Exchange report - incoming teachers
Home university: Tata Institute of Social Sciences
Study programme: Public Health Sciences (Master's)
Exchange programme: Linnaeus-Palme
Semester: Spring semester 2014/2015
Duration: 21
Name: Bal Rakshase
Email address:


Accommodation arranged were standard, but it can be arranged in more spacious place. As you know housing in Stockholm is very difficult to get, but I agree Jägargatan rooms are better suited for students.

Language and Culture

Karolinska Institutet is one of the oldest institutes in the medical sciences and health. It attracts people from different continents / across the globe. So inevitably it becomes the multi-cultural and multi- linguistic educational centre. English is commonly used and that there is no need for Swedish in the professional life at KI.

As far as culture is concerned, every culture has its own beauty and uniqueness. I noticed the dignity and respect for the human life and awareness about the environment in Swedish citizen.

Leisure time

I am very much fond of travelling and exploring the new places. So we (I and Dr. Sivakami) visited most of the places on every Saturday and Sunday. I am very much impressed to see the Vasa Museum and one can easily infer the perseverance and patience of Swedish people by seeing such a giant ship. We also visited Royal palaces, Nobel Museum, Gamala Stan, Parliament House and various shopping malls. Once Dr. Gaetano arranged very nice party after work for our research group and we enjoyed lot. Prof. Cecilia also invited us for the dinner. On the table we had grate fun and enjoy.



Other activities

My KI visit was very fruitful in terms of research contacts and collaborations. On the first day of the visit Prof. Cecilia introduced me to the faculty and the research associates in the department. She also included me as the member of research group on Global Health – Health Systems and Policy. It gave me the opportunity study the research group, its functions and way of team work. I spent my most of the time with this team to interact on different issues. I met Dr. Anna Mia and discussed our research area. We agreed upon to do the situational analysis in Mumbai on FSWs issues. We also decided to come with the common publications in future. I also met Dr. Farhad Ali Khan and we decided to make a systematic review and meta analysis on the issues of migrated FSWs in India. Dr. Rashmi asked me to join in her project development which has submitted to Welcome Trust. I joined the project as CoPI. I am sure in future we surely come up with good research proposals and projects with good publications.


One of my colleagues Dr. Heamal Shroff visited Karolinska institute last year (2014). During the same year Dr. Zarina Kabir and Dr. Farhad Ali Khan visited TISS under the faculty exchange program. During their visit I got opportunity to interact with them on different research area and common interested areas. During their visit I came to know about the Karolinska institute which in very known institute in the area of health. This year our International Relation office issued the notice regarding the faculty exchange program and Linnaeus-Palme Fellowship. In the response of it I applied for it and the scrutiny committee selected my name for this fellowship. After selection for this exchange I interacted with various people in the KI on mail. Dr. Anna Mia, Dr. Farhad Ali Khan and Dr. Zarina are amongst them. Prof. Cecilia, the India Coordinator visited in the month of April and gave us the details of the visit. She also informed me about the schedule of the program including the India seminar. So I prepared the material for my entire visit.




I evaluated masters’ theses submitted in the global health programme at KI. It was a really different experience for me. The system for grading is very well-detailed, makes the process smooth and also transparent. As part of the evaluation, I had the opportunity to be present for some of theses presentations and provide oral feedback apart from the written feedback that I had already submitted. Both these opportunities helped me understand the quality of thesis at the global health programme. There are clear differences in the kind of theses submissions that students submit at KI and my institute. This is probably to do with the way the respective programmes are framed and each has its own advantages. I am very impressed with the overall quality of the theses at global health programme as many of them of the publishable quality.

Teaching hours

Average time per week spent on teaching activities was around 12 hours which was depended on the schedules of the courses. The last two weeks were particularly intensive due to masters theses evaluations and oral feedbacks during the presentation. 90% of this time was related to teaching activities/assessments and the rest in supervision of students. In addition to teaching discussion on research collaborations with different groups at Health Policy and Systems (HSR) and other parts of KI also took part due to their interest in collaborating with TISS.