Rajasthan has recorded a significant growth in its sex ratio at birth (SRB) from 888 in 2011 census to 950 in 2017-18, thanks to an effective implementation of the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act. “We have carried out a number of activities to improve the situation in the state like decoy operations, prosecution of those held for sex determination, among others,” Naveen Jain, Director, National Health Mission, Rajasthan told PTI. “We have created a terror among those involved in sex determination tests and other illegal activities and as a result of it, the state’s sex ratio at birth is significantly improving,” he asserted.
The official said a total of 14.5 lakh births in the state were examined in the fiscal year of 2017-18. “The data analysis showed that the SRB has increased to 950 which was 888 in the 2011 census,” Jain said while hoping that the indicator will further increase in the years to come. The state’s SRB was recorded at 929 in 2015-16 and 938 in 2016-17.
Jain said that the PCPNDT Act, enacted to put a check on female foeticide in the country, has been effectively implemented in the desert state. Health Minister Kalicharan Saraf said 94 decoy operations cutting across states have been conducted in the last four years, with the maximum of 42 operations being conducted in 2017. This year, 19 decoy operations were performed, he said.
Saraf said 276 people, including 170 doctors, have been arrested in the state for their alleged role in female foeticide. “Rajasthan has emerged as a model state in the implementation of the PCPNDT Act. Our teams have performed well and I have asked them to continue like this,” he said.
Jain also lauded a “strong network of informers” in bringing down the rate of female foeticide in the northern state. “We have a good network of informers and our teams of PCPNDT cell are strong, so we have been able to execute decoy operations in a successful manner,” the NHM director said.
The PCPNDT cell takes the help of informers, pregnant women and others to perform decoy operations. Pregnant women act as decoy for the cell and help in arresting those involved in sex selection activities.
In Rajasthan, as many as 2,968 sonography machines are registered in the state and a regular inspection is carried out. More than 1,200 such inspections were conducted this year, an official said.