About a quarter of the world’s hungry, or 210 million, are in India alone.
The number of hungry people appears to have declined slightly from the 870 million estimated in 2010-12, but the current GHI report says this is due to a recalculation of how undernourishment is measured by the UN-linked Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Since 2006, the absolute number of undernourished people has remained unchanged but their proportion to total world population is declining because the latter is growing.
The 2013 GHI is calculated for 120 countries for which data on its three component indicators are available and where measuring hunger is considered most relevant. The three indicators used are: the proportion of undernourished people, the proportion of children under five who are underweight, and the mortality (death) rate of children younger than age five. The report has been brought out by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), and two international charities Welthungerhilfe and Concern Worldwide.
The 2013 GHI says that in India the proportion of the undernourished declined from about 21% of the population to 17.5%, the proportion of underweight children declined from 43.5% to about 40% and under-five mortality declined from 7.5% to about 6%. All this put together means that the hunger index for India declined from 24 to 21 between 2003-07 and 2008-12.
The proportion of underweight children is an estimate done by IFPRI as the last survey was done in 2004-05.
In other words, the proportions and the index for India are at best an approximation.
Despite these caveats regarding the GHI data, India still remnains in the “Alarming” category of countries classified by the severity of hunger. That puts it in the category where the hunger index is between 20 and 29.9. Others in this category are Ethiopia, Sudan, Congo, Chad, Niger, and other African countries. These are places ravaged by resource wars and extreme poverty, and they make up the bottom-most bunch in the human development index rankings.