Since its inception in 2003, the South Asia Initiative (SAI) continues the long tradition of collaboration between Harvard and South Asia’s nations. Learning from South Asia and contributing to its development have become vital given the salience of the region in contemporary times. Under the leadership of Tarun Khanna, faculty director of SAI and Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor at the Harvard Business School, SAI has forged links and synergies across Harvard’s Schools and within South Asia, creating a nexus for interdisciplinary scholarship with shared aspirations to build the leading center of expertise on South Asia.
This year, SAI has hosted a robust seminar series focusing on themes of social enterprise, urbanization, water, Pakistan, and climate change. Additionally, the Future of South Asia symposium engaged Harvard faculty, area experts, and government officials in discussions of energy and environment, architecture, health, governance, and water issues. SAI’s Mumbai, India, office plays a crucial role in supporting Harvard faculty and students in research, teaching, and field experience. This summer, aided by SAI, 24 undergraduates, 28 graduate students, and three faculty members have been funded to travel to all corners of South Asia to conduct research, perform fieldwork, participate in internships, and pursue South Asian language study.