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Updated: April 7, 2013 02:27 IST

Member-secretary of panel for women resigns

Special Correspondent
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Deepa Jain Singh. File Photo: V.V. Krishnan
The Hindu Deepa Jain Singh. File Photo: V.V. Krishnan

Fifth office-bearer to quit in less than a year

Deepa Jain Singh, member secretary of the Centre’s High-Level Committee on the Status of Women, has resigned from her post.

The original 19-member committee — which is less than a year old — has already seen four resignations, including that of chairperson Justice Ruma Pal. Three members of the committee had resigned almost immediately after their name were officially announced by the government.

Confirming her resignation but refusing to elaborate on the reason, Ms. Singh said: “I have told Union Minister for Women and Child Development (WCD) Minister Krishna Tirath about my decision, but it will not be fair on my part to discuss the reasons for my leaving.”

Ms. Tirath, however, said: “We haven’t got any information about her resignation.”

But when told about Ms. Singh’s confirmation about her resignation letter being already sent to the Ministry, Ms. Tirath said: “Ms. Singh must have sent her resignation, but I haven’t seen anything so far. In case this has happened, I will speak to her and look into the issue.”

The Minister further added that there were no differences or any cause of complain within the committee that might have caused members to resign, despite such allegations by several women activists and concerned citizens.

Set up in March 2012, the Committee’s mandate is to undertake a comprehensive study to understand the status of women since 1989 and evolve appropriate policy interventions based on a contemporary assessment of women’s needs.

A senior WCD official said: “The committee is expected to conduct an intensive survey to take stock of published data, reports, articles and research from about 1989 onwards, on the status of women in India and prepare a report on the current socio-economic, political and legal status of women in India.” The report is also expected to bring out the interconnectedness of these aspects in terms of their impact on women and recommend measures for holistic empowerment of women.

Speaking about the committee and its alleged internal struggle to meet its mandate, a senior WCD official said: “There is no running away from the fact that there are issues and differences within the Committee that needs to be ironed out. But this is a recently-formed group. Despite the minor problems, we are sure that this important task will be undertaken in a responsible manner and that a comprehensive report will be prepared by the end of the Committee’s tenure.”

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