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Evaluating Cash Transfer Schemes

Confronting Gender Discrimination in Punjab

The 2011 Census revealed the welcome fact that both the child sex ratio and the overall sex ratio in Punjab had improved considerably over the previous census data. However, subsequent rounds of National Family Health Survey data show that gender bias against the girl child in terms of health coverage and nutrition is not only higher than in the developed states but also the poorer ones. The central and state governments need to take note of this aspect in policymaking.

The 2011 Census data reveals an encouraging trend in the gender dimensions of Punjab’s development. However, some aspects of this are a cause for serious worry and deep introspection that highlight the paradoxical character of Punjab as a “rich but not developed” state in the Indian federal economy (Singh 2008). The data reveals that both the child sex ratio (CSR) and the overall sex ratio (OSR) have shown a marked improvement in the state. While the sex ratio has increased from 874/ 1,000 in 2001 to 893/1,000 in 2011, registering an increase of 19 points, the CSR has improved by 48 points from 798/ 1,000 to 846/1,000 (Census of India 2001 and 2011). Punjab has registered the most rapid improvement in CSR among all states of India.

This positive development is in sharp contrast to the 2001 Census data, which showed that Punjab had an abysmally low sex ratio and CSR. While the overall sex ratio in 1991 was estimated to be 882/1,000 and the CSR to be 875/1,000; by the year 2001, both these ratios had worsened considerably—the OSR declining to 874/1,000 and the CSR deteriorating to an all-time low of 798/1,000 (Census of India, 1991 and 2001). This adverse CSR for children in the age group of 0–4 indicated high levels of mortality among young girls.

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Updated On : 2nd Mar, 2017

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