Additional funds are being sought for State governments to check the plunging child sex ratio
Even as Census 2011 has highlighted a significant drop in the country’s child sex-ratio, leave aside an alarming plunge in certain north Indian States, the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) has approached the Planning Commission for additional fund flow to the State governments to check this unhealthy trend.
In a letter recently written to the Commission’s deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, WCD Minister Krishna Tirath noted: “The responsibility of implementation of the action plan for improving the child sex ratio would mainly be on the States; in this context, we request you to provide additional funds to the States under the ‘Additional Central Assistance’ on basis of their performance in improving the sex ratio in their respective States.”
This move, according to the WCD Ministry, will “motivate States to own up the issue and undertake concrete measures to tackle it. At the same time, it would be imperative to keep a provision of disincentivisation for States not performing well on improving the child sex ratio.”
“This, we feel, should be monitored on a concurrent basis at the Central level,” said Ms. Tirath. She added that Census 2011 figures have shown that child sex ratio in India (0-6 years) has dropped from 927 females to 914 females per 1,000 males, the lowest since Independence. “This is indeed a cause of great concern as it indicates our social response and attitude towards the girl child as well as the vulnerable status of women in the country.”
The WCD Ministry has been working on the issue as directed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in his letter to Chief Ministers in 2011, after a review convened by the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister with the concerned sector in May 2011 and the strategic analysis of this issue shared by the Planning Commission.
“Apart from other decisions taken by the inter-ministerial coordination committee, a working group chaired by the Secretary for WCD was constituted for preparing a nation plan of action for improving the child sex ratio, taking into account the recommendations of the National Advisory Council. Various suggestions and recommendations have come up during the process of deliberations which are being used in preparation of the Action Plan,” added the Minister.