Centre, states to go tough against pre-natal sex determination
The Centre and state governments have decided on a slew of measures, including monitoring use of ultrasound machines and setting up state inspection committees to check pre-natal sex determination.
New Delhi: Alarmed over the declining
child-sex ratio in the country, the Centre and state
governments have decided on a slew of measures, including
monitoring use of ultrasound machines and setting up state
inspection committees to check pre-natal sex determination.
The decisions was taken at a meeting yesterday chaired
by Union Health Secretary K Chandramouli and attended by
senior health ministry officials of 17 states and Union
Territories, which have skewed sex ratio.
Chandramouli stressed upon the states to strictly
implement the provisions of the PC and PNDT Act. He noted that
more needs to be done at local level to ensure stringent
action against pre-natal sex determination.
The secretary said he would soon be taking up the
matter with Chief Secretaries of the states to involve the
district administration for the enforcement of the law,
official sources said.
Among the other issues discussed in the meeting were
identification and mapping of districts to find reasons for
skewed child sex-ratio, interstate coordination mechanism for
regulating activities of ultrasound (USG) clinics in border
districts, status of enforcement of PC and PNDT Act,
monitoring and inspections of ultrasound clinics at district,
sub-district level and registration and renewal of clinics.
After detailed deliberations, it was recommended that
state inspection and monitoring committees should be set up to
facilitate inspection of USG machines especially in districts
which have a heavy concentration of USG clinic/Imaging
centres, the sources said.
The secretary said that technology should also be
leveraged to facilitate filing of online information so that
not only information of registered clinics but also action
taken for seizures of machines, cases filed against defaulting
practitioners can be put in public domain and online filing of
complaints by informers could also take place.
States were also advised to work in coordination to
regulate activities of ultra sound (USG) clinics in
neighbouring border districts for proper registration of
Closer coordination with advocacy activities of
Department of Women and Child Development could also help
improve the implementation of the Act, he said.
It was suggested that civil registration system should
be strengthened to track sex-ratio at birth so that real time
data is available to state authorities.
Special secretary P K Pradhan asked THE states to
ensure that authorities are "not just notified but actively
He also asked the state representatives to send in
their suggestions to further strengthen the implementation of
the PC and PNDT Act before the forthcoming meeting of the
central supervisory board under the Chairmanship of Union
Health and Family Welfare Minister on May 30.
He said if required, states can utilise the National
Rural Health Mission (NRHM) funds to strengthen their PC-PNDT
cell and legislative assistance to build strong cases for
conviction to ensure exemplary action against defaulters.
Recent provisional census figures show a dip in the
child sex ratio in the country.
The Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostics
Techniques (PC and PNDT) Act, 1994 was enacted in response to
the decline in sex ratio in India, which deteriorated from 972
in 1901 to 927 in 1991.