Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2022


  • The Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2022 has ranked India at 107th out of 121 countries and a score of 29.1 puts India in the “serious” category.

About the Global Hunger Index (GHI)

  • The GHI 2021: India had slipped to 101st position of 116 countries (from its 94th position in 2020).
  • Objective: The GHI is a tool designed to comprehensively measure and track hunger at global, regional, and national levels, reflecting multiple dimensions of hunger over time. 
  • Published by
  • The GHI is published annually as part of a partnership between Concern Worldwide, Ireland’s largest aid and humanitarian agency and Welthungerhilfe.
  • The first GHI report was published in 2006.
  • Calculation: The GHI score of each country is calculated based on a formula combining four indicators that together capture the multidimensional nature of hunger.
  • Undernourishment: the share of the population with insufficient caloric intake.
  • Child stunting: the share of children under age five who have low height for their age, reflecting chronic undernutrition.
  • Child wasting: the share of children under age five who have low weight for their height, reflecting acute undernutrition.
  • Child mortality: the share of children who die before their fifth birthday, partly reflecting the fatal mix of inadequate nutrition and unhealthy environments.

Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2022: Key Findings

  • India Specific:
    • Rank and score: India ranks 107 out of 121 countries on the GHI and a score of 29.1 places it in the ‘serious’ category. 
    • India’s child wasting rate at 19.3%, is worse than earlier levels recorded in 2014 (15.1%) and 2000 (17.15) and is the highest for any country in the world. It drives up the South Asian region’s average due to India’s large population.
    • Prevalence of undernourishment has also risen in India from 14.6% in 2018-2020 to 16.3% in 2019-2021. Thus, 224.3 million people in India are considered undernourished. 
    • Improvement in
      • Child stunting has declined from 38.7% to 35.5% between 2014 and 2022.
      • Child mortality has also dropped from 4.6% to 3.3% in the same comparative period.
  • India and the neighborhood:
    • India fares worse (rank lower) than all South Asian countries- Sri Lanka (64), Nepal (81), Bangladesh (84), and Pakistan (99); except war-torn Afghanistan (109).  
  • Global Scenario:
    • Top rankings in GHI are dominated by European nations including Croatia, Estonia, and Montenegro etc.
    • Yemen lies at the lowest position (121).
    • In Asia, only China and Kuwait are ranked at the top of the list. 

Hunger Issues in India

  • Food and Agriculture Report, 2020 stated that of the 821 million undernourished people in the world, India houses 195.9 million accounting for approximately 24% of the world’s hungry.
  • Prevalence of undernourishment in India is 14.8% higher than both the global and Asian average.
  • The National Health Survey reported in 2020 that approximately 19 crore people in the country were compelled to sleep on an empty stomach every night.
  • Under five-hunger and malnutrition: Approximately 4500 children die every day under the age of five years in India due to hunger and malnutrition. This amounts to over three lakh annual deaths owing to hunger of children alone.

Causes of Hunger and Malnutrition

  • Specific Causes: There are multiple dimensions of malnutrition in India.
    • Calorific deficiency: Though the government has surplus of foodgrains, there is calorific deficiency because of improper allocation and distribution. Even the yearly allocated budget is not fully utilized.
    • Protein hunger: Pulses are a major panacea to address protein hunger. However, there is a lack of budgetary allocation for inclusion of pulses in PDS. With Eggs missing from menus of Mid-day Meals in various States, an easy way to improve protein intake is lost.
    • Micronutrient deficiency (hidden hunger): India faces a severe crisis in micronutrient deficiency. Its causes include poor diet, prevalence of disease or non-fulfillment of increased micronutrient needs during pregnancy and lactation.
  • Other Causes:
    • Poor access to safe drinking water and sanitation (especially toilets).
    • Low levels of immunization against communicable diseases.
    • Lack of education in women regarding the importance of a holistic diet.
    • Vicious cycle of poverty, hunger and indebtedness.
    • Post-harvest losses and rotting, wastage in warehouses.
    • Ineffective market and transport linkage.
    • Non-affordability of fruits, nuts, eggs, meat for poor.

Government Interventions

  • Eat Right India Movement: An outreach activity organized by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) for citizens to nudge them towards eating right.
  • POSHAN Abhiyan: Launched by the Ministry of Women and Child Development in 2018, it targets to reduce stunting, undernutrition, anemia (among young children, women and adolescent girls).
  • Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana: A centrally sponsored scheme executed by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, is a maternity benefit programme being implemented in all districts of the country with effect from 1st January, 2017.
  • Food Fortification: Food Fortification or Food Enrichment is the addition of key vitamins and minerals such as iron, iodine, zinc, Vitamin A & D to staple foods such as rice, milk and salt to improve their nutritional content.
  • National Food Security Act, 2013: It legally entitled up to 75% of the rural population and 50% of the urban population to receive subsidized food grains under the Targeted Public Distribution System.
  • Mission Indradhanush: It targets children under 2 years of age and pregnant women for immunization against 12 Vaccine-Preventable Diseases (VPD).
  • Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme: Launched in 1975, the ICDS Scheme offers a package of six services to children in the age group of 0-6 years and pregnant and lactating mothers

India Strategic Fund

In News

  • The government is making a concerted push for self-reliance in military technology, semiconductors and science-based businesses.


  • What is Deep Tech? 
    • Deep tech, or deep technology, refers to those startups whose business model is based on high tech innovation in engineering, or significant scientific advances.
    • For deep tech, the business starts with and circles around some sort of real innovative technology.
    • The main areas deep tech startups are working in are artificial intelligence (AI), life sciences, agriculture, aerospace, chemistry, industry, and clean energy. 
    • Deep tech startups often need large investments over a longer term, and good amounts of research.
    • Deep Technology is almost always dual use. 
      • For example, position navigation timing technology such as GPS is needed for Google Maps and Uber but is also an extremely important aspect for fighter jet navigation and missile systems.
  • What is general purpose technology? 
    • It refers to technologies that have a wide range of abilities, substantial scope to grow and improve, and the value to affect an entire economy and worldview. 
    • Our way of life, economic and national security is underpinned to certain general-purpose technologies (GPTs).
    • Examples of GPTs are the steam engine, electricity, and information technology.
  • Currently, four technology battlegrounds exist: 
    • Semiconductors
    • 5G
    • Revolutions in biology and 
    • Autonomy.
      • Each of these is vulnerable to military conflict, health emergencies and natural disasters.

Major Challenges faced by Deep Techs 

  • Venture capital
    • There is a market failure when venture capital will not invest in this asset class, and government money is not nearly enough or is not fast enough.
  • Dual use
    • These technologies are of dual use and have steep entry barriers. These are also areas where India is still at the base of the ladder.
  • Government Funding
    • In the United States, Israel and North Atlantic Treaty Organization countries, the government is still the largest source of funds for Deep Tech.
    • Billions of dollars of funding flow in through agencies such as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Directorate of Defense Research and Development and the Defence and Security Accelerator.
    • In India, this funding remains unbuilt.  
  • Non willingness of the investors
    • The Indian venture capital ecosystem is not even willing to discuss and invest in deep techs.
    • Not only do investors not understand Deep Tech but also investing in fundamental technology does not fit the 10-year fund return cycle because it takes much longer to mature. 
  • Burden sharing
    • We need to be cognisant of the fact that strategic technology cannot become the burden of commercial industry alone.
  • Funding
    • While the Government of India is changing with the launch of the Indian Semiconductor Mission and the Ministry of Defence’s flagship iDEX and TDF schemes, depending solely on an already stretched pool of funding is not the solution to galvanise the ecosystem.

Way forward/ Steps to be taken 

  • World-class deep tech capabilities 
    • In order to become a developed country in 25 years, India will need to build world-class deep tech capabilities in certain sectors. 
  • Utilisation of CSR budgets
    • CSR has traditionally been utilised for the social sector. However, this growing corpus should also be used for the development of strategic technology. 
    • Large corporations can be incentivised to use some of this budget to serve the strategic needs of the nation. The Government should allow these funds to flow into certain strategic tech startups.
  • High net worth (HNI) companies
    • HNIs can also be offered tax incentives to make equity investment in the same critical technology start-ups.
  • Qualifying criteria
    • To prevent a misuse of funds, it is important to create qualifying criteria.
    • The pool of investable companies must be limited to Government of India-recognised start ups; startups should have funding or ‘acceptance of necessity’ granted from the Indian military/Ministry of Defence. 
  • Atmanirbhar Bharat
    • India will remain a net importer of critical technology in the foreseeable future.
    • Prime Minister’s vision for an Atmanirbhar Bharat has created the right momentum, it will take close to a decade or more to fructify.
  • India as developed nation
    • The Prime Minister talks about his ambition for a developed India; an India that is a superpower. 
    • Investing in deep, critical technology is the first step for the country to awaken to that ambition.

Electoral Bonds

In News

  • The Supreme Court asked the government whether the electoral bond system reveals the source of money pumped in to fund political parties.


  • Free and fair elections are central to democracy and an opaque way of funding political parties that destroys the concept of Article 324, the petitioner argued.

What are Electoral Bonds?


Arguments in favour of Electoral bonds 

  • Transparency
    • The government said that the methodology of receiving money is absolutely transparent and it is impossible to get any black or unaccounted money in.
  • Threshold hearing
    • The Attorney General recently said there should be a threshold hearing on the question of reference to a larger Bench.
  • Tax exemption 
    • These donations enjoy 100 per cent tax exemption and even foreign companies can donate through Indian subsidiaries. 
  • Ensures Accountability
    • Donations through Electoral Bonds will only be credited in the party bank account disclosed with the ECI. 
    • Every political party shall be obliged to explain how the entire sum of money received has been expended.
  • Discouraging Cash
    • The Purchase will be possible only through a limited number of notified banks and that too through cheque and digital payments. Cash will not be encouraged.

Arguments against Electoral bonds 

  • Article 324 of the Constitution 
    • The scheme affects the very idea of free and fair elections provided under Article 324 of the Constitution.
  • Malpractices
    • The government has been issuing electoral bonds before every State election to have a strong hold on the results.
  • Opaque way of funding political parties
    • Free and fair elections are central to a democracy. It is part of the Basic Structure of the constitution. 
    • Now, an opaque way of funding political parties where you do not even know who is funding who destroys the very concept of the fair elections.  
  • Right to Information Act
    • Separate petitions have questioned whether or not political parties came under the ambit of the Right to Information Act.
  • Foreign Contributions Regulations Act
    • The challenge to the retrospective amendments made to the Foreign Contributions Regulations Act by which subsidiaries of foreign companies would not be treated as foreign sources.
      • By not treating subsidiaries of foreign companies as foreign sources, political parties and others, including public servants, can get foreign money through the subsidiaries of foreign companies by virtue of these amendments. 
  • Money bill
    • The electoral bonds system was introduced by way of a money bill introducing amendments in the Finance Act and the Representation of Peoples Act.
  • Legitimising bribery
    • Such an anonymous route of funding amounted to legitimising bribery as corporates could fund the party in power in a state or Centre as a matter of quid pro quo.
  • Repercussions on the Indian democracy
    • The Finance Act of 2017 exempts contributions by way of electoral bonds to be disclosed to the EC under Section 29C of the Representation of Peoples Act.

Way Forward

  • The government may reconsider and modify certain provisions of the Electoral Bonds Scheme to ensure full disclosure and transparency.
  • At the same time, the bonds should ensure that the funds being collected by the political parties are accounted for clean money from the appropriate channels without any obligation of give and take.
  • In the case of continuance of the Scheme, the principle of anonymity of the bond donor enshrined in the Electoral Bond Scheme must be done away with.

Ocean Currents and Global Warming

In News

  • According to a recent study, cold ocean currents have sheltered the Galápagos Islands from global warming.

Key Findings of Study

  • Overcoming Global Warming:
    • The islands are protected from an otherwise warming Pacific Ocean by a cold, eastward equatorial ocean current and this current has been gaining strength for decades.
    • The temperatures in waters along the west coast of the Galápagos have dropped by 0.5 degrees Celsius since the early 1990s.
    • There’s a tug of war between global warming and the cold ocean current. Right now, the ocean current is winning — it’s getting cooler year after year.
  • Importance of Phenomenon:
    • This phenomenon is a cause for cautious optimism for the Galápagos Islands.
    • Flora and fauna of the Galápagos could assist reseed failing ecosystems and maintain the region’s fisheries.
    • Corals do not bleach and die in these waters off the west coast of Ecuador. So, the marine food chain does not suffer, unlike in the warm waters nearby.
    • As the Galápagos so far has been relatively unaffected by climate change, it’s worth looking at the Galápagos as a potential site to really try to put some climate change mitigation efforts into.

Significance of Ocean Current

  • Nutrient-rich Water: The equatorial undercurrent in the Pacific Ocean is bound to the equator by the force of the planet’s rotation. 
    • Under the ocean’s surface, a swift circulation of cold, nutrient-rich water flows from west to east.
    • Some of this water is forced to the surface when it reaches the Galápagos Islands. 
    • The nutrient-rich water triggers photosynthesis and leads to an explosion of food for a wide variety of animals.
  • Stability for Coral Reefs: The cold ocean current creates a cooler, more stable environment for coral reefs and marine life and birds that often live much closer to the poles. 
  • Position from Equator: From space, the Galápagos may appear to be a collection of minuscule specks in the eastern Pacific Ocean. However, it is their precise position on the equator that makes them significant.


  • Future of Current: The worry is if in the future there are changes in this current, it could be really devastating for the ecosystem.
  • Regulation of Overfishing: The island group is certainly in need of greater protection from overfishing as well as the pressures of growing eco-tourism.
  • Human Pressures: The human pressures on this area and the mechanism that keeps it alive are at odds. It’s a major resource that should be protected.
  • Adverse Impact of El Niño: El Niño poses a threat to the island group. It shuts down the cold current every couple of years, causing penguin populations to collapse. El Niño is a climate pattern that causes unusual warming of surface waters in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean.

Impact of Climate Change on Ocean Currents

  • Influx of Warm Freshwater: Climate change leading to increases in ocean temperatures, evaporation of seawater, and glacial and sea ice melting could create an influx of warm freshwater onto the ocean surface. 
  • Blocking Ice Formation: This would further block the formation of sea ice and disrupt the sinking of denser cold, salty water. 
  • Excess Heat in Atmosphere: The shallow, speedy currents could ultimately limit how much heat the ocean can absorb, causing more of that excess heat to remain in the atmosphere. 
  • Altering Global Temperatures: These events could slow or even stop the ocean conveyor belt, which would result in global climate changes that could include drastic decreases in Europe’s temperatures due to a disruption of the Gulf Stream.
  • Affecting Marine Biodiversity: Marine microbes and wildlife could be subjected to shallower, hotter, and faster surface waters.


  • Ocean currents can regulate global climate, helping to counteract the uneven distribution of solar radiation reaching Earth’s surface. 
  • Without currents in the ocean, regional temperatures would be more extreme — super hot at the equator and frigid toward the poles — and much less of Earth’s land would be habitable.
Galápagos IslandsAn archipelago of volcanic islands.They are distributed on each side of the equator in the Pacific Ocean.The second-largest marine reserve in the world and contributed to the inception of Darwin’s theory of evolution. They designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and described as a “living museum and showcase of evolution.”The island is a biodiverse ecosystem — home to several endangered species. Galápagos is home to the critically endangered — Galápagos penguin, Galápagos fur seal and Galápagos sea lion.

Eco-Sensitive Zone (ESZ)

In News

  • Recently, the Supreme Court (SC) indicated it may consider taking up Kerala’s review of the SC’s judgment to have a one-km eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) ringing protected forests, national parks and wildlife sanctuaries across the country.


  • Earlier Judgement of SC:
    • The SC had directed that every protected forest, national park and wildlife sanctuary across the country should have a mandatory eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) of a minimum one km starting from their demarcated boundaries.
    • A three-judge Bench highlighted how the nation’s natural resources have been for years ravaged by mining and other activities.
    • The government should not confine its role to that of a facilitator of economic activities for the immediate upliftment of the fortunes of the State.
    • The court held that in case any national park or protected forest already has a buffer zone extending beyond one km, that would prevail. 
    • In case the question of the extent of buffer zone was pending a statutory decision, then the court’s direction to maintain the one-km safety zone would be applicable until a final decision is arrived at under the law.
    • The court directed that mining within the national parks and wildlife sanctuaries shall not be permitted.
  • Kerala’s Review Petition:
    • The review by Kerala has argued that the judgment would lead to massive displacement of people living in the vicinity of forest areas.
    • Even worse, the judgment would strip thousands of Scheduled Tribe families and forest dwellers of their vested rights under the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act of 2006.
    • Large number of small and medium townships with human habitations and attendant facilities had developed, decades ago, within the vicinity of the protected areas and within the proposed buffer zone of one km.

Eco Sensitive Zone (ESZ)

  • These are areas in India notified by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), GoI around Protected Areas, National Park and Wildlife sanctuaries. 
  • Purpose: 
    • To create some kind of “shock absorbers” to the protected areas by regulating and managing the activities around such areas. 
    • Therefore, these areas act as a buffer for protected areas and reduce developmental pressures around a wildlife sanctuary or national park.
    • They also act as a transition zone from areas of high protection to areas involving lesser protection.
  • Range:
    • All identified areas around Protected Areas and wildlife corridors to be declared as ecologically fragile under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 (National Wildlife Action Plan, 2002-2016).
    • Eco-sensitive Zone could go upto 10 Kms around Protected Areas
    • In cases where sensitive corridors, connectivity and ecologically important patches, crucial for landscape linkage, are even beyond 10 Kms width
    • Further, Eco-sensitive zones may not be uniform all around and it could be variable width and extent.
  • Prohibited activities: 
    • Activities like industries which cause pollution Commercial mining, saw mills, establishment of major hydroelectric projects (HEP), commercial use of wood, Tourism, discharge of effluents or any solid waste or production of hazardous substances are all prohibited.
  • Regulated activities:
    • Activities like felling of trees, establishment of hotels and resorts, commercial use of natural water, erection of electrical cables, drastic change of agriculture system, e.g. adoption of heavy technology, pesticides etc., widening of roads.
  • Permitted activities:
    • Activities like ongoing agricultural or horticultural practices, rainwater harvesting, organic farming, use of renewable energy sources, adoption of green technology for all activities are permitted.

Significance of Eco Sensitive Zone (ESZ)

  • ESZs help in in-situ conservation, which deals with conservation of an endangered species in its natural habitat. For example, the conservation of the One-horned Rhino of Kaziranga National Park, Assam.
  • They minimize forest depletion and man-animal conflict
  • The protected areas are based on the core and buffer model of management, through which local area communities are also protected and benefitted.

Challenges to ESZ

  • Developmental activities:
    • Activities such as construction of dams, roads, urban and rural infrastructures in the ESZ, create interference, negatively impact upon the environment and imbalance the ecological system. 
  • Blatant violations:
    • To cater to the increasing demand for eco-tourism, land around parks and sanctuaries is being cleared through deforestation, displacement of local people etc. 
    • Failing to recognize the rights of forest communities and curbing poaching of animals, environmental legislations undermine the ESZs in favour of developmental activities. 
  • Climate change:
    • Biodiversity and climate change are interconnected, for example, the rise in global temperature has generated land, water and ecological stress on the ESZs. 
  • Tourism related Pollution:
    • As the pressure of tourism is rising, the government is developing new sites and gateways to the ESZ. The tourists leave behind garbage such as plastic bags and bottles etc. which lead to environmental degradation.
  • Local communities:
    • Slash and burn techniques used in agriculture, pressure of increasing population and the rising demand for firewood and forest produce, etc. exerts pressure on the protected areas.

Way Ahead

  • The Centre needs to come up with a plan to incentivise farmers for sticking to green practices in Eco Sensitive Zones (ESZs).
  • Communities living around Protected Areas in several states should promote conservation of Eco Sensitive Zones (ESZs).
  • There is a need for rethinking on the impacts of the environmental policies at the local level and prospects of local participation.

INS Arihant

In News

  • Recently, INS Arihant carried out a successful launch of a Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM).

About India’s nuclear programme

  • In 1998, India conducted nuclear tests under Pokhran-II.
  • In 2003, India declared its nuclear doctrine based on CMD and a NFU policy while reserving the right of massive retaliation if struck with nuclear weapons first.
  • The Agni series of missiles constitute the backbone of India’s nuclear weapons delivery, which also includes the Prithvi short range ballistic missiles.
    • The Agni series of missiles are medium and intercontinental range nuclear capable ballistic assets.

About INS Arihant

  • It was launched in 2009 and commissioned in 2016. 
  • It is India’s first indigenous nuclear powered ballistic missile capable submarine built under the secretive Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV) project, which was initiated in the 1990s.
  • INS Arihant and its class of submarines are classified as ‘SSBN’, which is the hull classification symbol for nuclear powered ballistic missile carrying submarines. 
    • While the Navy operates the vessel, the operations of the SLBMs from the SSBN are under the purview of India’s Strategic Forces Command, which is part of India’s Nuclear Command Authority. 
  • INS Arihant is presently armed with K-15 SLBM with a range of 750 km
    • INS Arihant can carry a dozen K-15 missiles on board
Do you know?The second submarine in the Arihant class is SSBN Arighat.It is reported to have been launched in 2017, and said to be undergoing sea trials at present. 

The Missile

  • The Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles (SLBMs) are sometimes called the ‘K’ family of missiles.
    • They have been indigenously developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
    • The family is codenamed after Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, the centre figure in India’s missile and space programmes who also served as the 11th President of India. 
  • Because these missiles are to be launched from submarines, they are lighter, more compact and stealthier than their land-based counterparts.
  • The development of the K family missiles has been done in consonance with the ATV project.
    • Part of the K family is the SLBM K-15, which is also called B-05 or Sagarika. It has a range of 750 km. 
  • India has also developed and successfully tested K-4 missiles from the family, which have a range of 3,500 km.


  • Nuclear triad:
    • The capability of being able to launch nuclear weapons submarine platforms has great strategic significance in the context of achieving a nuclear triad, especially in the light of the “No First Use” policy of India.
  • Second strike capability: 
    • These submarines can not only survive a first strike by the adversary, but can also launch a strike in retaliation, thus achieving ‘Credible Nuclear Deterrence’.
  • China and Pakistan factor:
    • The development of these capabilities is important in the light of India’s relations with China and Pakistan.


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