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

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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.

India’s Slip on Global Hunger Index

After witnessing an improvement from 2008 to 2014, India’s rank on Global Hunger Index slipped in 2016. This slip is attributed to reformulation of GHI to encompass the multidimensional character of malnutrition, wherein underweight was replaced by stunting and wasting. While GHI scores of several other countries witnessed a decline, India fared worse. This is explained through a stickiness in child stunting levels in India attributed to gendered norms, poor sanitation, and high regional concentration.

Hunger and Structural Inequality

We consider that the right to food is a universal human right. Violation of this right results in hunger and malnutrition. We believe that the problems of hunger and malnutrition in our country are created by structural poverty and inequality resulting in severe food insecurity. This situation is...

Food and Nutrition in India: Facts and Interpretations

This paper reviews recent evidence on food intake and nutrition in India. It attempts to make sense of various puzzles, particularly the decline of average calorie intake during the last 25 years. This decline has occurred across the distribution of real per capita expenditure, in spite of increases in real income and no long-term increase in the relative price of food. One hypothesis is that calorie requirements have declined due to lower levels of physical activity or improvements in the health environment. If correct, this does not imply that there are no calorie deficits in the Indian population - nothing could be further from the truth. These deficits are reflected in some of the worst anthropometric indicators in the world, and the sluggish rate of improvement of these indicators is of major concern. Yet recent trends remain confused and there is an urgent need for better nutrition monitoring.

Democracy and Hunger

The Politics of Hunger in India: A Study of Democracy, Governance and Kalahandi’s Poverty by Bob Currie; Macmillan India, Chennai, 2000; (cloth) Rs 350.
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