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Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Independence Day Speech said that the government may re-look at the minimum age of marriage of women in its bid to fight against malnutrition.
"We have formed a committee to ensure that the daughters are no longer suffering from malnutrition and they are married off at the right age. As soon as the report is submitted, appropriate decisions will be taken about the age of marriage of daughters." reported The Hindu.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's Budget Speech on February 1, 2020, when a task force was proposed to look into the "age of a girl entering motherhood" in order to lower maternal mortality rates and improve nutrition levels.
In June, the government announced a 10-member panel headed by Jaya Jaitley, comprising Secretaries from the Ministries of Human Resource Development; Women and Child Development; and Health and Family Welfare, among others. The committee has missed its July 31 deadline to finalise its report and give recommendations.
As India progresses further, opportunities open up for women to pursue higher education and careers. There are imperatives of lowering maternal mortality ratio (MMR) as well as improvement of nutrition levels. The entire issue about the age of a girl entering motherhood needs to be seen in this light."
The task force has the mandate to examine matters pertaining to the age of motherhood, imperatives of lowering maternal mortality rate, improvement of nutritional levels and related issues. Also, it has to suggest suitable legislations or amendments in existing laws and a detailed rollout plan with timelines to implement these recommendations.
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