Mahesh Rangarajan, Professor, Delhi University; Director of the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library
Chair: Ajantha Subramanian, Professor, Social Anthropology Program, Harvard University
Cosponsored with the Political Anthropology Working Group
Mahesh Rangarajan is a researcher, author and historian with a special interest in environmental history and colonial history of British India. He appears frequently on Indian television as a political analyst. He is also a columnist in the print media writing on wildlife conservation, political and environmental issues. In 2010, he led the Elephant task force (Gajah) of the Indian Ministry of Environment and Forests. The task force was formed to formulate measures for the protection of elephants in India. He has written several books and articles on politics and history of wildlife conservation, forest rights and environmental history. In the book, Battles over Nature, he analyses present-day conservation conflicts and finds their roots in India’s colonial past and in the governance system that was adopted as an independent nation state.
M. V. Ramana, Nuclear Futures Laboratory & Program on Science and Global Security, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs Princeton University
Chair: Matthew Bunn,Professor of the Practice of Public Policy, Co-Principal Investigator, Project on Managing the Atom, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School
Nuclear power has been held out as possibly the most important source of energy for India. And the dream of a nuclear-powered India has been supported by huge financial budgets and high-level political commitment for over six decades. Nuclear power has also been presented as safe, environmentally benign and cheap. In his book, The Power of Promise, Dr. M.V. Ramana makes a historically nuanced and compelling argument as to why the nuclear energy program in India has failed in the past and why its future is dubious.
Varun Rai, Assistant Professor of Public Affairs, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty Fellow, Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy (CIEEP), University of Texas at Austin
Discussant: Laura Diaz Anadon, Assistant Professor of Public Policy, Co-Faculty Chair, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group, Associate Director, Science, Technology and Public Policy program, Member of the Board, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School
Chair: Tarun Khanna, Director, South Asia Institute; Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor, Harvard Business School
Dr. Varun Rai is an Assistant Professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs and in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, where he directs the Energy Systems Transformation Research Group. His principal research interests are in innovation and diffusion of energy technologies; energy and development; and climate change policy. He is a Faculty Affiliate at UT Austin’s Energy Institute and at the Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy. Dr. Rai received his Ph.D. and MS in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University with specialization in energy systems and technologies and a bachelor’s degree from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur.
Water as a Platform for Development: A Student Panel from a Summer in Pakistan
Chair: John Briscoe, Gordon McKay Professor of the Practice of Environmental Engineering Harvard University
Harvard Student Panelists: Laila Kasuri, Anjali Lohani, Erum Khalid Sattar, and Hassaan Yousuf
The Future of Water Security in the Indus River Basin: Risks and Opportunities
Casey Brown, Assistant Professor, College of Engineering, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Chair: John Briscoe, Professor of the Practice of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health; Gordon McKay Professor of the Practice of Environmental Engineering, Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Co-sponsored with the Harvard University Center for the Environment
The future of Pakistan is closely tied to the future of the Indus River. Pakistan relies on the largest contiguous irrigation system in the world, the Indus Basin Irrigation System (IBIS) for its basic food security and water supply for all sectors of the economy. The agriculture sector supported by this system plays a critical role in the national economy and livelihoods of rural communities. Water security is thus critical to the future of Pakistan. The Indus basin, like other complex river basins, faces a common set of institutional and policy challenges, including international treaty tensions over upstream development, sectoral conflicts across water, agriculture, environment, climate, and energy agencies at the national level, low water productivity in agriculture, and inter-provincial water competition. Amid this context the basin faces a variable and potentially changing climate. The study uses a variety of methods to assess plausible futures for the Indus and Pakistan’s hydro-economy. This study will present a hydro-economic model of the Indus River within Pakistan that simulates river and canal flows, water use and economic activities with a distributed, partial equilibrium model of the local scale agro-economic activities in the basin. Results suggest that the current governance mechanisms have significant effects on the provinces’ ability to adapt to changing climate conditions, inflicting different economic costs under both high and low flow conditions. Alternatively, a governance mechanism that prioritizes national scale water productivity over provincial and scale water allocation largely mitigates the effect of possible climate changes. Tradeoffs between the competing national and provincial scale are explored in the context of water governance mechanisms that facilitate adaptation to a changing climate.
Join Venkatesh Murthy, Professor of Molecular & Cellular Biology, Harvard University, Pawan Sinha,Professor of Vision & Computational Neuroscience, MIT, and speakers from industry, government and business for a day long conference on the landscape of neuroscience, as part of this summer’s Resonance Knowledge Exchange platform on focused on building research and business for the advancement of neuroscience.
Made possible through a collaboration between MIT, Harvard, and IIT Delhi, the goal of this initiative is to introduce talented Indian students to the exciting gamut of brain science. 25 highly talented students from across India have been chosen following a highly competitive selection process to participate in a two-week immersion workshop that will allow them to explore some of the most exciting research topics in neuroscience.
Water Diplomacy in South Asia: Managing the Science, Policy and Politics of Water Networks through Negotiation
Shafiqul Islam, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, School of Engineering; Professor of Water Diplomacy, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy Bernard M. Gordon, Senior Faculty Fellow in Engineering; Tufts University Chaired by John Briscoe, Professor of the Practice of Environmental Health, HSPH; Gordon McKay Professor of the Practice of Environmental Engineering, SEAS
Indus River Basin Research: Emerging Challenges and Directions
James Wescoat, Aga Khan Professor of Architecture, MIT Chaired by John Briscoe, Professor of the Practice of Environmental Health, HSPH; Gordon McKay Professor of the Practice of Environmental Engineering, SEAS