The Union Budget 2019-20 saw an increased focus on food fortification. India is currently suffering from nutrition insecurity despite the progress made in food production capacity and food security. Regardless of all the poverty alleviation and food security schemes, currently, 38% of children under 5 years are stunted, 36% are underweight and 21% are wasted (too thin for their height). This is a sign of acute under-nutrition. Furthermore, 59% of women and 53% of children are anaemic. The government’s intervention to address this issue is a need of the hour.
The Public Distribution System, India’s landmark food security system, was commenced in 1944 to address the poverty that was affecting the country during that time. It is a vital instrument that ensures the availability of certain essential commodities at an affordable price for the poor. Regardless, this system is often criticized for its inefficiency and corruption. The low-quality food grains from the ration shops are not enough to address the needs of the poor. India has the largest stock of grains in the world besides China. Yet, 21% of the Indian population remains undernourished. The government must address the corruption, inefficiency and low-quality food grains of the PDS for its success.
With the threat of climate change and the subsequent impact of it on the monsoon patterns and agricultural output, all stakeholders must mitigate food waste by employing new practices at multiple levels. At a time when it was reported that migrants died due to hunger and starvation during the lockdown period in April and May 2020, The data revealed recently highlights that over 1,550 tonnes of food grains got damaged in Food Corporation of India (FCI) warehouses.
The 14th Conference of Parties (COP) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification was held in September this year. India, along with the rest of the world, is facing crisis due to land degradation and desertification. The land degradation is not only affecting India economically but is also exacerbating the climate change events in the country. This conference seeks to answer the question on how to slow down the loss of land and biodiversity that threatens the global food security and hastens the climate change. Cooperative effort to combat land degradation is essential at this juncture as it is either directly or indirectly affecting the whole of the world. Taking this into consideration, the signatories of the Paris Agreement of 2015 have requested the IPCC to study the link between the land and climate change. According to these findings by the IPCC, the land degradation and climate change are inter-linked and unified efforts must be taken by the world to resolve this issue as soon as possible.
The J.K Lone Hospital in Kota, Rajasthan is seeing an increasing number of deaths of infants. Amid the outrage caused by the infants’ death, disturbing figures of similar deaths emerged from Jodhpur and Bikaner as well as Rajkot and Ahmedabad in Gujarat. Reports indicate that the cause for these increasing infant deaths is the poor quality of infrastructure in public hospitals. The low-quality public healthcare has a huge impact on the nation’s Infant mortality rate – the indicator of the quality of a country’s healthcare system.