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Global Hunger Index : India’s Performance

  • IAS NEXT, Lucknow
  • 19, Oct 2021
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Global Hunger Index 2021 has been released.

Performance of India:

  • India has slipped seven places to rank 101 among 116 countries. The level of hunger in India was ‘serious’ according to the report.
  • It ranked fourth among South Asian countries.
  • Only 15 other countries ranked below India on the Index.
  • Bangladesh (76), Nepal (76) and Pakistan (92) have fared much better than India on the index.
  • In 2020, India ranked at 94 among 107 countries on the Index.
  • India’s score on the Index in the recent two decades has declined by 10 points.
  • Globally, India ranked among the worst in ‘child wasting’ or ‘weight for height’. Its performance was worse than Djibouti and Somalia.

What Is The Global Hunger Index?

The Global Hunger Index (GHI) is published annually as part of a partnership between Concern Worldwide, Ireland’s largest aid and humanitarian agency and Welthungerhilfe.

  • The first GHI report was published in 2006.
  • The GHI is intended to be “a tool designed to comprehensively measure and track hunger at global, regional, and national levels”.

How were countries ranked?

Four indicators were considered for calculating the global score out of 100, in order to decide the ranking:

  1. Undernourishment.
  2. Child wasting (percentage of children below five years of age who have low weight for their height, reflecting acute undernutrition).
  3. Child stunting (percentage of children below five years of age who have low height for their age, reflecting chronic undernutrition).
  4. Child mortality (the mortality rate of children under the age of five).

A three-step process based on standardisation of scores on each of the indicators and their aggregation yields a country’s GHI score on a 100-point ‘GHI Severity Scale’, where 0 is the best score and 100 is the worst.



Things that made the situation more worse:

Conflict, climate change and the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic have exacerbated the food security situation across the globe including India.

But, why India Has Dismissed 2021 Global Hunger Index Ranking?

India came out strongly against the publishers of the annual Global Hunger Index over the questions of methodology and data sources amid a decline in the country’s ranking, which slid from 94 in 2020 to 101 in 2021.

Global Hunger Report 2021 has lowered the rank of India on the basis of FAO estimate.

  • Terming the FAO methodology “unscientific”, India said that “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”.
  • Also, India said that the “report completely disregards the government’s massive effort to ensure food security of the entire population during the Covid period, verifiable data on which are available”.