Worldwide Locations

Worldwide Locations

Asia Blog

Q&A: Nobel Prize Winning Economist Amartya Sen on Reviving Nalanda University

 Indian Nobel Laureate and noted economist Amartya Sen delivers an address in New Delhi on  January 27, 2004. (Prakash Singh/AFP/Getty)
Policy

As an Indian Nobel Prize winning economist, philosopher and humanitarian, Amartya Sen is an intellectual force who needs little introduction. As a young boy, he was influenced by the suffering he witnessed during the 1943 Bengal Famine and the India-Pakistan partition. Sen has influenced the creation of the United Nations' Human Development Index and he has deepened and expanded discourse in fields ranging from social choice and welfare economics to human rights and justice.

Video: Nobel Prize Winner Amartya Sen Responds to Nalanda University Critics

Policy

In an exclusive interview at Asia Society in New York (embedded below), Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen responded to news that former Indian president APJ Abdul Kalam would no longer be associated with the revival of Nalanda University, one of the oldest universities in the world.

Sen said the position of "visitor" — responsible for monitoring and reviewing the functions of a university in India — is meant to be held by the current president. "Now," Sen said, "Dr. Kalam decided that since he’s no longer president it would be only appropriate that it should go to the present president."

President Pratibha Devisingh Patil has agreed to be visitor, he said.

He also stressed that Nalanda is still in a "formative" stage. He added, "There has to be some kind of intelligent merging of the short-run challenges with the long-run challenges to be met."

Podcast: Ashis Nandy and Pakistan's 'Latent Potential'

Ashis Nandy in New Delhi, summer 2011.
Policy

This is the latest installment of a series of podcasts entitled Another Pakistan, a co-production of the Asia Society and the Watson Institute at Brown University, with support on the ground from Aman ki Asha. Click here to learn more. Scroll to the end of this post to listen to the podcast.

Free Admission to Asia Society Museum Saturday, Sept. 24

Asia Society Museum is located at Park Avenue and East 70th Street in New York City. (Suzanna Finley/Asia Society)
Arts

As part of national Museum Day, this Saturday, September 24, Asia Society Museum is offering free admission for two to anyone with an official Museum Day ticket.

Sponsored by Smithsonian magazine, Museum Day is an annual event in which participating museums across the U.S. allow free admission for two people with a Museum Day ticket. For complete details, and to download a ticket, click on the links below:

Video: Philippines President Open-Minded on Gay Marriage, Unsure About Gay Adoption

Policy

Philippines President Benigno Aquino III expressed tolerance toward the prospect of legalized gay marriage in his country, saying that normally "adults should be able to do whatever you want so long as it doesn't hurt anybody else." Aquino's comments came in a question and answer session following his speech at the Asia Society in New York on Tuesday.

Video: In New York, Asian Leaders Link Economic and Social Development to Democracy

Policy

In the past, when talking about development issues, political leaders have generally referred to socio-economic development and democracy as separate issues. This week at Asia Society, however, leaders from Asian countries with very different historical backgrounds and political, social and economic systems spoke of freedom, justice, accountability and respect for human rights as being essentially linked to democracy.

Podcast: Rashid Rana's Pakistan: 'A Mini-Version of the Globe'

Artist Rashid Rana in his Lahore studio, summer 2011.
Arts

This is the latest installment of a series of podcasts entitled Another Pakistan, a co-production of the Asia Society and the Watson Institute at Brown University, with support on the ground from Aman ki Asha. Click here to learn more. Scroll to the end of this post to listen to the podcast.

Freshwater as a Dwindling Resource

Zipingpu Dam, upriver from the town of Dujiangyan, Sichuan, China.
Sustainability

Laos recently announced that it would like to begin construction on the $3.8 billion Thai-financed Xayaburi hydropower plant on the Mekong River by the end of this year. This is following a change in the design made to quell protests from neighboring countries. How can countries in Asia work together to ensure that major projects like this one do not do irreparable damage to river systems in the region? What is the best forum for cooperation?

US Wants Pakistani Elites to Pay More Taxes — Hypocritical?

Policy

In his remarks at Asia Society in New York on Monday, September 19, United States Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter mentioned that a key American priority is to get Pakistani elites to pay their fair share of the tax burden. Of course, one could say that getting American elites to do the same could also count as a key American priority at the moment (for some, at least).

Release of 'Iran Hikers' Reveals Domestic Fissure in Iran?

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Tehran on September 17, 2011. (Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images)
Policy

Today's release of Americans Shane M. Bauer and Joshua F. Fattal, two American hikers detained in Iran in 2009 for suspected espionage, represents a diplomatic victory for the United States, which had lobbied strenuously on the hikers' behalf.