Comparing Growth Charts: WHO Standards vs. Locally Crafted in India
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In the realm of child health and development, growth charts play a pivotal role in monitoring and assessing a child's physical growth and development. Two main standards are often utilized for these charts: the World Health Organization (WHO) standards and locally crafted growth charts in countries like India.

WHO Standards for Growth Charts

The WHO growth standards are based on extensive global research and data collection, providing a universal reference for assessing children's growth and development up to five years of age. These standards take into account diverse populations and aim to represent optimal growth based on breastfeeding practices, nutrition, and health.

Locally Crafted Growth Charts in India

India, a country with a diverse population and varying socioeconomic conditions, often crafts its growth charts based on local data and considerations. These charts might reflect the specific nutritional patterns, genetic factors, and health conditions prevalent within the country. Local crafting of growth charts intends to provide a more context-specific assessment of a child's growth.

Comparative Analysis

When comparing the WHO standards to locally crafted growth charts in India, several factors come into play:

  • Universal vs. Local Relevance: WHO standards offer a universal benchmark, while local charts cater to India's diverse population and contextual factors.
  • Data Accuracy and Representation: WHO standards are based on extensive global data, whereas local charts might better represent specific local conditions but could lack extensive data for certain regions or demographics.
  • Applicability: WHO standards might serve as a general guideline, but locally crafted charts could provide more accurate assessments for Indian children due to tailored considerations.

These factors underline the need for a balanced approach in utilizing growth charts, considering both global standards and local contexts.


The debate between using WHO standards versus locally crafted growth charts in India is multifaceted. While WHO standards offer a universal reference, locally crafted charts cater to the unique conditions prevalent in India. As UPSC aspirants, understanding the nuances and implications of these growth charts is crucial for comprehending child health policies and practices.