Muhammad Zaman, Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Boston University; Visiting Faculty, SAI
Chair: Tarun Khanna, Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor, Harvard Business School; Director, Harvard South Asia Institute
The discussion about universal health care is meaningless without assurance of quality in health services and health commodities. Despite the major efforts by governments in low and middle income countries to increase access, create insurance schemes for all the citizens and emphasize primary care, quality of pharmaceuticals remains a persistent problem. Estimates suggest that anywhere from 15-30% of all drugs in the world, and upwards of 50% in a number of countries, do not meet the basic quality standards. The markets in Pakistan are flooded with not just counterfeit, but substandard and falsified drugs, and despite investments in digital technologies, the problem remains stubborn. Bad drugs have resulted in several major public health crises in the last five years in the country and subsequent legislation that has failed to address the issue in any appreciable way. This talk will focus at the global challenge, the unique perspective from Pakistan in particular and South Asia in general, and discuss the social, economic and technological developments that have the potential to improve access to quality pharmaceuticals.
Fahad Javed, Aman Fellow, Harvard South Asia Institute
Discussant: Afreen Siddiqi, Visiting Scholar, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
Feed-in-tariffs to support solar photovoltaic (PV) cells deployment for home consumers has been one of the most actively supported policy measure across the globe for a greener, more resilient, and cost effective electric grid. However, as experience in some of the leading nations in solar PV deployment has shown, faulty tariff design may be very costly for all the stakeholders and sometimes result in detrimental outcomes. Understanding how this policy will impact the consumers and the grid operations is of significant importance. Incidentally, feed-in-tariffs are being considered and offered in different regions in developing world including South Asia. To this end in this talk we discuss how energy demand simulations based on socio-economic realities of the region can be used to evaluate the impact of feed-in-tariffs on the electric grids. Furthermore, we discuss how such simulations can aid policy makers in improving the impact of policy measures, such as tax rebates etc., through better visibility provided by simulations of consumer behavior.
Chair: Ignacio Perez-Arriaga, Visiting professor, MIT; Professor and Director of the BP Chair on Sustainable Development, Comillas University
Gram Oorja Solutions Private Limited (www.gramoorja.in), founded in 2007, has worked in over 120 remote villages of India, providing electricity, drinking water and cooking fuel to tribal communities. A key feature of the work has been the sustainability of these projects, with local communities taking over the management, tariff collection duties and ownership of these projects. Anshuman, a co-founder of the company, will share his experiences with the company.
This summer, with support from Harvard’s President’s Innovation Fund for International Experiences, SAI ran an8-week summer program in India for Harvard College students to explore the potential of mobile technology to enable economic and social mobility, which combined academic coursework and experiential learning. The program culminated in a final project, which the students will present on campus at this interactive event, with feedback from the faculty leaders.
Diane Jung, Human Development and Regenerative Biology, Harvard College ‘17
Kais Khimji,Social Studies, Harvard College, ‘17
Pradeep Niroula,Government, Harvard College ‘18
Eshaan Patheria, Applied Math & Computer Science, Harvard College ‘18
Satchit Balsari, FXB Research Fellow, FXB Center for Health and Human Rights; Director, Weill Cornell Medical College Global Emergency Medicine Program
Malavika Jayaram, Fellow, Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University; Fellow, Centre for Internet and Society, Bangalore
Tarun Khanna,Director of the South Asia Institute; Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor, Harvard Business School
JP Onnela, Assistant Professor at the Department of Biostatistics, Harvard School of Public Health
Jairam Ramesh, Economist, Member of the Indian National Congress, Fisher Family Fellow, Harvard Kennedy School
Ramesh is a Fisher Family Fellow with the Future of Diplomacy Project and a leader in international climate negotiations. A Member of Parliament from Andhra Pradesh, Ramesh was chief negotiator for India at the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference held in Copenhagen, Denmark, between 7 to 18 December 2009. He has been a leading figure in international climate diplomacy for years.
Ramesh was the Union Cabinet Minister for Rural Development under Prime Minister Singh from 2011-2014. Previously, he was named Union Cabinet Minister for Rural Development, Drinking Water and Sanitation in 2011. He held numerous high-level government posts, including the Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests from 2009-2011; Union Minister of State for Commerce and Power from 2008-2009 and Union Minister of State for Commerce from 2006-2009.
Mahesh Rangarajan, Professor, Delhi University; Director of the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library
Chair: Ajantha Subramanian, Professor, Social Anthropology Program, Harvard University
Cosponsored with the Political Anthropology Working Group
Mahesh Rangarajan is a researcher, author and historian with a special interest in environmental history and colonial history of British India. He appears frequently on Indian television as a political analyst. He is also a columnist in the print media writing on wildlife conservation, political and environmental issues. In 2010, he led the Elephant task force (Gajah) of the Indian Ministry of Environment and Forests. The task force was formed to formulate measures for the protection of elephants in India. He has written several books and articles on politics and history of wildlife conservation, forest rights and environmental history. In the book, Battles over Nature, he analyses present-day conservation conflicts and finds their roots in India’s colonial past and in the governance system that was adopted as an independent nation state.
M. V. Ramana, Nuclear Futures Laboratory & Program on Science and Global Security, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs Princeton University
Chair: Matthew Bunn,Professor of the Practice of Public Policy, Co-Principal Investigator, Project on Managing the Atom, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School
Nuclear power has been held out as possibly the most important source of energy for India. And the dream of a nuclear-powered India has been supported by huge financial budgets and high-level political commitment for over six decades. Nuclear power has also been presented as safe, environmentally benign and cheap. In his book, The Power of Promise, Dr. M.V. Ramana makes a historically nuanced and compelling argument as to why the nuclear energy program in India has failed in the past and why its future is dubious.