ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Global Hunger Index 2022

Methodological Clarifications and Fresh Insights

At first, the arguments put forward by the government to question India’s GHI 2022 ranking appear technically valid. However, being founded on narrow conceptual considerations, they are insufficient to defend India’s position. While India’s GHI ranking is affected also by the performance of other countries, the GHI score shows consistent deterioration since 2015, except in 2020. A preliminary assessment of data indicates that India’s GHI ranking should not be seen in isolation and instead is likely a manifestation of absolute increase in urban hunger.

Each time India slips on the Global Hunger Index (GHI), the Government of India (GoI) questions the reliability of undernourishment data collected through the Gallup survey solely, because other data come from government sources itself. However, if the government is so keen to defend itself, perhaps it should find a better explanation. For example, ranking is a relative indicator and is affected not just by India’s performance but also by the performance of other countries. This means India’s ranking can go down if other countries have improved their performances, even if India’s absolute position is unaltered. Thus, to understand the ­Indian scenario, it is important to look at the ranking in light of the GHI score that India has obtained over the years. Between 2016 and 2022, India has ranked 100th or below on the GHIs, except in 2020. While India’s GHI ranking has deteriorated since 2016, its GHI scores look more or less flat with the lowest value occurring in GHI 2020 (Figure 1, p 15). At the same time, the GHI ranking as well as scores of India’s counterparts in South Asia have improved (Figure 2, p 15). Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka as well as Pakistan have improved their scores, while India’s score has slightly declined, leading to a visible decline in India’s ranking on GHI 2022. This does not mean that hunger is not rising in India. As seen from Figure 1, the GHI score with slight improvement in 2020 has been det­eriorating. Moreover, the Indian slip on GHI 2022 should not be seen in isolation; rather it confirms a trend—that of worsening hunger (Choudhary 2022a), espe­cially in urban areas. The sections that follow first respond to government’s each criticism and then attempts to find initial answers to why India’s ranking on GHIs has been slipping.

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Updated On : 12th Dec, 2022
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