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Sex ratio at birth up in most Beti Bachao Beti Padhao districts: WCD ministry

In the run-up to the International Girl Child Day on October 11, the ministry plans to observe next week as the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao week.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
October 7, 2017 2:55:07 am
gunotsav, gujarat schools, gujarat education, gunotsav gujarat, gujarat education, education in gujarat, india news, gujarat news According to officials, much of the “western side of the country” is lagging behind on the sex ratio front.

The Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) has claimed that the sex ratio at birth has shown an increasing trend in 104 of the 161 districts taken up under the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scheme, and a declining trend in the remaining districts. The WCD is the nodal ministry for the scheme, which looks at bringing down child sex ratio and sex ratio at birth in coordination with the ministries of Human Resource Development and Health and Family Welfare.

“The WCD ministry deals mainly with advocacy. This scheme is spearheaded by the collector at the district level. We will concentrate in 57 districts that have shown a decline (in sex ratio at birth),” WCD secretary Rakesh Srivastava said. He said a proposal to expand the scheme to the whole country is awaiting approval from the “competent
authority”.

In the run-up to the International Girl Child Day on October 11, the ministry plans to observe next week as the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao week. According to officials, much of
the “western side of the country” is lagging behind on the sex ratio front. “Even though it (states on the western side) is econom-ically richer than the eastern part,
the tradition of strong preference for a son continues,” an official said.

Ministry officials claimed that many districts that registered an annual decline in Sex Ratio at Birth (SRB) between 2015-16 and 2016-17 show an increase compared to
the Child Sex Ratio (CSR) of Census 2011.

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SRB is the number of girls born per 1,000 boys, as is reported through annual birth registrations. Child Sex Ratio is the number of girls per 1,000 boys between 0-6 years of age, data for which is released each decade. Census figures show CSR was 918 in 2011. “Compared to the national average of 918, Haryana had a very low CSR of 834. Of the 20 districts chosen under the scheme, 18 have shown an increase, while two show a decline. But even those two are better than the 2011 CSR figures,” the official said.

Other states with poor female-to-male sex ratio have also registered an improvement, officials claimed. Ten of 14 districts selected in Rajasthan, 14 of 20 in Punjab, 15 of 21 districts in UP, nine of 16 in Maharashtra have registered an “increasing trend”, officials said. The five worst-faring districts are Saiha in Mizoram, Nicobar, Shopian and Bandipura in J&K, and Ghaziabad in UP.

The districts that have reported the highest increase in SRB are Dibaang Valley in Arunachal Pradesh, Lakshwadeep, Hamirpur in Himachal Pradesh, Kadappa in Andhra Pradesh, and Pulwama in J&K. “Many of these are small districts with tiny population, which means even a small increase in female birth will swing the numbers high,” an official said.

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