The Union Health & Family Welfare Secretary has stressed upon the States to strictly implement the provisions of the PC & PNDT Act. The Secretary was today chairing review meeting for implementation of the Pre-conception & Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (PC & PNDT) Act. Seventeen States, where the child sex ratio has been reported to be low by the recent census data, were called for today’s meeting. The Secretary noted that more needs to be done at local ground level to ensure stringent action. He said he would soon be taking up the matter with Chief Secretaries in the States to involve the district administration for the enforcement of the law.The issues of identification of Districts and mapping reasons for skewed Child sex ratio – interstate coordination mechanism for regulating activities of ultra sound (USG) clinics in border districts; status of enforcement of PC & PNDT Act at State/District/Sub-District level – constitution/notification and meetings of State Supervisory Board, multi-member State/District Appropriate Authority, dedicated PNDT cell at State/district level; monitoring and inspections of ultrasound clinics at District, Sub-District level – registration and renewal of clinics, action in case of default, regulation of mobile/portable/ multi registration of machines, monitoring of form – F (for maintenance of record by USG clinic/Imaging centre); action taken by State Governments with regard to defaults; Status of quarterly progress reports, follow up of court conviction cases and capacity building, advocacy measures were discussed in the meeting.
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 heavy concentration of USG clinic/Imaging centres. 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. 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.
Concluding the discussions the Special Secretary Shri P K Pradhan asked the States to ensure that their State/District/ Sub-District Appropriate Authorities are not just notified but are actively made functional. He also asked the State representatives to send in their suggestions to further strengthen the implementation of the PC PNDT Act before the forthcoming meeting of the Central Supervisory Board is held under the Chairmanship of Union Health and Family Welfare Minister on 30th May 2011. He said if required, States can utilize the NRHM funds to strengthen their PC PNDT cell and legislative assistance to build strong cases for conviction to ensure exemplary action against defaulters.
Health Secretaries/representatives from States of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh, Gujarat, Delhi, Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Uttaranchal, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Bihar attended the meeting today along with representatives from Ministry of Women and Child Development, UNFPA, MCI, AIIMS.
It was noted in the meeting that the absolute decline from 927 (2001) to 914 (2011) in the Child sex ratio figure at national level and the declining trend evident in 27 states/UTs – particularly Haryana with 830, is a matter of grave concern. Jhajjar and Mahendragarh in Haryana emerged in the country with the lowest CSR of 774 and 778 respectively. Data for 346 districts in 11 States (released so far) shows 6 distt recorded CSR below 800; 47 distt between 800-850 and 103 distt beteen 850-900 against the national average of 914.