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Declining Sex Ratio

Sex ratio in India has declined over the century from 972 in 1901 to 927 in 1991. The sex ratio has since gone up to 933 in 2001. In contrast, the child sex ratio for the age group of 0-6 years in 2001 is 927 girls per thousand boys against 945 recorded in 1991 Census. As far as worldwide sex ratio is concerned, it is 1.01 male (s)/females as in 2006.

Some of the reasons commonly put forward to explain the consistently low levels of sex ratio are son preference, neglect of the girl child resulting in higher mortality at younger age, female infanticide, female feticide, higher maternal mortality and male bias in emuneration of population. Easy availability of the sex determination test and abortion services may also be facilitating the process which may be further stimulated by pre-conception sex selection facilities. The Government has taken a number of initiatives to implement the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Technique Act (PC&PNDT) and to spread awareness on the issue through Information, Communication and Education (IEC). They include amendment of PC&PNDT Act in 2003 to make it more comprehensive, more frequent visits of National Inspection and Monitoring Committee (NIMC), setting up of National Support and Monitoring Cell (NSMC), sensitization through Members of Parliament, publication of handbook on the Act, Annual Report on the Act, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), involvement of District Magistrate, launching of Save the Girl Child campaign etc.

This information was given by the Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Dr. Anbumani Ramadoss on 4th May, 2007 in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha.


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