5. Examine the implications of adverse sex ratio for India’s future.
भारत के भविष्य के लिए प्रतिकूल लिंगानुपात के निहितार्थों की जाँच करें।
Sex ratio is defined as the number of females per 1000 men. It is a useful indicator to understand women’s health and position in a society. India, along with china and few other South Asian countries, has a deficit of females for a long period. Sex ratio in India has declined over the past century from 972 in 1901 to 927 in 1991. According to 2011 census there are 940 females per 1000 of males.
A number of reasons like poverty, illiteracy, culture and preference for male child are held accountable for the continuous decline in the sex ratio.
According to a Youth in India report brought out by the ministry of statistics and programme implementation, the sex ratio is declining steadily. It is projected to fall to 898 by 2031. This could have serious repercussions.
- The shortage of women has led to a sharp rise in violence against them. Likely increase in crimes like trafficking and forced marriages.
- This will lead to a situation where, apart from the ingrained son preference, people don’t want girls all the more as they feel that it is difficult to keep them safe. In a study done by the Centre for Social Research in Haryana, fear of violence is a cause for female foeticide.
- Male dominated society will lead to reinforcement of patriarchy.
- The economic consequences are grave for this means that a huge proportion of the productive population is missing (effect on agricultural sector) and also the lack of women impairs the ability of men to work.
- Further lowers political representation of women making it difficult to address their concerns.
- At global stage nation will be portrayed in bad light.
To address the issue Government of India has come out with initiatives to save girl childlike Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao, meant for uplifting women in the sphere of women’s education; Sukanya Samriddhi Account, meant to help families’ save for their daughters. However, still lot needs to be done on this front as declining sex ratio will have destabilizing effect socially, economically and politically.
Ways to address the issue:
- More effective implementation of PCPNDT Act.
- Active monitoring of birth ratios.
- Detailed medical audits of all ultra sound examination carried out by registered clinics including sale-purchase records of ultra sound machines and to make these record public;
- Sustained social campaigns, financial incentives to parents giving birth to female child, free educational scholarships, reservation for females in educational institutions and jobs; and
- Active involvement of community, NGOs and other voluntary organisations and SHGs with support from government are needed.
Best answer: Utkarsh Saxena