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Union Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Irani dismissed the ranking of India in Global Hunger Index and termed it a “flawed measure of hunger." In the Global Hunger Index of 2022, India was ranked 107 out of 121 countries.

In a reply to Congress MP Karti Chidambaram, the minister said in Lok Sabha, “Global Hunger Index (GHI) does not reflect India’s true picture as it is a flawed measure of ‘Hunger’. It should not be taken at face value as it is neither appropriate nor representative of hunger prevalent in a country."

“Out of its four indicators, only one indicator, i.e., undernourishment, is directly related to hunger. The two indicators, namely, Stunting and Wasting, are outcomes of complex interactions of various other factors like sanitation, genetics, environment, and utilization of food intake apart from hunger which is taken as the causative/outcome factor for stunting and wasting in the GHI," Smriti Irani said while dismissing the four indicators of hunger used in the rankings.

The Global Hunger Index is a peer-reviewed annual report, jointly published by Concern Worldwide and Welthungerhilfe, designed to comprehensively measure and track hunger at the global, regional, and country levels. The aim of the GHI is to trigger action to reduce hunger around the world.

The Index measures the performance of a country based on four indicators which are undernourishment, child stunting, child wasting, and child mortality.

On a scale where 50 is considered “extremely serious" hunger, the GHI assigned India a score of 29.1 and termed the level of hunger as “serious" in the country.

“India stood at rank 55 out of 76 countries, with a score of 28.2 in 2014. Indian rank was 80 out of 104 countries in 2015, 97 out of 118 countries in 2016, 100 out of 119 countries in 2017, 103 out of 119 countries in 2018, 102 out of 117 countries in 2019, 94 out of 107 countries in 2020 and 101 out of 116 countries in 2021," Smriti Irani mentioned in her answer to the question of Congress MP who asked if the hunger situation in India has worsened since 2014.

Notably, the Global Hunger Index has itself advised against comparing the scores of subsequent years. “The current and historical data on which the GHI scores are based, is continually being revised and improved by the United Nations agencies that compile them, and each year’s GHI report reflects these changes," it said.

 

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