By the end of this month, fertility clinics across the State will have to register with the Directorate of Medical Services (DMS).
All assisted reproductive technology (ART) clinics will be closely monitored to check on violations of the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostics Techniques (PCPNDT) Act, 1994.
Nearly 15 days ago, the DMS issued an instruction to ART clinics across the State to submit applications for registration. The clinics have been given time till the end of this month, said a DMS official.
There are around 150 ART clinics across the State, of which 20 to 25 are in the city. Nearly 50 clinics, including seven in the city, have responded and sent in applications for registration, according to officials.
“These clinics already undertake ultrasound scanning with our approval. This is as per the PCPNDT Act. Now, we are taking steps to register and provide accreditation to these clinics. This is to bring in standards for their functioning. We will closely monitor their activities as foetal sex determination is a violation under the Act,” he said.
The DMS will be the monitoring authority. It has also designed a special monthly report for these clinics. Official sources said they would check if these clinics continuously accounted for birth of male babies alone.
The latest effort follows the guidelines issued by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
ICMR has come out with requirements for ART clinics in the country including physical requirements such as non-sterile area, room with privacy, semen collection room, semen processing laboratory, operation theatre, room for intrauterine transfer of embryo and embryology lab complex, qualification of ART team including gynaecologists, andrologists, clinical embryologists and counsellors, ART procedures and possible chances of misuse of ART such as sale of embryos and stem cells.
“All these are being done to improve the sex ratio in the State. Currently, the sex ratio has improved from 942 to 946 and we want to increase this further,” an official said.
Nearly 50 clinics, including 7 in the
city, have applied