New Delhi: Alarmed by the increasing female foeticide cases, both the Centre and the state governments have formulated new policies to curb this menace. A slew of measures, including monitoring the use of ultrasound machines and setting up state inspection committees to check pre-natal sex determination have been decided upon by the government.

The decisions were taken during a meeting on Wednesday which was chaired by Union Health Secretary K Chandramouli and attended by senior health ministry officials of 17 states and Union Territories, which have skewed sex ratio.

In order to keep a close eye on the heinous crime, the government has decided to conduct a monthly assessment of child birth in each district instead of depending only on the census carried out every ten years. Action would be taken immediately at places which record low female ratio.

According to a senior official in Health Ministry, after getting the monthly details of sex ratio, it would be easier to work on the problem.

“The facts will also serve the basis to prevent sex determination and checking the declining sex ratio. Also, formation of a supervisory board in every state would be ensured under the policy,” he said.

“An authority constituting several officials will be deployed in each district of every state. The board will review implementation of the Pre-conception & Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques Act, 1994 (PC & PNDT Act),” he added.

Among the other issues discussed in the meeting were identification and mapping of districts to find reasons for skewed child sex-ratio, interstate coordination mechanism for regulating activities of ultrasound (USG) clinics in border districts, status of enforcement of PC and PNDT Act, monitoring and inspections of ultrasound clinics at district, sub-district level and registration and renewal of clinics.

The Health Secretary K Chandramouli said that technology should also be leveraged to facilitate filing of online information so that not only information of registered clinics but also action taken for seizures of machines, cases filed against defaulting practitioners can be put in public domain and online filing of complaints by informers could also take place.

Chandramouli also asked the state representatives to send in their suggestions to further strengthen the implementation of the PC and PNDT Act before the forthcoming meeting of the central supervisory board under the Chairmanship of Union Health and Family Welfare Minister on May 30.


JPN/Bureau