She is immediate past president of the International Association of School of Social Work (IASSW) (2012-2016). After heading the department of medical and psychiatric social work at Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) for 20 years (1986-2006), she served as founder Dean of the School of Social Work (2006-2008). She also worked as the Secretary General of the Family Planning Association of India (2001-2002). After attaining her M.A. degree in Social Work in 1971, she worked for 5 yrs. as a medical social worker in a public hospital after which she joined as lecturer in the College of Social Work, Nirmala Niketan (University of Mumbai) (1976-1984).
Her publications include NGOs, Urban Health and the Poor, and articles on right to health, poverty and human need, HIV/AIDS, and human rights perspectives in social work. She has guest edited the first special issue on “Social Work Education in Asia: New Horizons’’ of the Social Work Education the International Journal published by Taylor and Francis, UK. She has published more than 40 articles in national and international journals and books and led at least 20 research projects as principal investigator for national and international organizations. She is a member of several editorial boards of international journals and of the Indian Journal of Medical Research.
Prof. Nadkarni initiated the Integrated Rural Health and Development Project in the tribal areas in Shahapur, Thane district. In 1993, she established Cell for AIDS Research Action and Training (CARAT). She initiated the development of the HIV/AIDS Counselling policy which was integrated into the national policy document on AIDS prevention and control in India. “HIV Sensitive Social Protection: A Four State Utilization Study” sponsored by UNDP served as an important advocacy tool for improving the outreach and quality of the social protection programmes for HIV/AIDS affected people in India. CARAT resulted in a project of capacity building in HIV/AIDS Counselling in institutions of higher learning funded by the Global Fund called Saksham