Former NDTV journalist and advisor to Manmohan Singh lies about India’s rank in Hunger Index

On October 14, GoNews24x7 tweeted that India’s hunger index is extremely alarming with a rank of 103 among 119 nations. It also posted an infographic which shows that India’s rank has declined substantially in the last five years, from a rank of 55 in 2014. GoNews24x7 is founded by Pankaj Pachauri, who was a journalist with NDTV and then became media advisor of former PM Manmohan Singh.

The same was tweeted by Pankaj Pachauri also, highlighting the rankings for 2014 and 2018, and also mentioning the publicity spend of government in those two years. Thereby insinuating that India’s performance in hunger has declined sharply while the government is more focused on publicity.

Although the current rank of India in the global hunger index is correct, what is depicted by the year wise ranking data is misleading. The annual ranks mentioned creates the impression that India’s ranking was much better earlier and it is on a rapid decline since the Modi government came to power.

- Advertisement - - Article resumes -

But that is not true. The steep decline is the result of a change in methodology adopted by IFPRI (International Food Policy Research Institute), the organisation that calculates the index. Till the year 2014, the institute did not include any country with low hunger levels in the report, and in 2014 there were 44 such countries. All these 44 countries were ranked above India. And if these countries were included in the rankings, India’s 2014 ranking would have been 99, instead of 55. This means that India’s index has remained largely the same over the last five years, with minor variations.

The same allegation that India’s rank has declined steeply was made last year also, and responding to queries, IFPRI had informed via email that change in ranking is due to change in method as now all countries are ranked, including those which were excluded earlier.

The email had also informed that Despite low rankings, India has done well in reducing hunger, and since 2000 the country had reduced its hunger index by 20%. IFPRI had noted that although India has a lot to do to reduce its hunger levels, claiming that its index has fallen by such huge extent is misleading and not true.

Although the Global Hunger Index is an important parameter in measuring the progress of a nation, it is not without some inherent flaws. The index is calculated based on four parameters, percentage of the undernourished population, the percentage of children who die before the age of five, percentage children under five with a low weight-for-height ratio, percentage children under five with a low height-for-age ratio.

While the first two parameters can’t be questioned, the same can’t be said about the other two. As economist Arvind Panagariya has noted, the methodology clubs height and weight of all children in the world together and that is taken as a basis for the index. But that is the wrong approach. The reason for low height or low weight for a child may not be malnutrition, but it may be heredity or genetics also.

People in different places in the world have different average height and weight, so what is under-weight in one region may be perfectly healthy in another. Panagariya has argued that if appropriate corrections are applied to the index, India will rank much ahead of sub-Saharan countries, which are currently ranked ahead of India. Because average height and weight are higher in those countries, even when other parameters like infant mortality and maternal mortality are much worse than India for them.

Share and Support:
Support OpIndia by paying for content

Most read articles recently

‘Will not develop areas which did not vote for me’: Rajasthan Congress MLA shortly after winning

Rajender Singh Bidhuri fought and won a close battle against BJP MLA Suresh Dhakad with a margin of 1661 votes.

Here is why BJP lost elections, and of course, it was deliberate

What BJP supporters need to realise is this - no political party ever wants to lose and least of all, a party led by the two most politically aggressive politicians the country has ever seen.

Ranchi: Court summons Rahul Gandhi for his defamatory remarks against Amit Shah

The petitioner submitted that the statement by Rahul Gandhi against Amit Shah had hurt his sentiments and tarnished the image of the party.

India cannot turn into Islamic Nation, only Modi can understand gravity and do needful: Meghalaya HC

There should be uniform law for all Indian citizens, and anybody opposing the Indian laws and constitution cannot be considered as citizens of the country, Meghalaya High Court noted

BJP has lost the digital and social media edge, but it is not too late to recover

Talented supporters are BJP's key asset. If things start moving now BJP will be able to recover the edge lost by 'IT cell'. The time to act is now.

Priyanka Gandhi part of selection process of Congress CM in the state where her husband faces probe

Priyanka Gandhi's husband, Robert Vadra, was recently summoned for the third time by the Enforcement Directorate in the Bikaner land deal money laundering case after he missed the first two.
Modi government vindicated, SC says Rafale Deal clean

SC verdict on Rafale deal: Read scathing comments made by Court while dismissing petitions for inquiry

Supreme Court dismissed petitions for an enquiry into Rafale deal pricing, offset partner selection and procurement procedure. Read scathing observations

Congress friendly journalist wishes death upon BJP Delhi spokesperson Tajinder Bagga

During the run-up to Gujarat assembly elections last year, Trivedi was caught spreading morphed images with Amit Shah's fake quotes on Patidars

For all his angst against Adani, Rahul Gandhi chose Kamal Nath who rallied behind Adani for power plant in Chhindwara

Kamal Nath is believed to be close to Gautam Adani, whom Rahul Gandhi has frequently accused of being a 'crony capitalist'

BJP’s real woes: Lessons from the electoral semi-finals

The prolonged silence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah on election results was very telling. The results were clearly unexpected and possibly led to prolonged internal discussions on the future course of action.

Latest articles

Connect with us

125,637FansLike
97,849FollowersFollow
6,079SubscribersSubscribe

Don't miss these