Dr Nandita Saikia is a Professor in Public Health and Mortality Studies at International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS), Mumbai. Currently, she is the Head of the Centre for Online and Distance Education, IIPS. She was an Assistant Professor in population studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi where she taught in 2013-2021. Nandita Saikia served as an Assistant Professor at the Population Research Centre, Institute of Economic Growth (IEG) in 2011-2013.
Nandita Saikia completed a Master’s in Statistics from Gauhati University, Assam, and M Phil and Ph.D. from IIPS, Mumbai. In her Ph.D., she spent substantial time at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR), Germany, one of the finest places for research in mathematical demography in Europe and the world. From 2017-2019, she was a post-doctoral research fellow at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Austria.
Nandita’s passion for teaching took her to the JNU, India’s best-rated University in 2013, and then to IIPS in 2021, the best place for population teaching and research in India. She is actively involved in teaching and guiding students in population and health research. She has been teaching courses on advanced demographic methods, Demographic Change: Health and Mortality Analysis & Quantitative Methods in Social Science Research. Prof Saikia supervised 16 Ph.D. (13 are awarded and 3 have submitted) and 9 M Phil scholars at JNU. At present, another 8 Ph.D. scholars at IIPS are writing their dissertations under her supervision.
She has been visiting scholars in several prestigious institutes/universities across the globe. She traveled to 22 countries for academic work. At present, Prof Saikia is serving as a member of the prestigious “Technical Advisory Group” members of the United Nations Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation.
Prof Saikia’s research interest lies in formal demography or mathematical & statistical relations between demographic measures; mortality and cause of death studies using life tables; socio-economic and regional inequalities in health; disability analysis; quality of demographic data and undocumented immigration; demography of Tribal Population.
Professor Saikia has published extensively as a lead author on population health issues in internationally reputed journals, such as Lancet Global Health (impact factor 38.92), The WHO Bulletin, PlosOne, Population Studies, Demographic Research, Population Space and Place, EPW, JBS, SSM-Population Health, Tropical Medicine and International Health, BMC journals, and many others. She also contributed chapters to several edited books. Her co-authored book “Adult Mortality in India: Trends, Socio-economic Disparities and consequences” was published by Springer in 2023. She received several national and international awards. Nandita Saikia is an associate editor of the Journal of Population Research, Springer, and academic editor of PLoS Global Health.
Her passion includes traveling the globe and exploring and experiencing new cultures; inspiring students, particularly female students to be able and independent and serve some of the downtrodden people of her homeland! She writes articles for various national-level newspapers or magazines such as Indian Express, The Hindu, The Outlook etc.