Topic: Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System- objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing.
5) Hidden hunger is a major challenge for India. Discuss the statement in the light of recent Global Hunger Index and also elaborate on India’s effort to achieve food security.(250 words)
Why this question:
The question is intended to evaluate the hidden hunger scenario prevalent in the country.
Key demand of the question:
The answer must highlight the recent findings of the global hunger index report and discuss the efforts being made to eradicate the hidden hunger issue.
Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.
Structure of the answer:
Begin with brief narration of the findings of the report.
Discussion should include the following:
Explain that the Global hunger index and its rankings reflect the status of food security in a particular country. It is based on four factors – stunting, wasting, under nourishment and child mortality.
Nutritional transition in India where food habits are moving from minimally processed food to highly processed, calorific, micro nutrient poor foods can be cited as a reason.
Excessive stress on high yielding staple crops such as rice and wheat has also worsened the stress on micro nutrient rich food. Food inflation, lack of sufficient information, education on balanced nutrition can be cited as other reasons.
Then discuss in what way the report took a positive opinion on India s effort to raise its food security. PDS system, NRHM, Midday meal program, ICDS scheme, Antyodaya anna yojana all are the steps in ensuring food security. Here the criticism is that Indian planning was centered on carbohydrate security rather than nutritional security as a whole.
Added to this, leakages in PDS, improper targeting need to be addressed. In this context, reforms initiated in Chhattisgarh for protein malnutrition, Universal PDS system can provide a direction.
Conclude with way forward.