Center of Excellence

The Center of Excellence (CoE) is a multi-disciplinary team of scholars, policy analysts and development practitioners based in New Delhi that offers cutting-edge research and capacity for institutionalizing nutrition-sensitive agriculture in India.

The CoE serves as a central repository of data and knowledge for integrating agricultural production and nutrition initiatives. It also serves as a hub for a growing network of national and international experts that can be called upon to provide technical assistance in the design and implementation of agricultural projects, programs and policies that ensure improved nutrition outcomes.

The CoE plays a key role in translating learnings from the TARINA project, acquired through research and field-based implementation, into a user-friendly collection of policy briefs, recommendations and best practices for a wide range of stakeholders. Although the center has been established through TARINA, it is envisaged to expand and evolve into an autonomous entity that is able to sustain itself well beyond the life of the four-year grant through the provision of demand-driven technical assistance and expertise. 

CoE Staff


Dr. Surabhi Mittal

Dr. Surabhi Mittal is the Senior Economist and Coordinator of the CoE based in New Delhi. Prior to joining the TARINA leadership team, she worked for six years as the Senior Agricultural Economist with the Socioeconomics Program at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) of the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). She has also worked at the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER), the Economics Division at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) and the National Center for Agricultural Economics and Policy Research (NCAP) of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). Dr. Mittal has extensive experience in analytical, development and policy oriented research on a wide range of topics, including: food security, value chains, climate change, seed sector development, productivity, supply response models, gender mainstreaming, the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) for agricultural technology and varietal adoption, the impact of rice and wheat cropping systems on the development of communities and the agricultural sector, the role of literacy and modern technology and their impact on small farmers, demand elasticity and projections, trade issues and domestic policy reforms.

Dr. Mittal obtained her Masters in Economics in 1998 from the Delhi School of Economics and her PhD in Agriculture Economics in 2001 from B.R. Ambedkar University in India. She has over 40 publications in academic journals, two edited books, chapters in various books, working papers, monographs and newspaper articles to her credit. Her work has been presented at various national and international conferences and seminars. She is a two-time recipient of the Doshi Foundation Award of the Agricultural Economics Research Association for best research contribution in agricultural economics and was nominated by the United States Government for the International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP) in 2011. She is a member of the editorial board of the Agriculture Economics Research Review and was the finalist at the “mBillionth Award South Asia 2014” under “m-Agriculture and Ecology”.


Dr. Soumya Gupta

Dr. Soumya Gupta is an Economist at the CoE and Post-Doctoral Associate with the Tata-Cornell Institute for Agriculture and Nutrition (TCI). Her research interests lie at the intersection of food security, agriculture and maternal and child nutrition. Since joining the TARINA team, her work has primarily focused on activities centered around research design, project implementation and evaluation as well as empirical research. Dr. Gupta received her PhD from Cornell University’s Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management. She was awarded the inaugural Paula Kantor Award for Excellence in Field Research by the International Council for Research on Women. Dr. Gupta holds a Masters degree in Economics from the Jawaharlal Nehru University and a Bachelors degree in Economics from Delhi University in India. She had extensive research and teaching experience in India prior to joining the TCI.


Ms. Vanya Mehta

Vanya Mehta is a researcher with a professional graduate degree from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University. As a freelance journalist, she has published articles in The Hindu Center for Politics and Public Policy, Caravan Magazine, New York Times India Ink and BBC India. Mehta is interested in improving soil heath for crop production, promoting energy efficient technology and mitigating the environmentally hazardous byproducts of economic growth.