Foeticide Rate Drops in India

by VR Sreeraman on Sep 1 2007 9:15 PM

The Child Sex Ratio (CSR) for the age group of 0-6 years in 2001 had decreased to 927 girls per thousand boys as against 945 recorded in 1991 Census.

In order to check female foeticide, the Government has enacted the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act (PC&PNDT Act). The technique of pre-conception sex selection has been brought within the ambit of this Act so as to pre-empt the use of such technologies, which significantly contribute to the declining sex ratio. Use of ultrasound machines has also been brought within the purview of this Act more explicitly so as to curb their misuse for detection and disclosure of sex of the foetus lest it should lead to female foeticide. The sale of ultrasound machines has been regulated thorugh laying down the condition of sale only to the bodies registered under the Act.

Some of the other initiatives taken to prevent the practice of female foeticide include strengthening the implementation of the Act in the country by constituting National Support and Monitoring Cell (NSMC); National Inspection and Monitoring Committee (NIMC) consisting of representatives from Ministry of Women and Child Development, National Commission for Women, Ministry of Law and NGOs; sensitization through Members of Parliament; funding to the State under Reproductive and Child Health – II; inclusion of the issue under NRHM; sensitizing the judiciary and training of judicial personnel; development of a website with the provision of online registration of complaints and awareness generation activities such as launching of “Save the Girl Child” campaign etc.

The number of Court cases filed under the PC&PNDT Act as on 01.08.2007 are 402 out of which 140 cases have been filed for non-registration of ultrasound clinic, 135 for non-maintenance of records, 61 for communication of sex of the foetus, 36 for advertising about pre-natal/conception diagnostic facilites and 30 for other violations of the Act/Rules.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare, Smt. Panabaka Lakshmi in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha.