The British daily chops and hews data conveniently to suit its readership

The Independent said even as the number of coronavirus cases diminishes, another crisis is unfolding in homes across the country. With high unemployment and a record contraction in the economy following two nationwide lockdowns, families like the Sonawanes have lost both their purchasing power and savings and can now scarcely afford three meals a day.

Undoubtedly, the coronavirus pandemic impacted India’s economy and severely hit the employment scenario. As per the International Labour Organisation, not alone India rather “all countries have suffered a sharp deterioration in employment and national income, which has aggravated existing inequalities and risks inflicting longer-term scarring effects on workers and enterprises.”

In the 164-page World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends 2021 report, the ILO said the crisis has hit vulnerable workers, including 2 billion in the informal sector, women and young people the hardest. The ILO report further said that if there had not been a pandemic, the world would have created an estimated 30 million new jobs in 2020. It further projected that the recovery will create 100 million jobs in 2021 and an additional 80 million in 2022.

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The Independent said there are no nationwide numbers on the state of food insecurity in India, but recent studies point to an alarming problem. In the 2021 Global Hunger Index released in October, India ranked 101st of the 116 countries surveyed, falling seven spots from the previous year.

This is not an actual position on the food situation in the country. India has already minced the meat of the Global Hunger Report 2021, which has placed the country in the 101 position behind Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal. The government has questioned the methodology used by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) for sharing its estimates on India. “They have based their assessment on the results of a ‘four-question’ opinion poll, which was conducted telephonically by Gallup. There is no scientific methodology to measure undernourishment like availability of food grains per capita during the period,” the Ministry of Women and Child Development said in response to the report. The Ministry claimed that the report completely disregarded the Indian government’s efforts to ensure food security of the entire population during the Covid-19 period.

Read the complete article in The Times of India:

The Independent said even as the economy showed signs of revival in 2021, 15 million jobs were lost in May, when a devastating second wave killed hundreds of thousands and brought the health-care system to near collapse.

The British daily seems to be selectively picking up data related to jobs in the Indian market, which started rising after lockdown was withdrawn in a phased manner and with this, commercial activity began. For example, new job requirements rose around 15 %-20% on an average month-on-month after a lull in May, and almost doubled compared to June 2020. Hiring in the tech sector grew 163%, while the insurance sector witnessed 87%, the banking/finance sector 74% and the pharma/biotech sector 38%.

Read the complete article in The Times of India: