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India in GHI 2020

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The position of India in the Global Hunger Index (GHI) score is far from being satisfactory, though the decadal progress of India in dealing with hunger looks positive. The GHI score for India in 2000 was 38.9 and has reduced to 27.2 in 2020. However, the pace of progress when compared with many other countries is not impressive. A comparison of India with other countries on GHI shows a dismal picture. For example, India lags far behind the other BRICS (a grouping of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) nations. The GHI scores of Brazil and China are the lowest among the ranked countries, with a score of <5, and the scores of Russian Federation and South Africa are 5.2 and 13.5, respectively. The rankings of GHI of the neighbouring countries of India, such as Pakistan (24.6), Myanmar (20.9), Bangladesh (20.4), Sri Lanka (16.3) and Nepal (19.5), stand better. What is astonishing is the ranking of India below the low income countries like the Democratic Republic of the Congo (26), Ethiopia (26.2), and Angola (26.8). This is a matter of serious concern.

The low ranking of India in GHI naturally raises concern about its food security issues. As per the figures (September 2020) of the Food Corporation of India (FCI), the total foodgrain stock (both rice and wheat) is 700.27 lakh metric tonnes (MT). The stock of unmilled paddy and coarse grains is 109.47 lakh MT and 1.37 lakh MT. The total foodgrain stock has been increased while comparing with previous years, even before the end of 2020. This points towards the sufficient food stocks in India. What is lacking is its proper utilisation by the states. The storage and its utilisation of foodgrains (data) with FCI for August 2020 show underutilisation of foodgrains by many states such as West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana and Sikkim. Utilisation is below 65%. This indicates a serious lacuna on the distribution side. The food shortage crisis in India is mainly because of its poor governance in providing adequate food to the needy and deserving people. This reflects the overall nutritional status of the people of India, and thereby, India finds a place at the bottom of the GHI.

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Updated On : 23rd Oct, 2020

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