Last year, in 2020, India ranked 94th in the Global Hunger Index. This year it fell to the 101st position. What is the meaning of it? How does the Global Hunger Index define the status of a country? Let us understand the entire process step by step.
The Global Hunger Index (GHI) tracks hunger and malnutrition across the globe. There are a total of 116 countries this year that participated in the studies. The study is based on four significant indicators, i.e., child stunting, child wasting, undernourishment, and child mortality. After analyzing the four major factors, the GHI assigned marks out of 100, out of 100, 0 is the best possible score for any country to achieve, and 100 is the worst. If a country is assigned 0 as the Global Hunger Index, that means it has no hunger. According to its rank in 2011, India is classified in the ‘serious category’. The condition of India is severe and needs immediate action.
The Global Hunger Index aims to comprehensively check and track hunger at the regional, country and global levels. The report was first published in 2006. The report is annually published by Concern Wildlife and Welthungerhilfe. After 2006, the authority issued a report each year in October. This year, the Global Hunger Index marks its 16th edition.
How is the Global Hunger Index (GHI) calculated?
As mentioned earlier, GHI is calculated based on four factors.
- Child Stunting: Counts the number of children under five years and have low average height compared to others of their age.
- Undernourishment: Counts the net share of the population who didn’t get sufficient calories of the day.
- Child Wasting: Counts the number of children under five years who have low weight as compared to their heights.
- Child Mortality: This factor studies the mortality rate of children under five years.
Collection of Data
The data for producing the Global Hunger Index is collected from the following sources:
- The Food and Agriculture Organisation provides the data on the undernourishment rate.
- The UN Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation (UN IGME) provides the data of child mortality rate.
- The data on child wasting and stunting is jointly collected from the database of UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank.
India’s Scenario in the Global Hunger Index
India ranked 101th out of the 116 countries. The hunger crisis in India is quite alarming. Though from 2000, India tried to improve its conditions in terms of poverty and undernourishment. The country has made substantial progress but still needs improvement in several sectors. In Particular, child nutrition is lagging in the country. However, India has seen a decrease in stunting and rate. In 2016-2018, the factor was 34.7% which was comparatively lower than 1998-99. But the speed is still considerably high. Only 15 countries are left behind India; even under-developed countries such as Pakistan was also ranked at 92.
The Government has taken many initiatives in this direction.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, the Government has launched the following projects:
- Atmanirbhar Bharat Scheme (ANBS): The Almanisbhas Bharat Scheme was launched in May 2020 by the honourable PM of India. The programme was set up with a worth of Rs 20 lakh crores. The program aims to make India self-sufficient in many aspects.
- Pradhan Manta Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana (PKGKAY): This scheme is a part of the Atma Nirbhar Bharat scheme. It helps the poons to fight against Covid-19.
Other Initiatives of the Government
Other initiatives initiated by the Government of India in the exact directions are as follows:
- PM POSHAN Abhiyan: The project aims to reduce stunt growth, undernutrition and anemia in young children, adolescent girls, and women.
- Food Fortification: The process aims to enrich staple foods by adding vitamins and minerals to them.
- Eat Right India Movement: This movement was organized by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (ESSAI), which aims at right eating and healthy food habits.
- National Food Security Act: The Act was launched in 2013. It entitled 75% of the rural population and 50% of the urban population to receive subsidized food.
A Way Forward
Though, the Government of India has said that the report of the Global Hunger Index was conducted in an unscientific approach. The report data was collected in the telephonic medium. The Government also has claimed that the nourishment status of the country has developed far better compared to its previous reports.
But still, we can’t ignore the fact that the country’s major population is still facing hunger issues. The Government still needs development in many sectors related to the topic.