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Identification of best practices that promote Early Childhood Education (ECE) and address malnutrition through strategically planned holistic interventions at Anganwadi centres in rural India

The School Readiness Instrument (SRI) has identified key indicators for children by the time they reach five and a half years. Through this study the researchers will evaluate if there is a correlation between early childhood malnutrition, psycho-social and cognitive stimulation, and nutrition support on achieving these key indicators of school readiness.

The study aims to identify holistic practices that help children achieve physical and gross motor skills and key social, emotional, self-regulation and cognitive development milestones as per the SRI indicators. The study will collect quantitative and qualitative data as well as analyse data from the ECE curriculum in practice.

The research will be in Nandesari area (Vadodara, Gujarat) to track children aged three to three and half years, especially malnourished children, registered in the Anganwadis centres over a period of three years.



Jahnavi has over 20 years of experience in education and communication in the development sector designing and implementing projects in low income communities and government school systems. Her area of expertise is in pedagogy of language, social sciences and elementary mathematics and teacher professional development. She has also led teams in curriculum design, implementation and monitoring and evaluation of projects.

Additional writing / Articles

  • “Computer aided learning technology in low income government schools and shifts in education; Exploration of how it impacts teaching learning processes” by Jahnavi Contractor research paper presented at CESI, Jammu.
  • Social media influences and shifting educational contexts” by Jahnavi Contractor, paper presented at CESI, Vadodara.
  • Leadership, Communication and change management for education policy implementation” by Jahnavi Contractor at MICA ICMC 2017
  • “Twenty first Century Competencies, the Indian National Curriculum Framework and the history of education in India, co-author for an international research project on “Global Education Innovation Initiative on 21 century learning policy and initiatives” book chapter published by Harvard Education Press.


Smita Maniar has over 25 years of experience in the development sector. She is experienced in overall administration and implementation of multi-sectoral projects specifically formative, operational and evaluation research and implementation projects in partnership with several national and international agencies such as Center for Development and Population Activities(CEDPA), Aga Khan Foundation(AKF), International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), World Food Program (WF), Serum Institute India Limited (SIIL), Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and government departments. Her area of expertise includes maternal and child health-nutrition, sanitation, education of children and youth, skill development of women for livelihood generation.

Additional writing / Articles

  • Solanki V. Kantharia S.L. & Maniar, S. (2014) A Study on Impact of Socio-demographic Attributes on Nutritional Status of Elderly Women residing in Surat city (A Comparative Study) In Ghatge, N. & Dubey, A. (eds.) Status of Women in Emerging Social Structure- International E-Publication. ISBN: 978-93-84648-47-3. pp. 68-82, Retrieved from
  • Nandini Srivastava, Archana Joshi, Smita Maniar, Mitali Mistry. ‘Constraints in Utilization of Zinc and ORS for Childhood Diarrhea in Tribal Areas of Vadodara, Gujarat.’ Proceeding of the South Asia Conference on Policies and Practices to Improve Nutrition Security- Strengthen Collaborative Actions to Improve Nutrition, organized by National Health Mission, Coalition Food & Nutrition Security, Save the Children, Welt Hunger Hilfe & German Cooperation, July 30-31, 2014, New Delhi, India, pp. 82-83
  • Smita Maniar, Archana Joshi, Nandini Srivastava, Akash Kr. Lal, Shardul Acharya, ‘Challenges in Treating Severely Anaemic Mothers in Tribal Areas of Gujarat.’ Poster Presented at International Conference on “INEQUITY IN MATERNAL AND CHILD HEALTH: SITUATIONS AND SOLUTIONS” organized by Indian Institute of Public Health Gandhinagar and PHFI, Ahmedabad, Gujarat. November 30 and December 1, 2013, Ahmedabad, Gujarat

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