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Flawed, devoid of ground reality: India rubbishes Global Hunger Report 2021

Claiming that the report makers had not done their due diligence before releasing the report, the Women and Child Development Ministry said that the report relied on the results of a 'four question' opinion poll conducted telephonically by Gallup. 

India rubbishes Global Hunger Report 2021, calls it devoid of ground reality
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New Delhi, First Published Oct 15, 2021, 9:35 PM IST
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India on Friday rejected the findings of the Global Hunger Report 2021 which said that the country had slipped down to 101st position with neighbouring Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh moving ahead of it.

The report, brought out by German organisation Welt Hunger Hilf and Irish aid agency Concern Worldwide, noted the level of hunger in India was alarming.

India was ranked 101 out of the 116 countries for which data was available. Last year, India was ranked 94.

Contesting the claims made in the Global Hunger Report, the Women and Child Development ministry said that the findings were devoid of ground reality and suffered from serious methodological issues.

Claiming that the report makers had not done their due diligence before releasing the report, the Smriti Irani-led ministry said that the report relied on the results of a 'four question' opinion poll conducted telephonically by Gallup. 

In a statement, the ministry said that the scientific measurement of undernourishment would require measurement of weight and height, whereas the methodology adopted for the Global Hunger Report was a Gallup poll based on a telephonic estimate of the population. 

The ministry further said that the Global Hunger Report totally ignored the Narendra Modi government's efforts to ensure food security of the entire population during the Covid-19 period, verifiable data on which are available. 

The ministry noted that the opinion poll did not ask the respondents whether they received any food support from the government. 

Rubbishing the representativeness of the opinion poll as doubtful, the ministry listed 13 measures taken by the government to meet the food requirements of the most vulnerable sections of the society during the pandemic phase.

Among the schemes listed by the government included the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana and the Atma Nirbhar Bharat Scheme wherein foodgrains were allocated under Open Market Sale Scheme (Domestic) for all the beneficiaries to whom ration cards have been issued by the state governments, but who are not covered under National Food Security Act for three months from April to June 2020. The beneficiaries were provided wheat at Rs 21 per kilogram and rice at Rs 22 per kilogram. This scheme was extended beyond May 2021.

Besides, for three months from April to June 2020, the government paid 24 per cent of monthly wages into PF accounts of wage-earners below Rs 15,000/- per month in organized sector businesses having less than 100 workers to prevent any disruption.

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