New Delhi: A day after India slipped to the 101st position in the Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2021 of 116 countries, from its 2020 position of 94th, the Ministry of Women and Child Development on Friday (October 15, 2021) issued a rebuttal to the publishers of the index.
The Centre alleged that the report by the publishing agencies is “devoid of ground reality". It also said that Concern Worldwide and Welt Hunger Hilfe have not done their “due diligence” before releasing the report.
The ministry in a statement today said, “It is shocking to find that the Global Hunger Report 20201 has lowered the rank of India on the basis of FAO estimate on proportion of undernourished population, which is found to be devoid of ground reality and facts and suffers from serious methodological issues. The publishing agencies of the Global Hunger Report, Concern Worldwide and Welt Hunger Hilfe, have not done their due diligence before releasing the report.”
The release by the Ministry of Women and Child Development went on to label the methodology used by FAO as “unscientific”. It also claimed there was no methodology to measure undernourishment.
“The methodology used by FAO is unscientific. They have based their assessment on the results of a ‘four question’ opinion poll, which was conducted telephonically by Gallup. There is no scientific methodology to measure undernourishment like the availability of food grains per capita during the period. The scientific measurement of undernourishment would require measurement of weight and Height, whereas the methodology involved here is based on Gallup poll based on pure telephonic estimate of the population,” the ministry added in the release.
The release also stated that there were several issues with the methodology and said that the respondents were not asked anything about food support received from the government or other sources.
“The report completely disregards the Government’s massive effort to ensure food security of the entire population during the covid period, verifiable data on which are available,” it added.