IMA demands changes in it
  • No improvement in sex ratio despite 20 years of its application
  • Instead it has 2 major negative impacts:
    • Deprived community of life-saving and essential ultrasonography which has become necessary all over world. It is non-invasive, cost-effective and accurate diagnostic tool
    • PCPNDT Act has made it extremely difficult for ultrasound clinics to ensure compliance
    • Doctors and other medical professionals choose not to conduct PCPNDT scans creating shortage of trained personnel.
  • Need is social reforms not medical bans
  • PCPNDT used by local authorities to harass clinics and extort money
….marriage in India is still believed to be the only route to a good future for a woman. In the light of recent trend where women from southern parts of India are marrying men from northern states such as Haryana, critically comment on the statement. (200 Words)
Marriage in India is considered as an essential part of life. The low sex ratio in India has caused grave problems especially for men from Haryana wishing to marry. The sex ratio in India is 941 with Haryana having a sex ratio of 854, being the lowest and Kerala with a sex ratio 1058 being the highest. This skewed sex ratio has caused Harayanvi men to flock to Kerala, West Bengal and Bihar in search of brides. In India marriage is still believed to be the only route to a good future of women because of the following reasons :
  1. Financial dependency: Most women in India especially rural India are financially dependent first on their parents and then on their husbands. This is one reason forcing them to get married once they reach the marriageable age.
  2. Social indignities: The society looks differential treatment between married and spinster forces Indian women to marry even if they get an unsuitable groom.
  3. Social security: It is very difficult for a single women to live alone in India without falling prey to onlookers .
The reason why women from south are forced to marry men from Haryana are:
  1. Economic burden: Girls are considered as an economic burden especially in poor families. Due to sex ratio 1048, there are some families in Kerela who are unable to marry off their daughter due to poverty so they marry them off to Haryanvi men who come to Kerela due to low sex ratio in Haryana.
  2. Possibility of better living: Women get married to Haryanvi men with the hope of having a better living.
However, such marriages to almost strangers are tough for women to adjust to as they need to adjust to new language, food and culture. The treatment meted out to them is also very poor. Hence, there is utmost need for female empowerment, gender  sensitization, reduction of female infanticide& foeticide, female education and providing job opportunities to female. This will help in increasing the gender ratio, give choice to poor women of their groom and improve the poor treatment meted out to women.
It is a concern that the lowest child sex ratios are found in the most prosperous regions of India. Discuss the causes for the low child sex ratio and its effects on the Indian society. (150 Words)
The child sex ratio of a society indicates the gender parity and the overall gender based discrimination. The falling sex ratios in India indicate the deep-rooted biased against women and clearly indicates that economic growth is not translating into gender parity for women.
The causes for this include-
  1. Patriarchal mind-set of the Indian society
  2. misuse of technology for foetal sex determination
  3. The preference for male child due to various social and religious misconceptions
  4. Improper implementation of the PCPNDT and MTP act
  5. Bureaucratic failure to implement the various girl-child based schemes at grass root level
  6. Due to less education among the females, they fail to stand for themselves
  7. In the Indian male-dominated families, females have almost no say in decisions of sex based abortions
Moreover this is a vicious cycle: low female literacy, social restrictions on females —-> females dependent on family/husband economically——> no say in family planning, improper implementation of laws—->sex selective abortions/neglect of girl child—->low female literacy, continuance of social restrictions.
The most basic impact is that half of India’s population, cutting across castes, religions and social statuses are discriminated and taught to “live like girl” with many social, educational and other restrictions.
Also, we are failing to harness the potential of half of our population leading to increased poverty among the women & strengthening of patriarchal mind-set in the country.
For a holistic growth of the country and following the natural laws of justice, it is the duty of every Indian citizen to make the girl child equal to the male child and implement in spirit “Beti bachao, beti padhao”.
“Poverty is clearly not a reason for falling sex ratio.” Elucidate. (200 Words)
Had poverty been the reason for the falling sex ratio, then it wouldn’t have been the lowest in the richest states. Punjab and Haryana can boast of one of the highest per capita income in the country and yet the sex ratio is continually dropping there.
Instead, what seems to be the major factor in the determining sex ratio is the education level of the population. More importantly, the level of education that is being given to girl is an indicative of the acceptance of the girl child by the society. Since it is mostly a social construct, the gender sensitisation is linked more to the cultural aspects rather than economic.
Inspite of education and economic wellbeing, the capital Chandigarh too has a horrific record in killing of girl child. Money and education have thus become a tool to attain their parochial aims. It seems that until the mentality of the people is changed, education would continue to perpetuate the same stereotypes as the ones popular with the poorer citizens of the nation.
The root of the problem perhaps lies in the economic and political inequity systematically perpetuated by our society. Women have to have the right of work as equal of their male co-workers and paid equally too. Rural settings doesn’t discriminate between the labourers but the modern industry prefers the male worker, seen as more responsible towards the company than the family. Strict laws need to be in place to ensure that maternity leaves, childcare etc. doesn’t come in way of a woman’s career.
While the overall sex ratio has improved to 940 as compared to 933 in 2001, the child (0-6 years) sex ratio has shown an unabated decline since 1961. How do you explain this contradiction? (200 Words)
As per the provisional data of Census 2011, while the overall sex ratio had gone up by seven points to touch 940, against 933 in Census 2001, the child sex ratio plummeted to 914 from 927.
The increasing trend has been seen in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Mizoram and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, while in all the remaining 27 States and Union Territories, the ratio has shown a decline.
This anomaly can be broadly attributed to biological and social reasons. The decline in child sex ratio is due to the preference for male child in our patriarchal society. Pre-natal diagnostic techniques lead to female foeticide, due to which the child sex ratio can be said to be declining. Also, at such an age, children are mostly dependent on their parents for nutrition, where males are again the preference, as they are more likely to be employed with the family as a child labourer.
As the industrialisation of India picked up in the early 1960s, the demand for labour increased, supplementing the already high preference for male children.
This coupled with the dawn of development in medical facilities in India since early 1960s, the child sex ratio has declined continually.
But as age increases, females are at an advantage to males in most of the ailments, due to following reasons:
  1. Women produce more antibodies and at a quicker rate than men, and have more white blood cells.
  2. Women have a lower blood pressure than men, and, at least prior to the menopause, are less likely to suffer from potentially deadly cardiovascular diseases.
  3. Females usually have a higher life expectancy then men, due to better psychological/ cognitive efficiency which stimulates more brain cells.
So, if the effect of all social evils, leading to deaths of females at an early age, is eliminated at the later stage of life, females survive more than men, which explains the better sex ratio at the post dependency periods of children.



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