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Mission

The Harvard University South Asia Institute (SAI) engages faculty and students through interdisciplinary programs to advance and deepen the teaching and research on global issues relevant to South Asia. 

About SAI | View the South Asia Institute video 

Upcoming Events


Fri, November 21, 2014 from 02:00pm - 03:30pm  /  CGIS South, S020 Belfer

India’s Maoist Insurgency Challenge

Joint Sem­i­nar on South Asian Politics

Jairam Ramesh, Member of Parliament; Former Minister of Environment and Rural Development

Jairam Ramesh, a senior leader of the Indian National Congress party, is an Indian economist and politician. Since June 2004, Ramesh has been a member of parliament in the Rajya Sabha – the upper house of the Parliament of India – from the state of Andhra Pradesh. As an economist, he was entrusted with several crucial roles as an advisor to the Finance Minister (1996-98) and also to the Prime Minister (1991). With a special interest in China, Ramesh is the Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Chinese Studies, New Delhi, since 2002. Jairam Ramesh was also a member of the National Advisory Council that is chaired by Sonia Gandhi.

Brown-Harvard-MIT Seminar on South Asian Politics

The Harvard India Student Group will be hosting a small group discussion with Mr. Ramesh at Harvard Business School, Spangler Grille Game Room from 4:30-6pm. For more info, join the Facebook event.

Co-sponsored by the Wat­son Insti­tute at Brown Uni­ver­sity, the Weath­er­head Cen­ter for Inter­na­tional Affairs at Har­vard Uni­ver­sity and the MIT Cen­ter for Inter­na­tional Studies.

START
Fri, Nov 21, 2014 at 02:00pm

END
Fri, Nov 21, 2014 at 03:30pm

VENUE
CGIS South, S020 Belfer
Harvard University

ADDRESS
1730 Cambridge Street, Cambridge MA 02138

Mon, December 1, 2014 at 05:00pm  /  CGIS South, S010

Broken Memory, Shining Dust

Film Screening

Depicts the extraordinary journey of kashmiri women from loss, separation, pain, anger, helplessness to hope, faith, grit and determination thrown up by tragedies and circumstances around them. The film is about ‘women in wait’ for their loved ones, who went missing in the conflict ridden valley of Kashmir, India, in last two decades. Woven around the life of Parveena Ahanger, a Kashmiri mother and other such women, the narrative of the film interweaves their memories of loss, pain, struggle, separation vented cathartic that have formed into a resistance movement which in practicality relives their hope to trace a clue about their missing family members.

Cosponsored with the Harvard Asia Center

START
Mon, Dec 1, 2014 at 05:00pm

END
Mon, Dec 1, 2014

VENUE
CGIS South, S010

ADDRESS
1730 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA

Wed, December 3, 2014 from 05:00pm - 06:30pm  /  CGIS South, S050

The Struggle for Pakistan: A Muslim Homeland and Global Politics

SAI Book Talk

Ayesha Jalal, Mary Richardson Professor of History, Director, Center for South Asian and Indian Ocean Studies, Tufts University

Discussant: Atiya Khan, SAI Aman Fellow

Chair: Ali Asani, Professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic Religion and Cultures, Faculty of Arts and Sciences; Director, Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Program

Cosponsored by the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Program

*Please note the updated date and time (December 3, 2014, 5:00PM).

Established as a homeland for India’s Muslims in 1947, Pakistan has had a tumultuous history that has unfolded in the vortex of dire regional and international conflicts. Beset by assassinations, coups, ethnic strife, and the breakaway of Bangladesh in 1971, the country has found itself too often contending with religious extremism and military authoritarianism. Now, in a probing biography of her native land amid the throes of global change, Ayesha Jalal provides an insider’s assessment of how this nuclear-armed Muslim nation evolved as it did and explains why its dilemmas weigh so heavily on prospects for peace in the region.

Attentive to Pakistan’s external relations as well as its internal dynamics, Jalal shows how the vexed relationship with the United States, border disputes with Afghanistan in the west, and the conflict with India over Kashmir in the east have played into the hands of the generals who purchased security at the cost of strong democratic institutions. Combined with domestic ethnic and regional rivalries, such pressures have created a siege mentality that encourages military domination and militant extremism.

Since 9/11, the country has been widely portrayed as a breeding ground for Islamic terrorism. Assessing the threats posed by Al-Qaeda and the Taliban as American troops withdraw from Afghanistan, Jalal contends that the battle for Pakistan’s soul is far from over. Her definitive biography reveals how pluralism and democracy continue to struggle for a place in this Muslim homeland, where they are so essential to its future.

START
Wed, Dec 3, 2014 at 05:00pm

END
Wed, Dec 3, 2014 at 06:30pm

VENUE
CGIS South, S050
Harvard University

ADDRESS
1730 Cambridge Street
Cambridge MA

Tue, December 9, 2014 from 04:00pm - 05:30pm  /  CGIS South, S030

Pre-Departure Orientation

This is an orientation for students who are traveling to South Asia during Winter Session 2015, and will include travel tips and logistics, health and safety information, cultural introduction, and will provide an opportunity to meet other students who will be in the region. Food will be served!

All Harvard Students traveling to South Asia in Winter Session are welcome. Please RSVP to Nora Maginn, maginn@fas.harvard.edu if you’d like to join.

START
Tue, Dec 9, 2014 at 04:00pm

END
Tue, Dec 9, 2014 at 05:30pm

VENUE
CGIS South, S030
Harvard University

ADDRESS
1730 Cambridge Street
Cambridge MA 02138

Announcements


Mass casualty triage

“The goal of triage is doing the greatest good for the greatest number – it’s not doing everything you can for every patient,” Dr. Usha Periyanayagam explained, in SAI’s second webinar of the semester, on Nov. 19.

    Shaping problem-solvers

    A Harvard Gazette article looks at SAI Director Tarun Khanna’s Gen Ed course, which spans disciplines to address social, economic challenges in South Asia.

      In Memory of John Briscoe

      SAI is saddened to hear the news that John Briscoe, Gordon McKay Professor of the Practice of Environmental Engineering and Environmental Health, SEAS, and SAI Steering Committee member, passed away on November 12, 2014. John was a passionate scholar with a deep dedication to water issues and development.

        Capturing South Asia: Interview with Pablo Bartholomew

        Indian photographer Pablo Bartholomew has witnessed many of South Asia’s tragedies and triumphs – perhaps most famously the gas tragedy in Bhopal. During his visit to Harvard, SAI sat down with Bartholomew to discuss his photo exhibit, the aftermath of the Bhopal tragedy, how photojournalism is changing, and how his South Asian heritage has influenced his work.

          Creating unique digital identities

          Nandan Nilekani, former Chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) delivered the SAI Annual Mahindra Lecture on Nov. 3. During his tenure as chairman of UIDAI, Nilekani designed and implemented Aadhaar, a national biometric identification project wherein each Indian is issued a twelve-digit number that is unique to them.