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25 Apr, 2013

India Reports Rapid Decline in Child Sex Ratio between 2001-11


Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, 23-April, 2013 – As per the Census, the child sex ratio (0-6 years) has shown a sharp decline from 927 females per thousand males in 2001 to 914 females per thousand males in 2011. The government has adopted a multi-pronged strategy entailing schemes and programmes and awareness generation/advocacy measures, to build a positive environment for the girl child through gender sensitive policies, provision and legislation.

The measures include the following:-

  • For prohibition of sex selection, before and after conception, and for regulation of pre-natal diagnostic techniques, the Government has enacted a comprehensive legislation, the Pre-conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act in 1994 and  Pre-conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Rules, 1996. Both the Act as well as the Rules were amended in 2003 and the Rules were subsequently amended in 2011 and 2012 with a view to make the provisions more stringent to act as deterrent.
  • The Government has intensified effective implementation of the said Act and amended various provisions of the Rules relating to sealing and seizure and confiscation of unregistered machines and punishment against unregistered clinics. Regulation of use of portable ultrasound equipment only within the registered premises has been notified. Restriction on medical practitioners to conduct ultrasonography at maximum of two ultrasound facilities within a district has been placed. Registration fees have been enhanced. Rules have been amended to provide for advance intimation in change in employees, place, address or equipment.
  • The Minister of Health and Family Welfare has requested all the State Governments to strengthen implementation of the Act and to ensure timely steps to stop illegal sex determination.
  • The Prime Minister has urged the Chief Ministers of all States to provide personal leadership to reverse the declining trend in Child Sex Ratio (CSR) and address the neglect of the girl child through focus on education and empowerment.
  • Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has intensified efforts to exhort the States and UTs to pay utmost attention to serious implementation of the Act.
  • The Central Supervisory Board (CSB) under the PNDT Act has been reconstituted and regular meetings are being held.
  • The Ministry of Communication and Information Technology has been requested to block sex selection advertisements on websites.
  • The National Inspection and Monitoring Committee (NIMC) has been reconstituted and inspections of ultrasound diagnostic facilities have been intensified. Inspections have been carried out in many states including Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh.
  • The Government is rendering financial support to the States and UTs for Information, Education and Communication campaigns and for strengthening structures for the implementation of the Act under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM).
  • States have been advised to focus on Districts/Blocks/Villages with low Child Sex Ratio to ascertain the causes, plan appropriate Behaviour Change Communication campaigns and effectively implement provisions of the PC & PNDT Act.
  • Religious leaders, women achievers etc. are involved in the campaign against skewed child sex ratio and discrimination of the girl child.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare Mr Abu Hasem Khan Choudhury in written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha today.