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My notes - Global hunger index -2015 15-10-2015

15 October 2015


Global Hunger index

  • Its ranking reflects the status of food security in a particular country.
  • It is based on four factors - stunting, wasting, under nourishment and child mortality.
  • Report of 2015 focuses on armed conflict as a major reason for growth of hunger and failure of the states to deal with food insecurity.
  • India now ranks 55 among 76 emerging economies, but is still trailing behind countries like Thailand, China, Ghana, Iraq, Sri Lanka and Nepal.
  • A sharp reduction in the percentage of underweight children has helped India improve its hunger record. However, India remains home to the largest number of chronically malnourished and stunted children under five, the report said.


Change in food habits


Developing countries are moving from traditional diets based on minimally processed foods to highly processed, energy-dense, micronutrient-poor foods and drinks, which lead to obesity and diet-related chronic diseases. 


Hidden Hunger

  • The increasing micronutrient deficiency can be described as hidden hunger. For ex - Anemia from Iron deficiency, Goiter and mental illness from Iodine deficiency, night blindness from Vitamin A deficiency.
  • The fall in the prices of staple food grains such as rice, wheat and rise in the prices of fruits, vegetables made these food items with abundant micro nutrients unattractive to poor families. In this context, the report added a cautionary note that an overemphasis on high-yielding staple crops during the Green Revolution (from mid-1970s to mid-1990s) “may have both improved and worsened nutrition”.

Triple burden of India

  • India is going through a nutritional transition leading to increased dependence on processed food. It is the major cause of obesity and on the other side micro nutrient deficiency, undernourishment together can be described as triple burden.


Sustainable development goals and Hunger


  • The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) signal a renewed commitment to end hunger and global poverty by 2030. Under Goal 2, which is a call “to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture,” it will be critical to ensure that all people, in particular the poor and people in vulnerable situations, have access to sufficient and safe nutritious food all year round.


What the report says about India


  • The government of India has scaled up nutrition-specific interventions over the past decade, including (1) a final drive to expand the Integrated Child Development Services program that aims to improve the health, nutrition, and development of children in India; and (2) the creation of the National Rural Health Mission, a community-based health initiative designed to deliver essential health services to rural India (Avula et al. 2013). However, progress in reducing child undernutrition has been uneven across India’s states. While the reasons for the improvements—or lack thereof—are not entirely clear, one factor that seems to correlate with undernutrition in India is open defecation, which contributes to illnesses that prevent the absorption of nutrients. Additionally, the low social status of women, which affects women’s health and nutrition, makes it more likely that babies will be born underweight.


Education in schools - E fixation.

  • There is an excessive emphasis on technology in school education. Technology became an important tool in the commodification of education. Even in government budgetary spending, technology took the prominence over teacher training.
  • OECDs PISA study(program for international student assessment) shows that better technology in classrooms does not always translate in to better learning outcomes. If east asian countries that rely on limited technology and better student teacher interaction achieved improved learning outcomes than students in OECD countries. It can be attributed to two reasons.
  1. Engagement expected between the teacher and student might be high in a computer assisted lesson than in a conventional class.
  2. Information assortment and finding reliable and relevant information need more help from teacher.
  • In India, governments have treated computer as a device that can make the teacher dispensable. This may lead to disastrous consequences in a country where learning outcomes are already poor. So, the government shall focus more on curriculum, pedagogic needs, examination reforms etc.


Importance of Art 370.


  • Recent judgement of high court of J&K on permanency of Art 370 reopened the debate. It was given in the context that, reservations in promotions are not applicable to Jammu and Kashmir as no presidential order was issued to extend 77th constitutional amendment act to the state.
  • It shall be understood that, disputing Art 370 will weaken the legal basis for J&K to be part of India. Above all, if any discussion has to be happened, it is wise to discuss the status only after the issue of Kashmir is resolved with Pakistan. If not, any action will become a misadventure.







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