The Union Health Ministry has sent a note of caution to the West Bengal government about the declining female ratio, that is the number of girls born per 1,000 boys, in the state as per the latest sample registration survey (SRS).
As per the latest SRS report, the ratio, as of 2020, has declined to 936 from 944 in 2017. This was in contrast to the national figure which improved from 907 in 2020 from 903 in 2017.
An officer of the state Health Department said that the letter from the Union Health Ministry had reached on December 27. "To my knowledge, this note of caution has been sent to all those states including West Bengal where the ratio has shown a declining trend in the latest RS report. However, the department is taking the matter quite seriously," he said.
According to him, the state government has been vigilant about checking events of checking foetus sex under the existing Pre-Conception & Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act, 1994 that strictly bans pre-natal sex determination. "However, from the latest SRS report, it is clear that such illegal pre-natal sex determination is still going on in certain pockets following the involvement of a section of doctors and diagnostic centres. In my opinion this trend cannot be totally arrested through strict enforcement of law. It has to be achieved through a wider awareness programme," the official said.