Skip to main content

Top global report praises UPA govt effort in 2005-14 to reduce hunger, after bringing in major policy changes

Counterview Desk
Even as ranking India 80th in Global Hunger Index (GHI) among 104 developing countries, a new study, carried out by a group of research organizations led by the Washington-based International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) says that the country’s has been able to successfully fight against child undernutrition in India after 2005.
Giving full mark to the Government of India (GoI) rulers of the period till 2014, the report – which has been prepared in coordination with Concern Worldwide, Welthungerhilfe (Bonn) and World Peace Foundation (Dublin) – says that in India, “wasting in children fell from 20 per cent to 15 per cent between 2005–2006 and 2013–2014, and stunting fell from 48 percent to 39 percent.”
The study is based on a calculation of four indicators: percentage of the population that is undernourished, of children under five years old who suffer from wasting (low weight for height), of children under five years old who suffer from stunting (low height for age), and of children who die before the age of five (child mortality).
The calculation results in “GHI scores on a 100-point scale where 0 is the best score (no hunger) and 100 the worst” the study says, adding, “Across regions and countries, GHI scores vary considerably.” India’s GHI was 48.1 in 1990, reduced to 42.3 in 1995, slightly came down to 38.2 in 2000, then increased to 38.5, and went down to 29.0 in 2015.
The best GHI score is of Kuwait – just 5.0 – and the worst is that of the Central African Republic, 46.9. While Pakistan, with a GHI score of 33.9, ranks 93rd, one of the worst in the world, Bangladesh, with a GHI score of 27.3, is a little better than India, ranking 73rd.
Despite India's improvement, South Asia's performance is worst among all world regions
Among the BRICS countries, which India considers as its main competitors, Russia’s GHI score is 6.6, ranking 11th. Brazil is found to be much better than all the 104 countries with a GHI score of less than 5.0 and has not been included the list. As for China, it ranks No 21 with a GHI score of 8.6, and South Africa with a score of 12.4 ranks No 38th.
The study believes, the improvement in India has happened because the GoI during 2005 and 2014 “scaled up nutrition-specific interventions over the past decade”, including
  • “a final drive to expand the Integrated Child Development Services program that aims to improve the health, nutrition, and development of children in India; and 
  • “the creation of the National Rural Health Mission, a community-based health initiative designed to deliver essential health services to rural India.”
Even as saying that South Asia’s GHI score, after declining “at a moderate rate between 1990 and 2000”, with progress stalling between 2000 and 2005 “before hunger levels dropped again between 2005 and 2015”, the study says, it largely due to India that the region’s GHI dropped by “more than 8 points.”
“However”, the study underlines, “Progress in reducing child undernutrition has been uneven across India’s states. While the reasons for the improvements—or lack thereof—are not entirely clear, one factor that seems to correlate with undernutrition in India is open defecation, which contributes to illnesses that prevent the absorption of nutrients.”
“Additionally”, the study says, “The low social status of women, which affects women’s health and nutrition, makes it more likely that babies will be born underweight.”

Comments

TRENDING

Bill Gates as funder, author, editor, adviser? Data imperialism: manipulating the metrics

By Dr Amitav Banerjee, MD*  When Mahatma Gandhi on invitation from Buckingham Palace was invited to have tea with King George V, he was asked, “Mr Gandhi, do you think you are properly dressed to meet the King?” Gandhi retorted, “Do not worry about my clothes. The King has enough clothes on for both of us.”

Stagnating wages since 2014-15: Economists explain Modi legacy for informal workers

By Our Representative  Real wages have barely risen in India since 2014-15, despite rapid GDP growth. The country’s social security system has also stagnated in this period. The lives of informal workers remain extremely precarious, especially in states like Jharkhand where casual employment is the main source of livelihood for millions. These are some of the findings presented by economists Jean Drèze and Reetika Khera at a press conference convened by the Loktantra Bachao 2024 campaign. 

Displaced from Bangladesh, Buddhist, Hindu groups without citizenship in Arunachal

By Sharma Lohit  Buddhist Chakma and Hindu Hajongs were settled in the 1960s in parts of Changlang and Papum Pare district of Arunachal Pradesh after they had fled Chittagong Hill Tracts of present Bangladesh following an ethnic clash and a dam disaster. Their original population was around 5,000, but at present, it is said to be close to one lakh.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Anti-Rupala Rajputs 'have no support' of numerically strong Kshatriya communities

By Rajiv Shah  Personally, I have no love lost for Purshottam Rupala, though I have known him ever since I was posted as the Times of India representative in Gandhinagar in 1997, from where I was supposed to do political reporting. In news after he made the statement that 'maharajas' succumbed to foreign rulers, including the British, and even married off their daughters them, there have been large Rajput rallies against him for “insulting” the community.

Magnetic, stunning, Protima Bedi 'exposed' malice of sexual repression in society

By Harsh Thakor*  Protima Bedi was born to a baniya businessman and a Bengali mother as Protima Gupta in Delhi in 1949. Her father was a small-time trader, who was thrown out of his family for marrying a dark Bengali women. The theme of her early life was to rebel against traditional bondage. It was extraordinary how Protima underwent a metamorphosis from a conventional convent-educated girl into a freak. On October 12th was her 75th birthday; earlier this year, on August 18th it was her 25th death anniversary.

Joblessness, saffronisation, corporatisation of education: BJP 'squarely responsible'

Counterview Desk  In an open appeal to youth and students across India, several student and youth organizations from across India have said that the ruling party is squarely accountable for the issues concerning the students and the youth, including expensive education and extensive joblessness.

What's Bill Gates up to? Have 'irregularities' found in funding HPV vaccine trials faded?

By Colin Gonsalves*  After having read the 72nd report of the Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on alleged irregularities in the conduct of studies using HPV vaccines by PATH in India, it was startling to see Bill Gates bobbing his head up and down and smiling ingratiatingly on prime time television while the Prime Minister lectured him in Hindi on his plans for the country. 

India's "welcome" proposal to impose sin tax on aerated drinks is part of to fight growing sugar consumption

By Amit Srivastava* A proposal to tax sugar sweetened beverages like tobacco in India has been welcomed by public health advocates. The proposal to increase sin taxes on aerated drinks is part of the recommendations made by India’s Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian on the upcoming Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill in the parliament of India.

Why it's only Modi ki guarantee, not BJP's, and how Varanasi has seen it up-close

"Development" along Ganga By Rosamma Thomas*  I was in Varanasi in this April, days before polling began for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. There are huge billboards advertising the Member of Parliament from Varanasi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The only image on all these large hoardings is of the PM, against a saffron background. It is as if the very person of Modi is what his party wishes to showcase.