Leading the way in changing the skewed sex ratio across the country, Delhi has posted a remarkable increase in sex ratio from 820 per thousand in 2005 and 848 in 2007 to 1004 in 2008. This has been revealed in the Annual Report on Births and Deaths in Delhi-2008 prepared by the Directorate of Economics and Statistics and Office of the Chief Registrar (Births and Deaths) of the Delhi Government.
Releasing the report, Delhi Finance, Planning and Urban Development Minister A. K. Walia attributed the marked increase in the number of registrations of female birth to the implementation of the “Laadli” girl child scholarship scheme that seeks to take care of the monetary aspects of the education of girls.
Dr. Walia said as per the report 13,441 more female births were registered under domiciliary category in 2008 compared with 2007. He said there have been 19,000 more female births registered in Delhi compared to last year and the total number of female births had increased from 1.48 lakh in 2007 to 1.67 lakh in 2008.
Of the 3.34 lakh births registered in Delhi in 2008, 1,66,583 or 49.89 per cent were male and 1,67,325 or 50.11 per cent were female.
Incidentally, this turnaround has come after many years. All through from 1991 to 2007, the report revealed that while the while the percentage of male births was between 54 and 55 per cent and that of female births remained between 45 and 46 per cent. But in 2008, female births have increased significantly.
The report has also revealed the education level of the women had a bearing on the number of children born to them. It has pointed to an inverse relationship between the level of education attainment of mother and birth order. Higher the birth order lesser will be the level of educational attainment. In case of women who had given a third birth, it was found that their education attainment in 70.95 per cent of the cases was below matriculation while in case of beyond third birth order, this proportion was 81.21 per cent.
Analysing the 1.08 lakh deaths that were registered in Delhi in 2008 compared with 1.01 lakh in 2007, the report noted that about 53 per cent of the total deaths were reported by the medical institutions while the remaining were non-institutional deaths. As for the reasons of these deaths, it said 16 per cent were due to disease of pulmonary circulation and other forms of heart disease, 8.15 per cent were due to septicaemia, 6.98 per cent were due to diabetics mellitus and 3.74 per cent due to tuberculosis.
And while as 6,138 were infant deaths, the report said the infant mortality rate per thousand live births had come down to 18.38 during 2008 from 25.44 during 2007. Similarly, maternal mortality rate per thousand live births came down to 0.20 in 2008 from 0.26 in 2007.