Female Foeticide - Reasons for Infanticide in India [UPSC GS-1]

In India, there was a slight improvement in the sex ratio from 927 females per 1000 males in 1991 to 943 females per thousand males in 2011. However, there has been a dip in the child sex ratio from 945 females per thousand males in 1991 to 919 females per thousand males in 2011. Some of the reasons for female foeticide can be attributed to the following

  1. Dowry system, violence against women
  2. Low status of women
  3. Preference for son due to financial security
  4. Small family norm
  5. Misuse of diagnostic techniques.

Aspirants would find this topic very helpful in the IAS Exam from the perspective of UPSC GS-I (Indian Society and Social Issues.)

Also, as the UPSC Prelims 2023 is approaching, candidates can refer to the mentioned articles below and keep preparing:

What is the difference between Female Foeticide and Female Infanticide?

Female foeticide and female infanticide are 2 of the earliest forms of discrimination against female members of our society. Abortion of a girl child in the mother’s womb refers to female foeticide and killing a girl child after her birth is referred to as female infanticide. These 2 numbers are under-reported in India, a fact that is proved by a completely skewed sex ratio in India.

Read about more Social Issues in India in the linked article.

Candidates preparing for the Civil Services Examination should refer to the following links to not leave any stone unturned in the preparation:

  1. Gist of Yojana
  2. Gist of Kurukshetra
  3. Important ARC Reports
  4. NCERT Notes 2021 for UPSC
  5. Daily News Analysis
  6. Latest Current Affairs

What are the measures taken by the Government to curb female foeticide?

The government of India has taken multiple measures to tackle the problem.

  1. The government of India has enacted legislation named, Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal diagnostic techniques Act 1994 which was amended in 2003.
  2. Steps to stop illegal sex determination.
  3. Ministry of Information and Communications Technology to block sex selection advertisements on websites.
  4. Inspection of ultrasound diagnostic facilities by National Inspection and Monitoring Committee (NIMC).

Indian States and Sex-Ratio (2011 Census)

The following table mentions the top 5 best performers and worst 5 performing states w.r.t child sex-ratio in India:

Best Performing States (Child Sex-Ratio) Worst Performing States (Child Sex-Ratio)
Arunachal Pradesh (972) Haryana (834)
Mizoram (970) Punjab (846)
Meghalaya (970) Jammu & Kashmir (862)
Chhattisgarh (969) Rajasthan (888)
Kerala (964) Gujarat (890)

Does China still have One Child Policy?

In 2015, China reversed to 2 child policy. The one-child policy was introduced in 1979. This policy excluded ethnic minorities and rural parents who were allowed to have a second child if the first child was a girl.

Aspirants preparing for UPSC 2023 can refer to the linked articles below as they are similar to the topic, ‘female foeticide:

Social Justice  Gender Inequality in India
COVID-19 Shri Shakti Challenge Sukanya Samriddhi Scheme – Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Campaign
Gender Pay Parity Child Protection in India
Global Gender Gap Report  Bridging Gender Gap – RSTV: Big Picture

Female Foeticide – UPSC Notes:-Download PDF Here

Frequently Asked Questions on Female Foeticide


Q 1. What is female foeticide?

Ans. The illegal killing of a female foetus is called female foeticide.

Q 2. Is female foeticide punishable offence?

Ans. Yes, if a person is found guilty of killing a female foetus, he/she may be punished for a maximum of three years and a penalty of up to Rs.50,000 under the PNDT Act.

Q 3. What are the reasons for female foeticide in India?

Ans. Given below are the reasons for female foeticide in India:

  • The low status of women in society
  • Preference for a male child
  • Social and cultural practices like dowry
  • Misuse of diagnostic techniques
  • Intentional killing of a female foetus

Q 4. What are the methods to prevent female foeticide?

Ans. The Government of India has taken up strict measures to prevent female foeticide. Pre–Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PNDT) Act of 1994 was passed based on which sex selection is strictly prohibited.

Q 5. What is female infanticide?

Ans. Female Infanticide is the killing of a girl child illegally. It is a punishable crime in India.

UPSC Preparation:

IAS Salary IAS Eligibility
Civil Service Exam Static GK
Government Exams UPSC Syllabus
UPSC Books UPSC Question Paper
Best Optional Subjects for UPSC 10 Must Read Books for IAS Aspirants


Leave a Comment

Your Mobile number and Email id will not be published.