The 21st meeting of the Central Supervisory Board (CSB) was held in New Delhi today. The meeting was on PC & PNDT Act. It was held under the Chairmanship of Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad, Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare.
In his opening remarks, Shri Azad said his Ministry has increased its engagement with the States to identify and address challenges in the implementation of the PC & PNDT Act. As per the Annual Health Survey 2011, Sex Ratio at Birth in urban areas is lower than the rural areas except Rajasthan. But there is still preference of son and discrimination against the girl child in our country. Against the backdrop of son preference, the mushrooming of ultrasound diagnostic facilities has compounded implementation of the law. To deal with the challenging socio-cultural attitudes, a comprehensive and innovative and Information, Education and Communication (IEC) strategy has been put in place to promote positive attitudes for ensuring survival and protection of girl child. Out of 288 cases filed last year, 116 convictions have been secured under PC&PNDT Act and licenses of 53 doctors have been suspended by State Medical Councils.
Shri Azad said new challenges keep emerging with each passing day. Blood tests that disclose the sex of a foetus are available on the internet or abroad including Ultrasound procedures on mobile phones. For this reason, all stakeholders should act in partnership with Government to counter the unethical practice of gender biased sex selection through misuse of rapidly evolving technologies. This will go a long way in influencing public opinion and shaping a positive environment to save, protect and nurture girl child. Rs.30 crores has been provided to the States under the National Rural Health Mission for PNDT related activities during the year 2013-14. Some important proposals such as Notified Ultrasound Training Rules, Code of conduct for appropriate authorities, Definition of Medical Geneticist and Amendments to the PC&PNDT Act will be discussed and considered in the meeting, he added.
Earlier Smt. Anuradha Gupta, Addl. Secretary of Health & Family Welfare welcomed the members of the Central Supervisory Board.