March 16, 2018
The new Lakshmi Mittal South Asia Institute HQ marks a new era of Harvard faculty and students directly engaging with the region, gaining invaluable insights and experience by committing time and resources in South Asia. Throughout 2018, leading scholars from South Asia-related fields are delivering a series of free public lectures in Delhi.
SAI is pleased to announce our 2018 Visiting Artists, who will be at Harvard from mid-March to mid-May. During their time at Harvard, the artists will display their work on campus, meet with students, attend courses, and give public seminars.
SAI Fellow Raile Rocky Ziipao discusses the origins and urgency of his research in Northeast India: "For our movement to be more than reactionary, we need to produce knowledge. For too long, dominant societies have put us within their framework. I contribute towards the collective by publishing in my area of expertise — Tribes and infrastructure development in conflict areas."
Authors Assa Doron and Robin Jeffrey recently published their book, Waste of a Nation: Garbage and Growth in India, this month through Harvard University Press. In this interview, they note: "If India can make big strides in creating a more hygienic and sustainable environment, it will demonstrate that significant changes in people’s behavior and attitudes are possible. It will also emphasize the sorts of technologies and incentives for success."
Rohit Chandra, a doctoral student at the Harvard Kennedy School, reports in on the economic and political history of the coal industry in India: "The main complaints of Coal India’s consumers are not the price of coal but the variation of its quality and the uncertainty of delivery. Except for higher value coking coals, which are benchmarked to global prices, India has some of the cheapest coal prices in the world on a Rs/calorie basis."
A founder of the Harvard SAI Arts Council, Nadia Samdani recently talked about her favorite piece from the Dhaka Art Summit: "I've curated art for a long time and thought this project was really special. As a Bangladeshi, I could relate to a lot of the artworks and objects the children made. I found it so meaningful. I love that it was a collaboration between these nine kids: there was no leadership, it was a community."
Through a collaboration between the SAI and Tata Trust Social Enterprise Partnership in India, Conor Walsh is helping create more affordable wearable devices for disability initiatives in India. One secret to success? Machine learning. "With these online optimization algorithms, systems can learn how to achieve this automatically in about twenty minutes, thus maximizing benefit to the wearer," Walsh explains.
Friday, March 16, 6-7 PM, New Delhi, India

On Friday, March 16, 2018,  Professor Mark Elliott , Harvard’s Vice Provost of International Affairs and a world-renowned historian, will officiate the opening of the new office from 6-7 pm at the Imperial Hotel, Janpath, New Delhi. Also present will be Harvard historian and Indian Member of Parliament  Professor Sugata Bose , SAI Executive Director  Meena Hewett  and SAI India Country Director,  Dr. Sanjay Kumar.
Thursday, March 22, 6-7:30 PM, New Delhi

Rohit Kumar Singh is a Board Member of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), and has served as the Joint Secretary to the Government for five years. Hear about how public-private initiatives are advancing business development within India, and the importance of National Highways in their success.
Monday, March 19, 4:30-6 PM, CGIS South
Join Assa Doron and Robin Jeffrey as they discuss the unique obstacles India faces when addressing its garbage output. Hear about India’s assets, including old practices of frugality; recycling; global experience and science; and dynamic entrepreneurs, officials, NGOs, and citizens.
Tuesday, March 20, 4-5:30 PM, CGIS South

Professor William Sax will discuss the pre-colonial society of the Western Himalayas, which consisted of small territories ruled by local devatas (Hindu deities) through their oracles. He will explain ethnographic details of the system as it still exists, paying special attention to how it has adapted to the modern, secular Indian republic.
Thursday, March 22, 4:30-5PM, CGIS South

Raile Rocky Ziipao posits that road building has always been an act of power, which has at different times been leveraged to smooth relationships, secure borders, and (dis)connect people, enable trade, create spaces of contestation, or dilute boundaries between varied ethnic groups.
March 23-April 1, Sanders Theater

Since 2006, the LearnQuest Academy of Music has organized this annual gathering of artists and musicians, showcasing maestros and young rising stars alike. At this multi-day annual event, 15 concerts showcase a wide variety of instruments. There is also an educational component, through lecture-demonstrations, films, and workshops.
Saturday, March 24, Harvard Kennedy School

For over 20 years, this student-run forum has provided a forum-based exploration on new trends in the international development world. This year's theme is "The Future of Development: Thinking Ahead," and will have Achim Steiner of the UNDP provide the keynote session.
The SAI Delhi office is looking for a Communications Consultant to develop a website that highlights projects funded under the Tata Trusts grant. Responsibilities include electronic, print, and outreach efforts related to the project.
 The Lakshmi Mittal South Asia Institute, Harvard University (SAI) offers two grants to support the work of Harvard University Faculty on fields related to South Asia. The Application Deadline for the 2018-2019 academic year grants is March 23, 2018, to be used after July 1, 2018.
Ishani Premaratne '15 started GrowLanka with her sister to help address the employment gaps left by the civil war. "We knew we wanted to do something to help but didn’t necessarily know how to approach that. So, we started looking specifically at the population of war widows. It was post-civil war, and a lot of these women had to support their children. They also had to work, which not a lot of them had been doing. So we identified that as our main problem area: How do we connect these women to a source of employment?"