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

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A Methodological Rectification in the Global Hunger Index

The article proposes a methodological correction to the original Global Hunger Index to improve its validity as a tool to measure hunger in a country. Normalising the variables using their range instead of historic peaks as in the original GHI would help eliminate some of the measurement bias from the ranking procedure and make the ranking more justifi able to the present-day data.

Household Consumption Expenditure Inequality in Rural India (1993–94 to 2011–12)

The comparative role of determinants of household-level consumption expenditure inequalities (henceforth, inequalities) in rural India between two sub-periods, 1994–2005 and 2005–12 are examined, using three rounds of the National Sample Survey Consumer Expenditure Survey. The changes in the components of consumption expenditure and population characteristics are explored that explain inequalities during the two sub-periods, which represent distinct policy environments. We use both a priori and regression-based decomposition methods for the analysis. We find that there is a complete reversal of the role of education in explaining inequalities. It shifted from being an inequality-increasing factor during 1994–2005 to an inequality-equalising factor during 2005–12. This reversal is induced by decreasing consumption returns to education due to the depressed job market. The role of locational factors has increased in explaining the increase in inequalities over time. The non-food components induce an increase in the overall inequalities via an increased expenditure on durables. The within-group component contributes the most to the level of and change in inequalities.

Determinants and Dynamics of Food Insecurity during COVID-19 in Rural Eastern India

Using comprehensive telephone survey data from 2,599 households, the paper estimates the status of food insecurity using the food insecurity experience scale in rural households in eastern India. The results indicate that households belonging to lower social strata with less land and fewer years of education are more likely to suffer from food insecurity.

An Assessment of the Nutritional Status of India’s Rural Labour since the Early 1980s

India has been on a rising path of economic development since independence, but it is still predominantly rural where 70% of population lives. This paper attempts to analyse changes in living standards of the rural poor, basically rural labour, in terms of nutritional level since the 1980s at all-India and state levels so that correct policy measures may be initiated to improve their lives. By using data from the National Sample Survey Office, it is found that there is, in general, an improvement in nutritional levels of rural labour in India since the 1980s. However, for rural India, the findings of reinforce some of the results of the previous literature. However, recent thick rounds of the National Sample Survey show some improvement in their nutritional level, which is a positive sign.

The Hunger Conundrum

India has to accelerate efforts to improve the nutrition levels of the population.

Ways to Tackle Hunger during COVID-19

COVID-19 has not only caused deaths but has also exacerbated hunger and starvation due to nationwide lockdowns in the country that have led to a massive breakdown in the supply chain networks. These tough times are no less than a “wake-up call” for India to devise a permanent supply chain solution that ensures an uninterrupted supply of food and nutrition as well as timely healthcare and employment for its population.

Biofortification

Biofortification refers to the increase in the amount of essential vitamins or provitamins or minerals in crops to improve the nutritional status of the people. The article argues that biofortification may not be an effective weapon to fight against the hidden hunger since it demonstrates limited capacity for nutritional enhancement and suggests a couple of alternatives.

Sustaining the Sustainable Development Goals

This article critiques the framework used for assessing the progress of the Sustainable Development Goals and their comparison across states. While acknowledging the novel intention of such an exercise, the article argues for the need to ensure scientific rigour and improve the validity of the...

What Is the Effective Delivery Mechanism of Food Support in India?

The public distribution system is the cornerstone of anti-poverty initiatives in India to address the issue of hunger and malnutrition, but is plagued with leakages and corruption. Though several possible reasons account for these problems, one factor that is generally overlooked is the lack of assessment of the preference of the beneficiaries in terms of product portfolio, selection, and delivery mechanisms. Through a mixed methods analysis across Bihar, Odisha and (eastern) Uttar Pradesh, this paper assesses the factors explaining the diversity in the preference for the delivery mechanism. What would be a straightforward choice problem among delivery mechanisms turns out to be far more intricate when mediated by contextual heterogeneity and unequal power relations at different levels. The results highlight the centrality of demand and build a case for demand assessment in improving the effectiveness of the system.

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