GS2 Hunger and Malnutrition in India a must study for IAS Mains 2018

GS2 Hunger and Malnutrition in India a must study for IAS Mains 2018

 

In news because:

  • India has slipped from 97th position last year to 100th position this year Global Hunger Index.
  • The GHI report is brought up by the International Food Policy Research Institute.
  • With more than a fifth of the country’s children under five suffering from “wasting”— low weight for height —India has made no progress, over the past 20 years, in arresting the problem.

The GHI is calculated by taking into account four key parameters:

  • shares of undernourished population
  • wasted
  • stunted children aged under 5
  • infant mortality rate of the same age group

Causes of India’s poor performance at GHI

  1. Improper implementation: A major hindrance in fighting starvation in India is the lack of proper implementation of government schemes which are directed towards providing food for one and all.
  2. Corruption is the root cause: corruption on the local levels or there is a disinterest among the government officials to ensure that the schemes are properly being carried out.
  3. Flawed food distribution system: Almost 51% of the food delivered is lost to leakages and is sold in the open market for a higher price.
  4.  Malnutrition: causes of malnutrition in india:
    • Lack of awareness: Lack of awareness among people about sufficient health and nutrition is the primary reason (about wholesome, balanced and natural diets; healthy child-feeding and caring practices)
    • Access to nutritious food: People’s access to sufficient and nutritious food is equally important, which is still to be addressed.
    • Loopholes in the National Food Security Bill: Clear mechanisms with respect to the identification of beneficiaries have not been defined. The bill states that the states will provide the list of the poor but the states obviously do not possess such records.

What is the way ahead?

  • One effort to address the hunger (and nutrition) challenge is the enactment of the National Food Security Act.
  • To improve nutritional content in food products, steps must be taken towards universal food fortification.
  • Adequate funding is required for the effective implementation of any nutrition scheme
  • Many of the causes for the occurrence of malnutrition is known, however, attention needs to be paid to understanding what prevents the nation from achieving its goals related to nutrition.
  • Attention needs to be paid on building neighborhood health and nutrition profiles and carrying out interventions based on identified needs.

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