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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

Wed, May 6, 2015 from 09:00am - 06:00pm  /  Stubbins Gund Hall

Planning for Conservation: Looking at Agra

Extreme Urbanism 3
Studio Review with the Participation of The Loeb Fellows

Faculty: Rahul Mehrotra

Teaching Associate: Jose Mayoral Moratilla

Teaching Assistant: Vineet Diwadkar

 Open to the public

Wed, May 6, 2015 at 09:00am

Wed, May 6, 2015 at 06:00pm

Stubbins Gund Hall

Harvard Graduate School of Design
48 Quincy St, Cambridge, MA 02138

Sun, May 10, 2015 at 02:00pm  /  CGIS South, S010

Harvard India Poetry Reading

Community Event

Please join SAI and the Department of South Asian Studies for the seventh annual meeting of the South Asian Poets of New England.

This year’s theme is: Identity. Poems in all languages are invited for recitation. All are welcome.

Please contact Bijoy Misra,, and Chandu Shah, with questions.

Sun, May 10, 2015 at 02:00pm

Sun, May 10, 2015

CGIS South, S010

1730 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA

Thu, May 14, 2015 from 04:00pm - 07:15pm  /  CGIS South, S010

Consequences and Responses: Lessons from and for Nepal

Special Event

Panel 1: Public Health; Water and Sanitation; Reconstruction and Conservation of Heritage Sites

Panel 2: Equity in Humanitarian Efforts: Role of Governments and Aid Agencies

Ted GilmanExecutive Director, Edwin O. Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies at Harvard University 

Michael HooperAssociate Professor of Urban Planning, Graduate School of Design, Harvard University 

Daniele LantagneUsen Family Career Development Professor, Assistant Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Tufts University

Chair: Jennifer LeaningFrançois-Xavier Bagnoud Professor of the Practice of Health and Human Rights; HSPH, Director, FXB Center for Health and Human Rights, Harvard University

Candlelight Vigil to follow at 7:30pm on steps of Memorial Church, Harvard Yard

Learn more about Harvard For Nepal.

This event will be recorded and posted on our Youtube page after the event. 

If you have questions for the panelists, please email them to Meghan Smith,, before the event.

Thu, May 14, 2015 at 04:00pm

Thu, May 14, 2015 at 07:15pm

CGIS South, S010

1730 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA

Fri, June 5, 2015 - Sat, June 6, 2015  /  CGIS South, S010

Transformation Challenges and Opportunities for the Bangladesh Garment Industry

Bangladesh Development Conference 2015

This conference will look at identifying and solving the challenges in the transformation of the Bangladesh Garment Industry, analyzing the tools and metrics to measure progress and recommending the best practices for sustainable development.

Participants include:

Government and Non Government Organizations of Bangladesh, USA, and development partner countries, international academics and experts, BGMEA, BKMEA, international brands and retailers, ALLIANCE, ACCORD, workers rights groups, labor organizations, United Nations agencies, international financial institutes.

Cosponsored with SAI, the Harvard University Center for the Environment, and International Sustainable Development Institute, Inc.

Contact: Mohammed Iqbal Yousuf
Conference Coordinator
Harvard Medical School DFCI

June 5, 2015: 12pm to 8pm

June 6, 2015: 8am to 8pm

Fri, Jun 5, 2015

Sat, Jun 6, 2015

CGIS South, S010

1730 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA


Harvard For Nepal

Harvard for Nepal is a university-wide initiative that aims to unite Harvard in response to the earthquake that devastated Nepal in April 2015.

    South Asia Week 2015

    The Future of Diplomacy Project, in partnership with SAI, will be hosting its annual South Asia Week, beginning Friday, April, 24, featuring an impressive array of regional practitioners and experts on India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

      David Bloom named Andrew Carnegie Fellow

      Congratulations to David Bloom, SAI Steering Committee member, Clarence James Gamble Professor of Economics and Demography at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, who was named one of 32 inaugural Andrew Carnegie Fellows.

        Annual Symposium: April 16 and 17, 2015

        The 2015 Annual Symposium will bring together scholars and practitioners for a series of workshops on SAI’s ongoing research projects and see the launch of an exhibit and book on Mapping the Ephemeral City: Kumbh Mela 2013.

          Q+A with Asma Jahangir

          In an interview with SAI, Jahangir discusses women’s empowerment, freedom of expression, and Pakistan’s complicated political relationships with India and the US. Jahangir delivered the Asia Center’s Tsai Lecture on Mar. 4

            A literary colossus

            The Murty Classical Library of India hopes to introduce a vast corpus of literature, thought, and science to fresh audiences across the world. “It’s completely transformative,” said Parimal Patil, Chair of the Department of South Asian Studies and SAI Steering Committee member.

              Innovative healthcare solutions

              Read highlights from SAI’s roundtable discussion in the Bay Area on India’s healthcare system organized in collaboration with USAID and the South Asian Healthcare Leadership Forum.

                The City and South Asia Podcast: Floating on Waste Islands

                The processes of urbanization, globalization, and climate change have made traditional methods of waste management difficult for the Maldives. In this podcast, SAI talks with Krishna Matturi, recent GSD graduate, about the country’s “unique culture of waste” and its possible solutions.

                  Update from the Harvard Club of Nepal

                  On Feb. 10, the Harvard Club of Nepal (HCN) hosted an event in Kathmandu with two newspaper editors who discussed the current political situation in the country and the role that media could play in resolving the chaos of constitution-making. The HCN, a group of Harvard alumni, has recently been reactivated.

                    International Photo Contest Winners

                    Congratulations to Gillian Slee, Harvard College ’16, and Sara Melissa Theiss, Harvard College ’15, who were chosen by SAI as winners for the Office of International Education’s Annual International Photo Contest.

                      A US-India comeback?

                      In an op-ed for The Boston Globe, SAI Steering Committee member Nicholas Burns, HKS, explains how President Obama’s visit to India for Republic Day is an important symbolic gesture that may kickstart the revival both countries have been looking for.

                        Kashmir’s women in wait

                        “More than the political aspect, it is understanding how women cope with the phenomenon of disappearances that appealed to me as a filmmaker,” says director Nilosree Biswas in an interview with SAI on the unique culture of Kashmir.

                          The City and South Asia

                          In SAI’s second annual publication, The City and South Asia, experts from a variety of fields, at both Harvard and elsewhere, have come together to hold up a cross-disciplinary lens to urban centers in South Asia.

                            Report on the Harvard US-India Initiative Conference

                            “If yesterday’s events urged participants to immerse themselves in the world of ideas, today’s panelists gave us diverse and exceptional examples of how to apply these ideas in practice,” writes Zeenia Framroze, Harvard College ’15, about the conference.

                              Creating a better India

                              SAI recently talked to Namrata Narain, Harvard College ’15, one of the organizers of the Harvard US-India Initiative’s (HUII) Annual Conference, to learn more about how HUII is working to increase discussions on important issues by connecting young academic communities in India and the US.

                                2014 Student Grant Report

                                In 2014, SAI awarded 46 grants to students to do a variety internships and research projects in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Read first-hand experiences from students in SAI’s Grant Report.

                                  Tragedy in Pakistan

                                  “This is a day of deep reflection. War strategy against extremists, whether through drone strikes or carpet-bombing, must factor in the lives of children beyond collateral damage and prepare especially to protect the most vulnerable in society on both sides.”

                                    Ayesha Jalal: The Struggle for Pakistan

                                    In a SAI Book Talk on Dec. 3, renowned Pakistani historian Ayesha Jalal, Tufts University, spoke about her new book and highlighted the need for a comprehensive historical interpretation of Pakistan’s narrative and encouraged members of the audience to view the history of the country through a geopolitical lens rather than a religious one.

                                      SAI Fellowships

                                      The South Asia Institute offers several opportunities for scholars and practitioners to continue their research at Harvard University in Cambridge. Deadline to apply: January 15, 2015 for Academic Year 2015-2016.

                                        2015 Student Winter Grant Recipients

                                        SAI has awarded 18 grants to support undergraduate and graduate student projects over the Winter Session in January, 2015. These include 6 undergraduates and 12 graduate students who will be traveling to India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka for research and internships.

                                          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.