Let us not lose sight of India’s hunger problem4 min read . Updated: 20 Oct 2022, 09:35 AM IST
- The Centre’s rejection of India's latest GHI ranking does not obscure the challenge we face.
For the second year in a row, India’s government has rejected the Global Hunger Index (GHI) ranking published by two international organizations: Concern Worldwide, an aid agency, and Welthun-gerhilfe, a non-profit entity, based, respectively, in Ireland and Germany. Their annual GHI report, which is peer reviewed, has been published for the past 17 years. India was ranked No. 107 out of 122 countries, below Bangladesh (at No. 84), Nepal (81), Pakistan (99) and Sri Lanka (64). Last year, India was No. 101 out of 116 countries. The government’s petulance stems from two reasons. One is that three of the four metrics forming the index use malnutrition data on children, i.e. wasting, stunting and premature mortality. Only one of the four metrics is on malnourishment, not malnutrition, and not even hunger. So how can the index based mainly on data for children be representative of the entire population? The second objection is about the sample size, which is 3,000. That is too low and not representative, according to the government. Some in government have even attributed mala fide intent to the publishers, who they say are more keen to taint India’s image than publish objective statistics. This is unfortunately becoming a routine ploy of discrediting adverse reports by either blaming the messenger or mongering conspiracy. This certainly won’t help, and India seems to be the only country upset about the GHI scores.