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Graduate Student Associates

Every year, the Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute, Harvard University supports Graduate Student Associates (GSAs) from across the different schools at Harvard who conduct research focused on South Asia. This program aims to support graduate and Ph.D. students at Harvard. The program is centered on the interdisciplinary exchange of ideas.

Due to COVID-19, we unfortunately cannot provide desk space or funding for the Fall semester for in-person events. GSA meetings will be adapted to a virtual format.

Activities for the Year

  • GSAs participate in a monthly (virtual) workshop organized by the Mittal Institute in which they present their research to one another in rotation and receive feedback from the group
  • Present at the Mittal Institute’s Faculty Cabinet meeting as feasible and receive feedback from the group
  • Organize an annual conference open to all and present themes from your research to a larger audience


The Mittal Institute provides:

  • Desk space in a shared office for either one semester and/or an academic year which includes shared access to printers and other office amenities (which may include computer monitor, keyboard, and mouse, as available)
  • Financial support for research activities and workshops with application and approval
  • Opportunity to attend closed MI events, which may include events and socials with visiting scholars, and informal tea or lunch gatherings
  • Upon request, introduction to MI’s network of institutions and faculty and opportunities to connect with in-region staff and faculty
  • The opportunity to be profiled and have research showcased in the MI newsletter and website


Application Deadline: Friday, February 12, 2021 at 11:59 PM ET

South Asia Reading Group (SARG)

The South Asia Reading Group (SARG) is a workshop for students (and other scholars) who study South Asia in the social sciences. SARG provides a venue for students to present works in progress — from dissertation chapters and job market papers to early-stage research designs — and receive feedback from an interdisciplinary community of social scientists in the Boston area.

Please note: SARG is on hiatus in Fall 2020. To join the email list, write to

SARG is an independent group that the Mittal Institute supports within the GSA program. The Mittal Institute works in partnership with SARG to reach and support the largest number of graduate students in the Boston area. Although the Mittal Institute supports SARG meetings, and SARG members may also be Mittal Institute GSAs, the GSA program benefits are exclusive to accepted members.

Current GSAs

Aidan Milliff

Graduate Student Associate, 2021-2022

Akshay Dixit

Graduate Student Associate, 2021-2022

Bennett Comerford

Graduate Student Associate, 2021–2022

Blair Read

Graduate Student Associate, 2021-2022

Hansong Li

Graduate Student Associate, 2021–2022

Ronak Jain

Graduate Student Associate, 2021–2022

Tianjia (Tina) Liu

Graduate Student Associate, 2021–2022

Past GSAs

Soledad Prillaman

Graduate Student Associate, 2016-2017

Asad Liaqat

Graduate Student Associate, 2016-2017

Hardeep Dhillon

Graduate Student Associate, 2016-2017

Gregory Clines

Graduate Student Associate, 2016-2017

Amiya Bhatia

Graduate Student Associate, 2016-2017

Mou Banerjee

PhD Candidate, Department of History, Harvard University
Research focus: Indian intellectuals’ encounters with Christianity in the nineteenth century

Rosanna Picascia

PhD candidate in the Study of Religion focusing on South Asian philosophy of religion

Mircea Raianu

PhD Candidate, Dept. of History, Harvard University

Sarika Gupta

PhD candidate, Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School

Priyasha Saksena

SJD Candidate, Harvard Law School