel, they have a series of confidence building measures, and they trade and invest with each other. They also cooperate multilaterally.

What are the drivers of the relationship? How can they manage conflict and rivalry? Are there cooperative steps forward, now and looking ahead? Two years ago, the Centre on Asia and Globalization in the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore, set out to answer these and other vital questions by working with Routledge UK to produce the Routledge Handbook of China-India Relations. The book was published earlier this year. It assembled experts from China, India, Singapore, other parts of Asia, Australia, Brazil, Europe, and the United States and has 35 chapters on a range of China-India issues.

The Future of Higher Education

Fri, Aug 7, 2020 at 08:00am

Fri, Aug 7, 2020

What does the future of internationalization in higher education look like after the global pandemic? Trends in higher education have for a long time pointed toward ever greater internationalization of student enrollments, teaching staff, curricular content, and research networks. The general consensus is that this has been for the good: young people enjoy richer learning opportunities and institutions are stronger and more diverse. Moreover, internationalization has accelerated the advancement of scholarship in every field and discipline, leading most surveys of higher education to rely on some measure of “globalization” in determining their rankings.

Today, however, the future of international higher education suddenly seems much less certain. By forcing a halt to nearly all international travel, the pandemic has interrupted the normal movement of people within and between the world’s universities, isolating us from one another in unprecedented ways. Even before the emergence of the SARS-CoV2 virus, resurgent nationalism and xenophobia around the world were already leading some to question the value of a globalized system of higher education, and of globalization more generally. 

Dr. Mark C. Elliott, Vice Provost for International Affairs at Harvard University will discuss how the twin forces of the COVID-19 pandemic and politics has and will impact the future of international higher education.