The sex ratio at birth (SRB) saw a decline in 17 out of 21 large states of the country. Gujarat recorded an alarming dip of 53 points while the other states that saw a decline fell by 10 points or more.
SRB is the number of girls born for every 1000 boys born during a specific year. It is an important indicator and reflects the extent to which there is reduction in the number of girl children born by sex-selective abortions.
The SRB is substantially lower in almost all larger states – 17 out of 21 states have SRB of less than 950 females per 1000 males.
Further, in most states, SRB has declined between the base year (2012-14) and reference year (2013-15), except for Bihar, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh where improvements in SRB were noted, and Jammu & Kashmir where it stagnated.
Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, Assam, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Uttarakhand and Haryana recorded substantial drops (10 or more points) in this indicator.
The NITI Aayog report said that there is “a clear need for states to effectively implement the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act, 1994 and take appropriate measures to promote the value of the girl child”.
The entire report can be read here.
An abnormal sex ratio in a society eventually gives rise to a number of social and economic hazards, and hence it is extremely crucial for us to take urgent steps to ensure a healthy sex ratio in India.
While there are several laws against prenatal sex determination, they are evidently not being strictly implemented. Besides taking strong steps to completely abolish gender-based abortion, we need to educate the masses to end the negative outlook towards the girl child. Certain controlled incentives for underprivileged people with daughters might be introduced to counter the discrimination.
Also read: From Sex Ratio Worse Than India’s To One Equal To Canada’s: South Korea’s Journey