<p>The book encapsulates policy and programme reforms and concurrent initiatives recognising early childhood development as the cornerstone of the nation’s overall well-being for holistic human development. It reflects upon the arduous processes undertaken to make such humongous and path-breaking efforts a reality. This treatise gives a rare peep in process driven approach by laying-out and reiterating the areas that need improvement and greater attention in respect of India’s problem of childhood under-development and under-nutrition which has remained one of the most discussed issues in recent times. </p>
<p>The work offers a peek into the world of strategic planning in social developmental arena. Key contours of a joint strategy paper to addresses India’s nutrition challenges which led to the first ever decision of the Prime Minister’s Nutrition Council and several policy decisions are elaborated. It reflects the pursuit and persistence required in promotion of inclusive, equitable and contextualised opportunities for optimal child development at National level. It also lays some key priorities, convergences, pathways and the way forward for strengthening and carrying out early childhood development and nutrition efforts. </p>
<p>The book lays emphasis for greater momentum and energy to realise the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) through the missions of the Nutrition, Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) and the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) to attain holistic child development. </p>
I am glad that the very important topic of child development and nutrition in India has been dealt within a very comprehensive and authoritative manner by Dr Shreeranjan.
—Prof M.S. Swaminathan,
Emeritus Chairman and Chief Mentor, MS Swaminathan
Research Foundation (MSSRF), Chennai.
The book is very rich in content and is likely to be of immense help to administrators who are keen to design interventions to end malnutrition.
—Dr A.K. Shiva Kumar
Development Economist and Visiting Professor at Harvard and
other universities; former Member of National Advisory Council,
Government of India.
I must commend Dr Shreeranjan for bringing out this very timely publication, which I am sure will serve as a valuable source book in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for health, nutrition and early education, within a multisectoral framework. With India hosting the ICDS, which is the largest, integrated, multisectoral programme for children below six years, the experiences and learning from it are undoubtedly unique and invaluable for both the national and international community, as they move forward on planning for the SDGs in the years ahead.
—Prof Venita Kaul
Professor Emerita (Education) and Executive Chairperson,
Center for Early Childhood Care and Development (CECED),
Ambedkar University, Delhi.
It is well recognised that the future of any country is in the hands of its children. This is particularly true for India today because we currently have the largest ever global cohort of children in the history of mankind. Interventions to improve child nutrition, child health and child development are therefore of utmost importance to the country. India has been in the forefront of research to document the dimensions and determinants of child nutrition and development and conceptualising and planning appropriate interventions for improving child nutrition. These have resulted in a slow but steady reduction in the prevalence of under-nutrition in children. There have been huge interstate differences in terms of initial status of children, the coverage and content of the interventions and improvement in the nutritional status of children. These aspects have been exhaustively dealt within this book. In order to accelerate the pace of improvement in nutritional status, we have to learn from the errors in the past and build on the success achieved. The rich experiences shared in this volume will be of immense help in this direction.
—Dr Prema Ramchandran
Director, Nutrition Foundation of India, New Delhi.
Shreeranjan has had long career in the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and has held key positions of responsibility and leadership in various departments and Ministries in both the State Government and Government of India. He was Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Woman and Child Development and was responsible for policy formulation and implementation of government programmes pertaining to child development and child rights, nutrition, early childhood care and education, women empowerment, international cooperation, etc. He also served as Joint Secretary and Additional Secretary to the Govt. of India in the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), and was also empanelled as Secretary to Government of India. He also served as Chairman, Board of Revenue and Additional Chief Secretary in Government of Meghalaya, and also as Chairman of Meghalaya Biodiversity Board. He has also participated in several prestigious international and national conferences, representing the Country in international forums relating to women and child development and was also awarded National E-Governance Award in 2014. He has contributed and authored several books, important reports, research publications relating to a large spectrum of topics including child development. He has also contributed extensively and edited the first ever State Development Report (SDR) and Human Development Report for the State of Meghalaya. He is a Postgraduate in Botany apart from being a Postgraduate in Management and Implementation of Development Projects (Manchester University, UK) beside holding a PhD in Biotechnology. Prior to joining IAS, he was part of the academia having served as Assistant Professor/Lecturer in Botany for four years in Ranchi University.