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

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Spatialising Urban Vulnerability Perspectives from COVID-19 Food Relief in Delhi

To address hunger, the Government of Delhi had issued temporary ration e-coupons in the first COVID-19 lockdowns of 2020. This article uses a data set of nearly 17 lakh households that applied for e-coupons to measure and spatialise food insecurity in the city. It does so to measure unmet demand for social protection as well as to draw learnings for the design of urban social protection systems.

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.

Deciphering the Indian Slip on the Global Hunger Index 2021

The Indian slip on the Global Hunger Index 2021 is being attributed by the government to the alleged methodological discrepancies involved in constructing the GHI. This article, to begin with, counters the government’s argument defending India’s position on the GHI. It further finds that India likely has been undergoing a decline in food security since the mid-2000s itself. The trend is corroborated from the 2019–20 data available for selected states. Though COVID-19 has compounded the food insecurity challenges, India’s position on the GHI cannot be attributed to the pandemic alone. Rather, it reflects a trend that India has been experiencing for sometime now.

COVID-19 and the Everyday Challenges of Indigenous Peoples of Tripura

Although there were some responses from the government and community sociocultural organisations to deal with an unforeseen crisis during the COVID-19 pandemic, it brought enormous challenges in the everyday life of indigenous peoples of Tripura. In this article, the everyday challenges faced by the rural indigenous peoples of Tripura during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and the immediate response by the government and community sociocultural organisations are unravelled.

Food Security and COVID-19: Why India’s Public Distribution System Requires an Overhaul

In light of the ongoing pandemic and India's crumbling economy, what are the factors that we should pay heed to if we're to mitigate the food insecurity that India's migrant population faces?

The Empire, Its Law and the Bankruptcy of Anthropologists

Anthropologists in India are ill-equipped to engage in a fruitful dialogue with the government as regards the acquisition of land effected under the Land Acquisition Act of 1894, even after 70 years of independence. With land being one of the most vital life support systems of the poor populations, anthropologists should generate a solid database on the biocultural impacts of land acquisition. Ironically, the Anthropological Survey of India has not yet been able to produce scientific data on the biocultural impact of land takeover, particularly on food insecurity and its consequent impact on health and nutrition.

Public Provisioning for Social Protection and Its Implications for Food Security

Persistent hunger and pervasive malnutrition are serious problems in the developing world. Recent literature suggests that well-designed public policies towards provisioning of social protection/security and strengthening of support measures to smallholder agriculture appear to be effective in reducing hunger and malnutrition. An investigation of the role of public provisioning on social protection in combating hunger using the recent evidence for 64 countries in the global South makes a strong case for a substantial push in public provisioning in favour of social protection, which, along with other policy measures, could play a vital role in strengthening national food security. Further, low levels of per capita income must not become an excuse for addressing the most basic human needs, as adequate fiscal space can be created even at low levels of income.

Food Poverty and Consumption among Landless Labour Households

In this study of food insecurity among India's poor, the food intake of landless agricultural labour households was measured twice, to find variations between slack and peak seasons. Within and between wet and dry villages the 'caste' differences in food intake between backward castes (BCs) and scheduled castes (SCs) were examined. Findings showed that the majority of sample households survived on cereals, and had only one main meal per day, a stark indicator of food insecurity. Female-headed households were the most adversely affected 'poverty group' in the study villages irrespective of caste. The landless peoples' lack of basic needs (clothing, shelter, household equipment, and health care) revealed much more of their utter destitution than conventional food intake.
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