New Delhi: The government admitted that there has been an increase in cases of female and infant foeticide across the country.
"Yes. A total of 132 cases, 210 cases and 221 cases were reported under foeticide and a total of 63, 81 and 82 cases were reported under infanticide during 2011, 2012 and 2013 respectively," Health Minister J P Nadda told Lok Sabha in a written reply.
He said that some of the reasons for neglect of girl child and low child sex ratio are "son-preference, belief that it is only the son who can perform the last rites, that lineage and inheritance runs through male line, that sons will look after parents in old age, and men are breadwinners and others".
He said that as per quarterly progress reports submitted by states and UTs, 50,743 diagnostic facilities including genetic counselling centre, genetic laboratory, genetic clinic, ultrasound clinic and imaging centre have been registered under the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act 1994.
"A total of 1,716 machines have been sealed and seized for violations of the PC and PNDT Act. A total of 2,021 court cases have been filed by concerned appropriate authorities and 206 convictions have so far been secured under the Act," he said.
Nadda stressed that the government has adopted a multi-pronged strategy entailing schemes and programmes and awareness generation to build positive environment for the girl child through gender sensitive policies, provisions and legislations.
He said that the government has intensified implementation of PC and PNDT Act 1994 and amended various provisions while it is rendering financial support to states for operationalising of PNDT cells, capacity building and others.
Nadda said he has also requested states to strengthen implementation of the Act and ensure timely steps to stop illegal sex determination while national campaign Beti Bachao Beti Padhao was launched in 100 gender critical districts in partnership with HRD and WCD ministries.