Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, the Union Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, informed today in Lok Sabha that India’s ranking in the Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 brought out by Concern Worldwide and Welthungerhilfe was 80, 97, 100, 103, 102 and 94 respectively.
As per GHI Reports, the composite GHI scores of India have improved from 38.9 in 2000 to 27.2 in 2020. Thus, the country has shown consistent improvement over the years, the minister added.
The Government of India accords high priority to the issue of hunger and has been providing foodgrains at highly subsidised prices to the targeted population through state governments and union territory administrations under National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013 and Other Welfare Schemes (OWS), Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti further added.
She stated: “NFSA provides for coverage of up to 75% of the rural population and up to 50% of the urban population for receiving foodgrains under Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) @ Rs 1/2/3 per kg for coarse grains / wheat / rice respectively.
Identification of beneficiaries under the Act is under two categories- households covered under Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) and Priority Households (PHH). Priority Households are entitled to receive 5 Kg per person per month and AAY households are entitled to receive 35 Kg of foodgrains per household per month. At present, the Act is being implemented in all the states and UTs covering about 79.51 crore persons to get highly subsidised foodgrains. The coverage under the Act is substantially high to ensure that all the vulnerable and needy sections of the society get its benefit.”
The Act also contains provisions for nutritional support to pregnant women and lactating mothers and children up to 14 years of age. One of the guiding principles of the Act is its life cycle approach wherein special provisions have been made for pregnant women and lactating mothers and children in the age group of 6 months to 14 years, by entitling them to receive the nutritious meals free of cost through a widespread network of Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) centres called Anganwadi Centres under the ICDS scheme and also through schools under Mid-Day Meal (MDM) scheme.