ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Update on Trends in Sex Ratio at Birth in India

With additional data available at more regular intervals on sex ratio at birth, it is easier to track changes without depending on the decennial censuses. However, the diversity of sources also means differences in trends across sources and regions. A brief analysis of the latest available data is presented to identify the most recent trends and concerns in states that need attention, like north-western and eastern states of India.

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.

Coming Back to Normal?

An analysis of data from Censuses 2001 and 2011 shows that despite the increase in overall population sex ratio in this period, the 0-6 sex ratio and 0-1 sex ratio have continued to decline. This suggests that there is no let-up in daughter defi cit. However, one positive factor is that the north-western states which have had a long history of high levels of daughter defi cit have shown an increase in the 0-1 sex ratio. The reasons for this need to be determined. Another positive aspect is that daughter defi cit seems to be lower amongst the younger cohort of currently married women; it will be interesting to see whether this persists as the cohort ages.

Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Beti Bachao Beti Padhao” campaign aims at arresting India’s deteriorating child sex ratio through communications and advocacy. It must be acknowledged, however, that behavioural and larger social changes are not effective without wider policy changes. The lesser...

Adverse Juvenile Sex Ratio in Kerala

Census 2001 has revealed a deterioration in the juvenile malefemale sex ratio in Kerala. Hospital birth records can help establish sex ratios at birth and thus the prevalence of female foeticide. However, civil society and the state will need to pitch in to check the misuse of technology for female foeticide in Kerala.

Haryana's 'Setting Daughters'

In the flurry of celebrations observed to mark the 35th anniversary of Haryana's formation, what passed largely unnoticed was the state's abysmal performance in seeking to improve the quality of lives of its women, discrimination against whom continues unabated as seen in a widening sex ratio and widening gender gap in literacy.
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