Denigrating India’s poor ranking in the recently published 2021 Global Hunger Index, in which India slipped to 101st position below Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh, Arvind Panagariya, professor of economics at the University of Columbia and former vice president NITI Ayog said the data collection and methodologies used for the 2021 Global Hunger Index are flawed.
Speaking strongly on how surveys are conducted and data collected, Panagariya said, âIt is an industry that has been going on for a long timeâ¦ it is important to see who they call for data and how it is collected. If they make a phone call in the middle of a wave and when there is migration and there is pessimism everywhere … and when the waves of covid are not in sync across the world. ”
Panagariya said that many people have made it their source of life to create these clues without a clear basis because they do not do these investigations.
âPeople sitting in armchairs in offices around the world create these indexes. They made it their source of life to create these clues without a clear basis because they don’t do these investigations. None of them polls properly. They can’t do it. When you try to create a wall under indexâ¦. where data in many countries is so poorly collectedâ¦. you rely on so little information and indeed the countries that have minimal information determine the basis for building your index itself. “
The former Asian Development Bank economist said he does not look at the indices and also previously wrote a column stating that three different methodologies were used to collect data and they were all wrong.
Panagariya said India’s own survey is carried out by the NSSO, which is more reliable and has a habit of asking people “how many days during the year have you gone without meals or empty stomach hungry in bed, etc., and these numbers are also recorded in columns by
Swaminathan Iyer and others. âThe numbers are tiny and also decrease over time. “
He added that India’s food supplies have increased over time and the PDS itself has grown. In a big country like India, there will be pockets of hunger that we have to tackle, he said.
While answering a question about his confidence in IMF, Moody’s, S&P as well as RBI and others, fixing India’s growth at 9.3% to 9.5% in 2021, Panagariya said the pandemic is extremely difficult to predict. Although India is making phenomenal vaccination figures, it could not predict the course of the virus, but the figures will most certainly be achieved. âFundamentally, the economy is healthy. If none of the exogenous shocks occur, 9-10% growth is extremely feasible, âhe said.
Speaking about the sale of Air India to the Tata Group and how he viewed the range of sales of other power supplies, he said, he saw the sale of Air India to Tata as a source of great relief and with this the strategic divestment program began. He added, however, that we will have to see 2-3 more sales to really say things are on the move.
When asked if India would be able to meet its goal of two doses of vaccination for the 940 million people by December 2021, Panagariya said it would be a challenge. For the population that chooses not to show up for the vaccine, it will be a problem to create vaccine demand for this segment.
Responding to the question on the coal crisis and whether India has done enough to build alternative energy sources, Pangariya said, as the country has done a phenomenal job in recent years under Prime Minister Narendra Modi , it would be foolish to think that the country can do without fossil fuels any faster than the rest of the world. âWe must continue to develop our conventional resources, including coal over the coming decades, as well as its import. “
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