Brief History

The Population Research Centre (PRC) at the Institute of Economic Growth (IEG), one of the earliest of its kind in the country, was set up by the Government of India in 1957 on the recommendation of a Research Advisory Committee (RAC) constituted earlier by the Planning Commission. The RAC was headed by Professor VKRV Rao, a highly respected economist, institution builder and one of the key figures in designing India’s national income statistics. Two other centres were also established around the same time in Calcutta and Trivandrum. Originally all these Centres were known as Demographic Research Centre. Prof. Rao, interacted on several occasions with Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the then Prime Minister of India, and pleaded for demographic research on an institutional basis and the committee of which he was a member recommended establishment of four Demographic Research Centres (DRCs) one each in the North, East, South and West India. They became Population Research Centres to enlarge the scope of their work and bring population, instead of only demographics, into their ambit.

The DRC Delhi was set up in 1957 as a part of Delhi School of Economics. It became one of the foremost sections of the Institute of Economic Growth (IEG), initially named as Institute for Research in Economic and Social Growth. It was renamed as IEG on 16th November 1959.

The DRC was renamed as Population Research Centre (PRC) in the mid 1970s. The research perspectives for the Population Research Centre, Delhi were designed under the guidance and direction of Professors V.K.R.V. Rao and B.N. Ganguli, who took keen interest in developing the PRC.

In the early consolidation years, the PRC was headed by Dr. S.N. Agarwala, Professor P.B. Desai and Professor Ashish Bose, followed by Prof. D.B. Gupta, Prof. Bina Aggarwal, Prof. Mari Bhatt, Prof. S.C. Gulati, Prof. Moneer Alam to name some and currently headed by Dr. Suresh Sharma.

Over the years, the PRC (IEG) has produced a wide variety of literature covering various aspects of population and health in the country. Some of the more recent works produced by the PRC faculty cover an array of cross-cutting themes, including fertility-mortality differentials by different social groups, private spending on health and consumption catastrophe, reproductive and child health, programme evaluation, morbidity, demographic ageing in India and South Asia, functional disabilities, migration, urbanisation, political economy of gender, and study on marginalised groups like tribes etc. Clearly, these studies not only comply with the mandated roles of the PRC/DRC, they also bear considerable significance at the policy level. In addition, Delhi PRC (along with its sister institutions) was also involved in most of the large scale surveys conducted by the Health Ministry over the past decades including the three rounds of National Family Health Survey and District Level Health Survey.

Highlights of Past Year’s Works

During the past twelve months, i.e. April 2017 to March 2018, PRC faculty has initiated several interesting studies, published papers, delivered lectures to Indian Statistical Services (ISS) officers/probationers, supervised doctoral research,  participated in national and international conferences, organised seminars and workshops and also attended other professional meetings.  In addition to its assigned responsibility of monitoring and performance evaluation of NHM’s Programme Implementation Plans (PIPs) in different states and districts, the faculty worked on a variety of issues with merits drawn on policy considerations.  Some studies conducted by the faculty during this period have already been published as a book namely “Reproductive Health of Adolescents in Delhi Slums” by Synergy Books, New Delhi Most of the studies, as already mentioned, conform closely to the issues considered significant in the National Population Policy and National Health Policy, and other such important national and international documents.

The PRC faculty has presented two papers titled “Neonatal Mortality Rate Projection: Will Indian states achieve Sustainable Development Goal 3?” and “Nutritional status of school-aged children and adolescents in EAG States and Assam: Prevalence, patterns and Policy options in the second Dissemination workshop organised by MoHFW, Govt. of India at Goa. Apart from the studies regularly sponsored by the MoHFW, PRC faculty has also been engaged in research projects sponsored by major national and international agencies including Planning Commission, Indian Council of the Social Science Research (ICSSR) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).  Presently PRC faculty is coordinating large scale survey named “Longitudinal Ageing Study in India” (LASI) project in Delhi, Haryana, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh sponsored by Harvard School of Public Health, University of California, IIPS and MoHFW, GoI. PRC faculty has received and actively imparted trainings to the field investigators, health investigators and supervisors on multiple modules and use of new survey tools like CAPI, Biomarkers, DBS, Spirometry etc.

The studies assigned by the MoHFW to PRC (IEG) during the preceding 12 months are largely focused on rapid assessments of the NHM’s Programme Implementation Plans in multiple districts of selected states including Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Haryana.

Faculty members conduct a range of studies on their own without any support from dono organizations. Some of them are already at various stages of publication as papers in refereed journals or books. Some PRC research is based on field-based surveys and some others are on secondary data analyses. The details of these studies are reported in the sections to follow and organized as below:

  • Studies sponsored by the MoHFW
  • Studies sponsored by other donor agencies
  • Self-initiated studies

The abstracts of these studies have also been given to provide objectives, a brief methodology, data sources, major findings and policy implications. Whether the study is completed or in progress is also mentioned.

The PRC faculty covered the following thematic areas in their studies.

  • Studies assigned by the MoHFW to evaluate NHM (PIP monitoring) and HMIS-related programmes
  • Mortality studies
  • Reproductive and child health
  • Demographic ageing and health
  • Population and development linkages
  • Migration, labour market vulnerability and health outcomes
  • Health and Nutrition Aspects

In addition, PRC has been continually organizing National and International conferences, Workshops and observes World Population day.

In the last year, the PRC faculty published one book, 9 research papers (another 5 papers have been accepted for publication), most of them in peer-reviewed journals. In addition, PRC faculty members have participated in a number of national and international events, including seminars, workshops, and professional meetings and delivered keynote or plenary addresses. Many faculty members are part of prestigious committees and editorial boards. Some of the faulty members supervise doctoral students. A few faculty members have been invited regularly by important TV channels. These activities are indeed a testament to the faculty’s substantial professional engagement and growing reputation, both within and outside the country.

Head : Prof. Suresh Sharma
E-mail: ,


Dr. Suresh Sharma

Dr. William Joe


Annual Reports

 Sr. No.TitleMode1.Annual Report (PRC, IEG) 2017-18PDF2.Annual Report (PRC, IEG) 2016-17PDF3.Annual Report (PRC, IEG) 2015-16PDF4.Annual Report (PRC, IEG) 2014-15PDF5.Annual Report (PRC, IEG) 2013-14PDF6.Annual Report (PRC, IEG) 2012-13PDF

NHM, PRC Reports