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What is the Global Hunger Index and Why is India Trailing?

Oct 21, 2022

What is the Global Hunger Index and Why is India Trailing?

Our today's edition of Current Affairs is here. Read to know more about What is the Global Hunger Index and Why is India Trailing. Also, find the topic's relevance to the UPSC CSE syllabus below:

For Prelims: Global Hunger Index (GHI), Zero Hunger by 2030, Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), Ministry for Women and Child Development, Proportion of the Undernourished (PoU) population.

For Mains: Top ranked countries in GHI 2022, Worst performing country in GHI 2022, Calculation of Hunger in GHI, India’s score in GHI 2022.


In the recently published Global Hunger Index (GHI) list India’s rank has slipped from 101st in 2021 to 107th in 2022 out of 121 countries.

Probable Question

Recently, the Global Hunger Index (GHI) published its list of 2022, stating the highlights and India’s position.

About Global Hunger Index (GHI)

The list has been brought out since 2000 and the GHI 2022.

  • A total of 121 countries were ranked by GHI.
  • Compilation: 
    • The GHI is compiled by a team of technical experts and is a peer-reviewed publication. 
    • The peer-review process is of the highest standard to guarantee independent scrutiny of academic work.
  • Top-ranked countries in GHI 2022: 
    • Overall: The list is dominated by European nations including Croatia, Estonia, and Montenegro.
    • Asian Countries: China and Kuwait have ranked the highest.
  • Worst performing country in GHI 2022: Yemen has ranked in the lowest position at 121.
  • Aim: 
  • Other Features:
    • To achieve the aim of eradicating hunger, GHI scores are not calculated for certain high-income countries.
    • The reason for calculating GHI on four parameters is that these parameters capture multiple dimensions, such as deficiency of micronutrients of hunger, and thus provide a more comprehensive measure of hunger

Calculation of Hunger in GHI

  • Hunger is commonly understood in terms of food deprivation, while it is calculated by mapping the level of calorie intake.
  • The GHI tracks the performance of different countries on four key parameters taken together:
    • Undernourishment (which reflects inadequate food availability): calculated by the share of the population that is undernourished (that is, whose caloric intake is insufficient);
    • Child Wasting (which reflects acute undernutrition): calculated by the share of children under the age of five who are wasted (that is, those who have low weight for their height);
    • Child Stunting (which reflects chronic undernutrition): calculated by the share of children under the age of five who are stunted (that is, those who have low height for their age);
    • Child Mortality (which reflects both inadequate nutrition and an unhealthy environment): calculated by the mortality rate of children under the age of five (in part, a reflection of the fatal mix of inadequate nutrition.
  • The data of each country are standardized on a 100-point scale.
  • A final score is calculated after giving 33.33% weight each to components 1 and 4, and giving 16.66% weight each to components 2 and 3.
  • Countries are categorized on the basis of their score: 
    • Low category of hunger: Countries scoring less than or equal to 9.9 are slotted in this category.
    • Serious category of hunger: Countries between 20 - 34.9 are slotted in this category.
    • Extremely Alarming Category of Hunger: Those scoring above 50 are in the “extremely alarming” category.

India’s Score in GHI 2022

  • Score: India has scored 29.1 on the Index which falls in the ‘serious’ category of hunger.
  • Ranking: India has ranked 107th out of 121 countries in the Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2022, down from the 101st position the previous year.
  • Comparison: India was ranked behind its neighbors Nepal (81), Pakistan (99), Sri Lanka (64), and Bangladesh (84).
  • Other: 
    • The population's undernourishment went from 14.8 in 2014 to 16.3 in 2022.
    • The prevalence of wasting in children under five years jumped from 15.1 in 2014 to 19.3 in 2022.

Also Read: India’s Performance in Human Development Report 2022

Allegations on GHI

As per the Ministry for Women and Child Development: 

  • The lower ranking of India is based on the estimates of the Proportion of the Undernourished (PoU) population. 
  • The U.S. Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) estimate is based on the ‘Food Insecurity Experience Scale (FIES)’ survey module conducted using the Gallup World Poll. 
  • The data represented a minuscule proportion for a country of India’s size. 
  • India’s per capita dietary energy supply is increasing year-on-year due to enhanced production of major agricultural commodities in the country over the years.
  • The report disconnected from ground reality and ignores the food security efforts of the Central government, especially during the pandemic, such as:
    • The Union Cabinet through the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojna (PM-GKAY), provisioned an additional five kg ration per person each month in addition to their normal quota of foodgrains as per the National Food Security Act. 

News Source: The Indian Express, The Hindu



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