Centre, states to go tough against pre-natal sex determination

Centre, states to go tough against pre-natal sex determination

The decisions was taken at a meeting yesterday 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.

Chandramouli stressed upon the states to strictly implement the provisions of the PC and PNDT Act. He noted that more needs to be done at local level to ensure stringent action against pre-natal sex determination. The secretary said he would soon be taking up the matter with Chief Secretaries of the states to involve the district administration for the enforcement of the law, official sources said.

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.

After detailed deliberations, it was recommended that state inspection and monitoring committees should be set up to facilitate inspection of USG machines especially in districts which have a heavy concentration of USG clinic/Imaging centres, the sources said.

The secretary 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.

States were also advised to work in coordination to regulate activities of ultra sound (USG) clinics in neighbouring border districts for proper registration of machines.
Closer coordination with advocacy activities of Department of Women and Child Development could also help improve the implementation of the Act, he said.

It was suggested that civil registration system should be strengthened to track sex-ratio at birth so that real time data is available to state authorities.

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