India is currently undergoing rapid demographic changes with a considerable reduction in fertility and an increase in the longevity. United Nations Population Division suggests that the proportion of older adults (aged 60 or more) has increased from 5.4% in 1950 to 9% in 2015 and will reach 19% by 2050. That means India will have around 320 million elderly populations by 2050. This will pose considerable social, economic, and health challenges for the country. The demographic and epidemiological transition in India has shifted the major burden of disease from infectious disease to non-communicable diseases. The COVID-19 pandemic also highlighted the multiple health vulnerabilities faced by elderly in India.
At IIPS, research and survey on ageing received considerable attention over the decades. Two ongoing landmark surveys on ageing in India has been undertaken by IIPS. The Longitudinal Ageing Study in India (LASI), the largest national health and retirement study in the world, provides high-quality, scientific and comprehensive data on the health, social and economic aspects of ageing, including biomarkers. The first wave of LASI (2017-18) enrolled more than 73000 individuals aged 45 and older, including over 31000 elderly persons, covering all states and union territories of India. LASI is undertaken by IIPS in collaboration with Harvard T H Chan School of Public Health and University of Southern California, and funded by Government of India and National Institute of Ageing, USA. The preparation to undertake the wave 2 survey is in progress now. More details of LASI can be accessed from: https://www.iipsindia.ac.in/lasi
Another important survey is the Study on Global AGEing and Adult Health (SAGE). This is part of the World Health Organization’s multi-country project conducted in China, Ghana, India, Mexico, Russian Federation and South Africa. The SAGE India was implemented in six states – Assam, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. WHO- SAGE collected data on adults aged 50 years and older, along with a smaller comparison sample of adults 18-49 years. The baseline of the SAGE India was conducted in 2003, Wave 1 was during 2007-08, Wave 2 in 2015, and the Wave 3 was undertaken between 2019-2020 in India. More details of SAGE survey can be accessed from: https://www.iipsindia.ac.in/sage
IIPS also has many other ongoing studies related to ageing, including policy and welfare aspects of India’s elderly (supported by UNFPA) and others. More than 30 PhD scholars are currently working for their doctoral thesis on ageing issues, using both primary and secondary data. The faculty and research scholars of the Institute have published large number of scientific papers on various dimensions of ageing in leading national and international journals.
The Center aims to build scientific knowledge base on contemporary social, economic, psychological and public health issues facing ageing populations in India and elsewhere, and disseminate this knowledge to the research community and policy makers, based on empirical evidence and scientific analysis. It will also collaborate with other Centers of Ageing across the world for capacity building, joint research, dissemination and advocacy. Centre also advises the governments in India and other organizations, including NGOs, on policy aspects and in monitoring and evaluation of ongoing welfare programs for elderly in India.
Focus Areas of Research at the Center
Team at IIPS: The Centre for Ageing Studies comprises of an interdisciplinary group of faculty with research interests in various issues related to population ageing. The faculty has training and specialization in demography, sociology, economics, statistics, medicine, public health, geography and other subjects. The Centre will conduct cutting edge research in the field of population ageing and allied themes.