The pace at which India’s population is growing is slowing, but not as rapidly as expected; India will become the largest country in the world sooner than earlier forecast. Literacy rates have increased sharply between 2001 and 2011; some of the low performing rates have shown strong improvements, the others have not.

We examine whether access to aspects of social infrastructure, such as toilet facilities, drinking water on the premises and clean cooking fuels, leads to a decline in the incidence of undernutrition among women, which remains quite high in India.

This paper analyses levels of women's malnutrition in India over the seven years between 1998-99 and 2005-06, based on the National Family Health Survey. During a period of higher growth and a reasonable pace of reduction in poverty, malnutrition especially iron-deficiency anaemia has increased among women from disadvantaged social and economic groups. The adverse influence of maternal malnutrition extends beyond maternal mortality to causing intrauterine growth retardation, child malnutrition and an increasing prevalence of chronic diseases.

This article utilises the National Family Health Survey-3 data and presents an empirical assessment of income-related health inequality in India. It undertakes a state-level analysis of inequities in child health by employing the widely accepted measures of concentration curves and concentration indices. It finds that the poorer sections of the population are beleaguered with ill health whether in the quest for child survival or due to anxieties pertaining to child nutrition.