Question : India's Position in Global Hunger Index

(a) whether any ranking list of the countries in the Global Hunger Index has been released recently by the International Food Policy Research Institute, if so, the details and the criteria thereof along with the ranking accorded to India in the said list, vis-a-vis 2015 list and the reasons for decline in India''s ranking;
(b) whether 15 per cent of Indians do not get two square meals a day as on date and if so, the reasons therefor;
(c) the corrective steps taken by the Government in this regard during the last three years and the steps being proposed for the upcoming period to protect the citizens from hunger trap and to improve the ranking in Global Hunger Index;
(d) whether the Government proposes to lay down any policy to deal with the problems of hunger, starvation and undernourishment in the country, if so, the details thereof along with the time by which final decision is likely to be taken in this regard; and
(e) whether India is facing such problems of hunger and starvation while thousands of tonnes of foodgrain stored in the open are rotting and despite producing surplus foodgrains and having a strong economy, if so, the response of the Government thereto along with the corrective action taken thereon?

Answer given by the minister

(a) : As per information available in the public domain, Global Hunger Index (GHI) report 2016 brought out by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), India’s rank has been calculated as 97 out of 118 countries. In 2015, India’s GHI rank was 80 out of 104 countries. The Global Hunger index Score for India has reduced to 28.5 in 2016, which is an improvement over 29.0 in 2015. In 2016 16 countries with low GHI Scores were also added to the GHI Rank list and given a collective rank from 1 to 16.
(b) : The Global Hungr Index report provides the following undernourishment and malnutrition related statistics on India
-15.2% of the population is undernourished
-15.1 % of children under 5 years are wasted
-38.7 of children under the age of five are stunted and
-Under five mortality rate is quoted as 4.8%
(c) and (d): The Government of India has accorded high priority to the issue of hunger and malnutrition in the country and is implementing several schemes/programmes through State Governments/UT Administrations to improve food security situation in the country. These include Targeted Public Distribution System(TPDS), Wheat Based Nutrition Programme (WBNP) for providing Supplementary Nutrition, Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme for pre-school children and pregnant and lactating mothers through the Ministry of Women and Child Development. Mid-Day-Meal Scheme (MDM) for primary and upper primary children through Ministry of Human Resource Development, Annapurna Scheme for the senior citizens, Nutritional Programme for Adolescent Girls, Emergency Feeding Programme, etc.
The Government is also implementing the National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013 to provide food security to the population. The Act provides for coverage of upto 75% of the rural and 50% of the urban population to receive highly subsidized foodgrains under TPDS. The Act also contains provisions for nutritional support to pregnant women and lactating mothers or children below 14 years of age.
Foodgrains at highly subsidized prices are provided to the targeted population through State Governments/UT Administrations under the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS), National Food Security Act (NFSA) and Other Welfare Schemes (OWS). During the year 2015-16, Government of India has allocated 611.10 lakh tonnes of foodgrains under TPDS, NFSA and OWS. During 2016-17, Government of India has so far allocated 627.99 lakh tonnes of foodgrains under TPDS, NFSA and OWS.
(e): Foodgrains conforming to prescribed norms are procured for central pool and stored in scientific manner in covered and CAP (Cover and Plinth) storage. All precautionary measures are taken for safe storage of foodgrains to avoid damage. Inspite of all precautions, some quantity may get damaged/ non-issuable due to various reasons such as storage pest attack, leakages in godowns, procurement of poor quality stocks, spillage during movement and handling of stocks, exposure to rains, floods, negligence on the part of concerned persons in taking precautionary measures etc.

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