Despite substantial economic growth, India has one of the highest undernutrition rates in the world; it is home to almost 40 per cent of the world’s stunted children. This volume assesses the status and causes of undernutrition in the country, and examines the effectiveness of policies designed to address undernutrition. The essays tackle wide-ranging themes and challenging issues including nutrition; water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH); maternal, neonatal and child health; Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS); Public Distribution System (PDS); crop procurement; and National Food Security Act 2013.

With contributions from leading academic researchers, policymakers, as well as civil society representatives, this volume will be indispensable to scholars, teachers and students of public policy, development economics, development sociology, and Indian economy. It will also be useful to government institutions, think tanks and NGOs.

chapter |15 pages

Investing in the Future

Public policy opportunities to end undernutrition in India

part I|59 pages

The State of Undernutrition in India

chapter 2|22 pages

The Elephant in the Dark

Finding ways to end India's hunger and malnutrition

chapter 3|5 pages


Recent evidence shows slow improvement in undernutrition in India

part II|114 pages

Identifying the Policy Gaps

chapter 4|22 pages

Improving Sanitation is a Policy Priority for Children's Human Capital in Rural India

Lessons from recent literature and the IHDS 1

chapter 5|19 pages

Water, Sanitation, Hygiene (Wash) and the Nutritional Status of Children in India

Understanding the linkages and structuring the response

chapter 7|29 pages

Maternal Nutrition

Breaking the intergenerational cycle of malnutrition: significance, challenges and opportunities

chapter 8|9 pages

Undernutrition in India

A case of public policy inertia

part III|94 pages

Getting Existing Programmes to Work Better

chapter 11|21 pages

Tackling Child Malnutrition in India

Achieving the doable or chasing the desirable?

chapter 12|24 pages

Coordination Failure

Can multi-sectoral interventions to tackle hunger and malnutrition succeed in India?

chapter 13|3 pages


Untapped potential of ICDS

part IV|43 pages


chapter 15|23 pages

From the Files to the Fields

The story of paddy procurement in Chhattisgarh