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Women & Child Development
Women and Child Development

The vision of the Women and Child Development (WCD) Division is to provide policy inputs for gender empowerment and improve the nutritional outcomes of women and children.

The Division designs strategic and long-term policy and programme frameworks and initiatives for improving the nutrition of women and children, and monitors their progress and their efficacy. It provides advice and encourages partnerships between key stakeholders and international and national think tanks, educational and policy-research institutions. The Division also maintains a state-of-the-art resource centre on nutrition.

Core Functions


  • To evaluate evolving policy and strategic guidelines pertaining to women and child development.

  • To engage with the Ministry of Women and Child Development to examine current policies, strategies and programmes, both at the Central and State levels and suggest appropriate modifications/mid-course corrections.

  • Analyzing and providing comments on various women and child development schemes, programmes and projects through the appraisal of PPRs; analyzing and providing comments for proposals under the EFC and SFC; reviewing and commenting on Cabinet Notes.

  • Conducting research and generating evidence with research organisations and development partners, and holding discussions with eminent experts in the domains of gender, nutrition, early childhood development, etc.

Who’s Who



Email ID

Rakesh Sarwal

Additional Secretary

Hemant Kumar Meena

Deputy Secretary

Neena Bhatia

Senior Specialist

Nina Badgaiyan

Senior Consultant

R.V.P. Singh

Senior Research Officer

Rinki Thakur

Research Officer

Vedeika Shekhar


Arushi Malhotra

Behavioural Insight Work (Working part-time at NITI Aayog through BMGF and CSBC, on the rolls of Ashoka University)

Tanya Agrawal

Deepika Ghosh


BMGF and Ashoka University

NITI Aayog, in collaboration with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Centre for Social and Behaviour Change, Ashoka University, has established a Behavioural Insights Unit (BIU). The unit focuses on designing behavioural interventions to improve maternal and child health and nutrition outcomes, particularly in high-burden districts.

International Food Policy Research Institute

A Statement of Intent (SoI) was signed between NITI Aayog and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) on 24 April 2018. The broad mandate was to aid the technical support unit constituted within the WCD Division. Specific activities are to be decided from time to time based on mutual consultation and agreement. IFPRI is involved in assisting the preparation of the Poshan Abhiyaan Monitoring Report. Three reports have been prepared in close collaboration with IFPRI.

Bernard van Leer Foundation

Recognising the importance of early childhood care and development to enable every child to have a healthy start and achieve their full potential, NITI Aayog has collaborated with Bernard van Leer Foundation (BVLF) to provide technical inputs on surveys on early childhood care and education.

Line Ministries


  • Ministry of Women and Child Development

  • Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

  • Ministries of Agriculture

  • Ministry of Education

  • Ministry of Rural Development

  • Ministry of Panchayati Raj

  • Department of Food and Public Distribution, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution



State Nutrition Profiles:

  1. State Nutrition Profile: Assam

  2. State Nutrition Profile: Andhara Pradesh

  3. State Nutrition Profile: Andaman Nicobar Islands

  4. State Nutrition Profile: Bihar

  5. State Nutrition Profile: Goa

  6. State Nutrition Profile: Gujarat

  7. State Nutrition Profile: Himachal Pradesh

  8. State Nutrition Profile: Jammu and Kashmir

  9. State Nutrition Profile: Karnataka

  10. State Nutrition Profile: Kerala

  11. State Nutrition Profile: Maharashtra

  12. State Nutrition Profile: Manipur

  13. State Nutrition Profile: Meghalaya

  14. State Nutrition Profile: Mizoram

  15. State Nutrition Profile: Nagaland

  16. State Nutrition Profile: Sikkim

  17. State Nutrition Profile: Telangana

  18. State Nutrition Profile: Tripura

  19. State Nutrition Profile: West Bengal

    Poshan Abhiyaan monitoring reports:

    1. First Biannual Report on Poshan Abhiyaan

    2. Second Biannual Report on Poshan Abhiyaan

    3. Third Biannual Report on Poshan Abhiyaan

    4. Fourth Biannual Report on Poshan Abhiyaan

    • Strengthening Child-Care Institutions (CCIs) in India: Variation in Government-Affiliated CCI Care Quality in Four States

    • Comprehensive Monitoring Report on Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY)



  • Piloting models on delivering health services in an integrated manner in urban areas using PPP model
  • Development of National Gender Index
  • Intensified nutrition strategy in high-burden districts
  • Improving dietary diversity by introducing nutricereals in diets
  • Developing Himachal Pradesh’s action plan to combat malnutrition
  • Intervention package for early childhood care and creche
  • Develop behaviorally informed narratives to promote health and nutrition
  • Disseminate behaviour-change narratives through the Poshan Gyan platform to reach partners, frontline workers and end-users
  • Research and design interventions to improve health- and nutrition-related behaviours
  • Strategy paper on how to leverage behaviour science for social development
  • Nutri-garden project in three Aspirational Districts


  • Assessment of existing geriatric wellness programmes and development of a special programme for elderly healthcare.
  • Analysis of the impact of girl education promotion measures in different states on the improvement of the age of marriage