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Govt Says Methodology 'Unscientific' in Global Hunger Index as India Ranked 101

Of the 116 countries that are ranked, India is placed behind some neighbours like Pakistan (92) and Nepal (76).

Updated
India
3 min read
Govt Says Methodology 'Unscientific' in Global Hunger Index as India Ranked 101
i

After the publication of the 2021 Global Hunger Index (GHI) report on Thursday, 14 October, in which India fell from 94th to 101st position, the Government of India (GOI) claimed that the index was calculated in a way that was "devoid of ground reality and facts and suffers from serious methodological issues," NDTV reported.

"There is no scientific methodology to measure undernourishment like availability of food grains per capita during the period. The scientific measurement of undernourishment would require measurement of weight and height, whereas the methodology involved here is based on Gallup poll based on pure telephonic estimate of the population," read the official statement of the Ministry of Women and Child Development.

The statement further added that the report had completely ignored the "massive effort to ensure food security of the entire population during the Covid period, verifiable data on which are available."

Statement on the Global Hunger Index report by the Ministry of Women and Child Development. 

(Photo: ANI/Twitter) 

Statement on the Global Hunger Index report by the Ministry of Women and Child Development. 

(Photo: ANI/Twitter) 

The report places India under the ‘serious’ category in the GHI severity scale.

Of the 116 countries that are ranked, India is placed behind some neighbours like Pakistan (92), Nepal (76), and Bangladesh (76).

The GHI is determined using four indicators – percentage of population that is undernourished, and percentage of children under five years suffering from wasting, stunting, and child mortality respectively. Data for the report is obtained from the United Nations and other agencies.

While the index accessed data from 135 countries, only 116 were evaluated.

"People have been severely hit by COVID-19 and by pandemic-related restrictions in India, the country with highest child wasting rate worldwide," the report said.

While the GOI and the Ministry of Women and Child Development criticised the report, Congress leader Kapil Sibal, in a tweet, mocked Prime Minister Narendra Modi about India falling behind in the GHI.

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Numbers That Matter

India’s global hunger index score is 27.5. This is a minute improvement from last year's score of 27.2. The number still keeps India in 'serious' category. Nepal and Bhutan are placed in 'moderate' category.

India had the worst numbers in terms of child wasting, which shows under-nutrition. Child wasting was the same as last year (17 percent), but an improvement from 2019 (20.8 percent)

“Current projections based on the Global Hunger Index show that the world as a whole – and 47 countries in particular – will fail to achieve even low hunger by 2030,” the report said, adding that "zero hunger" was "tragically distant'.

Where Do Countries Stand?

According to GHI website, China, Brazil, and Kuwait shared the top rank with a score of less than five.

The countries that fare worse than India include Papua New Guinea (102), Afghanistan (103), Nigeria (103), Congo (105), Mozambique (106), Sierra Leone (106), Timor-Leste (108), Haiti (109), Liberia (110), Madagascar (111), Democratic Republic of Congo (112), Chad (113), Central African Republic (114), Yemen (115), and Somalia (116).

Of these, the last five countries come under the "alarming" category.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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