The Centre on Saturday said misinformation seems to be the hallmark of the annually released Global Hunger Index. The Global Hunger Report 2022 released by Concern Worldwide and Welt Hunger Hilfe, Non-Government Organisations from Ireland and Germany, respectively, has ranked India at 107 among 121 countries.
"The index is an erroneous measure of hunger and suffers from serious methodological issues. Three out of the four indicators used for calculation of the index are related to health of children and cannot be representative of the entire population. The fourth and most important indicator estimate of Proportion of Undernourished (PoU) population is based on an opinion poll conducted on a very small sample size of 3,000," said a statement by the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
The Ministry said that the report is not only disconnected from ground reality but also chooses to deliberately ignore efforts made by the government to ensure food security for the population especially during the Covid pandemic.
"Taking a one-dimensional view, the report lowers India's rank based on the estimate of Proportion of Undernourished (PoU) population for India at 16.3 per cent. The FAO estimate is based on 'Food Insecurity Experience Scale (FIES)' Survey Module conducted through Gallop World Poll, which is an 'opinion poll' based on '8 questions' with a sample size of '3000 respondents'.
The data collected from a miniscule sample for a country of India's size through FIES has been used to compute PoU value for India which is not only wrong and un-ethical, it also reeks of obvious bias.
The publishing agencies of the Global Hunger Report, Concern Worldwide and Welt Hunger Hilfe, have evidently not done their due diligence before releasing the report, the statement said.
The Ministry said the matter was taken up with FAO not to use such estimates based on FIES survey module data in July 2022 as the statistical output of the same will not be based on merit.
Though an assurance was forthcoming, that there will be further engagement on this issue, the publication of the Global Hunger Index report irrespective of such factual considerations is regrettable, it added.