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After India slipped to the 101st position in the Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2021, the Union ministry of women and child development said on Friday that the report by Concern Worldwide and Welt Hunger Hilfe is “devoid of ground reality".

“It is shocking to find that the Global Hunger Report 20201 has lowered the rank of India on the basis of FAO estimate on the proportion of undernourished population, which is found to be devoid of ground reality and facts and suffers from serious methodological issues," the ministry said. 

“The publishing agencies of the Global Hunger Report, Concern Worldwide and Welt Hunger Hilfe, have not done their due diligence before releasing the report," it added. 

It went on to call the methodology used by the Food and Agriculture Organization “unscientific" and said that they have based their assessment on the results of a ‘four question’ opinion poll, which was conducted telephonically by Gallup.

“There is no scientific methodology to measure undernourishment like availability of food grains per capita during the period," said the ministry.

“The scientific measurement of undernourishment would require measurement of weight and height, whereas the methodology involved here is based on Gallup poll based on a pure telephonic estimate of the population," it added. 

It also said that the poll “disregards" the efforts taken by the Government of India during the Covid-19 pandemic and does not have a single question based on that. 

India's position on hunger index

India has been given the 101st position in the index this year, slipping from its 2020 position of 94th. The country is also behind its neighbours – Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal.

The report termed the level of hunger in India "alarming".

In 2020, India was ranked 94th out of 107 countries. Now with 116 countries in the fray, it has dropped to 101st rank.

India's GHI score has also decelerated -- from 38.8 in 2000 to the range of 28.8 - 27.5 between 2012 and 2021.

The GHI score is calculated on four indicators --undernourishment; child wasting (the share of children under the age of five who are wasted i.e who have low weight for their height, reflecting acute undernutrition); child stunting (children under the age of five who have low height for their age, reflecting chronic undernutrition) and child mortality (the mortality rate of children under the age of five).

The share of wasting among children in India rose from 17.15 between 1998-2002 to 17.3% between 2016-2020, according to the report.

 

 

 

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