Centre trashes Hunger Index, says methodology of survey unscientific | India News

Centre trashes Hunger Index, says methodology of survey unscientific | India News

NEW DELHI: In a strongly worded rebuttal, the Centre questioned the methodology followed by Global Hunger Report 2021 where India has moved down to 101st position in the Index (GHI) of 116 countries, from its 2020 rank of 94, pointing out that the data was based on a “telephonic estimate” from Gallup calls.
India slammed the findings that found it lagging its neighbours Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal, saying the “four question” survey did not include a query on whether respondents had recieved support from government schemes during the pandemic. It also pointed out the report’s incongruous conclusion that countries like Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal improved their nutritional status, suggesting that the pandemic had no impact on them at all.
In a statement on the findings, the ministry of women and child development has said that it is “shocking” to find that the report has lowered the rank of India on the basis of the Food and Agriculture Organisation estimate on proportion of undernourished population, “which is found to be devoid of ground reality and facts and suffers from serious methodological issues”. The report released on October 14 has as its publishing agencies, Concern Worldwide and Welthungerhilfe.
The WCD ministry states that 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. The scientific measurement of undernourishment would require measurement of weight and height, whereas the methodology involved here is based on the Gallup poll based on telephonic estimate of the population,” the WCD ministry states.
The ministry also goes on to say that the report “completely disregards government’s massive effort to ensure food security of the entire population during the Covid period, verifiable data on which are available. “The opinion poll does not have a single question on whether the respondent received any food support from the government or other sources. The representativeness of even this opinion poll is doubtful for India and other countries.”
“It is noted with surprise that other four countries of this region – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka, have not been affected at all by Covid-19 pandemic induced loss of job/business and reduction in income levels, rather they have been able to improve their position on the indicator ‘proportion of undernourished population,” the WCD observes.

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