Sansad TV Perspective: Sex Ratio

In the series Sansad TV Perspective, we bring you an analysis of the discussion featured on the insightful programme ‘Perspective’ on Sansad TV, on various important topics affecting India and also the world. This analysis will help you immensely for the IAS exam, especially the mains exam, where a well-rounded understanding of topics is a prerequisite for writing answers that fetch good marks.

In this article, we feature the discussion on the topic ‘Sex Ratio’.

Anchor: Vishal Dahiya

Participants: 

  1. Dr. Aparajita Chattopadhyay, Professor, IIPS, Mumbai 
  2. Shankar Agarwal, Former Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India
  3. Poonam Muttreja, Executive Director, Population Foundation of India

Context:

The National Family and Health Survey (NFHS 5) has recently released its observation that indicated positive growth in the sex ratio of India. This determines the progressive move of Indian society towards the establishment of gender equality and the improvement of the socio-economic conditions of women. 

Present Observation: 

  • According to NFHS 5, there are 1020 women for every 1000 men in India which is an outlandish statistic. 
  • The factsheet of NFHS – 5 has also revealed that the sex ratio at birth improved from 919 in 2015-16 to 929 in 2019-20.
  • Therefore it becomes imperative to analyze the sex ratio parameter and the factors involved delving deeper into the ways that can be adopted to keep the progress intact. 

Some existing concerns:

  • The gender ratio at birth in the last 5 years remains stagnant at 929.
  • Preference towards the male child is still predominant in different parts of the country.
  • Experts from the IIPS and the official of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is sceptical about the correctness of the data released on sex ratio at birth by the NFHS and await the census data. 
  • Therefore the extent of positivity of the trend is not very well defined.
  • The NFHS is a household survey of which sex ratio is a component. On the other hand, Census is a more robust measurement of the population, demographic transformation and it produces more authentic data regarding the sex ratio. 
  • The NFHS doesn’t capture the real count of men and women in the holistic approach. For instance, it doesn’t cover people in the army, in institutions and also people in the streets.
  • The state-wise data shows less than 950 females in Haryana, Punjab, Chandigarh, Delhi and Jammu and Kashmir.

Key Highlights of the Discussion:

  • The estimations on sex ratio that have been put forth by NFHS attract a blend of views on how significant these numbers are in determining the actual progress. 
  • The actual measure of improvement in the sex ratio will be identified by the upcoming Census
  • It is believed that people have become aware of the rights of the girl child and the perspective of looking at a girl child as a liability has changed over the years.
  • The initiatives of the Government of India like the ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ Campaign (Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana) has made a remarkable impact on the mindset of people to save every girl child from the brutal acts of female foeticide, deprivation from proper education and other means of social oppression. 
  • The NFHS data indicated a considerable decline in the total fertility rate (Number of children born to a woman). This is alarming as an expert believes that with the decline in the fertility rate if there is a preference for the male child then it will worsen the sex ratio balance. The social scenario needs to be studied thoroughly at the time of policymaking. 

Keeping the Momentum Intact:

  • The positive results that emanate in terms of sex ratio in accordance with the NFHS observations shall be perceived as a reminder to further encourage the policy that favour and nurture the well being of every girl child in a country where it lies in the very ethos of our spiritual senses to worship women as goddesses of power, education and wealth.
  • Therefore it is recommended that a value chain must be created for girls that ensure quality education of girls, more job opportunities for girls, promoting the rise of women entrepreneurs by the joint action of the government and people’s participation with more awareness. This would take the enumerations of various surveys like NFHS to fruition with enormous sustainability of gender equality and women empowerment. 

Read more summaries of Perspective in the link.

Perspective: Sex Ratio:- Download PDF Here

Related Links
PM Awas Yojana Saubhagya Scheme
Gender Inequality International Women’s Day
Women Empowerment NITI Aayog

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