Awards & Honors
- 2008-2009, Nieman Fellow in Global Health Reporting at Harvard University
- 2006-2008, International Fellow at the Kaiser Health Journalism Program
Kalpana Jain is a pioneering reporter whose primary expertise is public health and healthcare issues in East Asia and her home country of India. Before becoming a freelance reporter, Jain spent eighteen years at The Times of India as a journalist and health editor.
Jain has covered controversial and taboo topics such as female feticide and the unbalanced sex ratio between boys and girls, HIV/AIDS in India, ethics in the medical industry, and corruption among pharmaceutical companies and doctors.
As well as continuing her investigation into health and healthcare issues, Jain will focus her attention on modern slavery and human trafficking in India as part of her Ethics & Justice Investigative Journalism Fellowship at the Schuster Institute.
In June 2011, Jain received her master’s degree in Public Administration at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Nieman Fellow in Global Health Reporting at Harvard University, 2008-2009. Jain worked on a project on the global pharmaceutical supply chain and conducted field research on manufacturing practices in India and China.
International Fellow at the Kaiser Health Journalism Program, 2006-2008. Jain conducted training seminars for news reporters from several Indian states, designed and conducted a media research program to identify gaps in skills and reporting, and launched an online health magazine and health e-newsletter, which were widely distributed to policymakers, senior journalists, and other key people in Indian society.
While reporting for The Times of India, Jain conducted extensive research on the pneumonic plague and broke the story of its resurgence in India in 2002, which became international news. She broke numerous other news stories that led to policy changes in India. Her work on the serious shrinking sex ratio between boys and girls in some Indian states, stagnating high infant mortality rates, poverty, malnutrition, and public health policy and budget issues has been cited in scholarly reports. As a consultant for UNICEF, Jain researched the Indian education system as it applies to girls, and her findings were published in a UNICEF policy report.
Jain’s book “Positive Lives: The Story of Ashok and Others with HIV,” (Penguin Global, 2003) is a non-fiction narrative, perhaps the first of its kind, that focuses on the struggles and issues of people in India who are living with HIV/AIDS. Jain follows Ashok Pillai, a radio operator for the Indian Navy who is HIV-positive. Pillai is one of a handful of courageous men and women who Jain says have turned their illnesses into productive opportunities to help others in similar conditions. In “Positive Lives,” Jain weaves the stories of individuals with HIV/AIDS she’s met in her travels through India and the related issues of a society’s changing middle-class attitudes towards sex, the relationship between poverty and the spread of HIV, the ambiguous attitude of the government and medical establishment towards HIV positive people, and the politics of NGOs working in the field.
"Positive Lives: The Story of Ashok and Others with HIV," Penguin Global, 2003.
"Courage Under Fire," IndiaTimes Health. A review of some care opportunities for people in India with HIV/AIDS.
"Health care: Budget cutback to fuel pvt expansion," March 4, 2010, Rediff.com. With 80 percent of India's healthcare industry covered by the private sector, India's poor have few options for access.
"Tea with BS: MS Swaminathan," March 2, 2010, Business Standard. The father of the Green Revolution explains how the genetically-modified (GMO) version of eggplant, or brinjal as it is called in India, may kill biodiversity.
"Doctors question impact of code of conduct without punishment," January 2, 2010, Business Standard. India's new code of conduct of the Medical Council of India (MCI) for doctors has some complaining that until it imposes severe penalties, not much is likely to change.