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Beti Bachao Beti Padhao showing significant results

NewsBeti Bachao Beti Padhao showing significant results

India’s skewed sex ratio has started to normalise with the government’s effort to ensure that female foeticide is stopped.

New Delhi: Government of India’s concerted efforts to save and educate the girl child for years have started to bear fruit, with the sex ratio in the country normalising according to international standards and also education of the girl child showing an upward trend.
According to a recent research by Pew Research Institute, India’s skewed sex ratio has started to normalise with the government’s efforts to ensure that female foeticide is stopped across the country and girl children are not seen as a burden by families.
The Pew findings show that between 2010 and 2014, sex ratio in India was as bad as 111.2 boys born for every 100 girls (890-900 girls per 1,000 boys), which then decreased to 108 boys to 100 girls between 2019 and 2021. This translates to 925 girls being born for every 1,000 boys.
“India’s artificially wide ratio of baby boys to baby girls—which arose in the 1970s from the use of prenatal diagnostic technology to facilitate sex-selective abortions—now appears to be narrowing,” the Pew report said.
Ministry of Women and Child development data shows that the skewed sex ratio in India is on the decreasing trend and sex ratio at birth has shown an improving trend. Sex ratio at birth has improved by 36 points between 2014-2015 and 2021-2022.
According to the Ministry data, sex ratio at birth, which was 903 girls per 1,000 boys being born in 2014-2015, increased to 939 girls for every 1,000 male childbirths in 2021-2022.
Seeing the major imbalance in the country’s sex ratio in 2014 when he first came to power, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the “Beti Bachao Beti Padhao” programme scheme 22 January 2015 to ensure that the skewed sex ratio is normalised. Accordingly, a massive sensitisation campaign was launched to ensure that female foeticide was stopped and the girl child was accepted and celebrated across all households.
Between 2016 and 2019, the government spent more than Rs 351 crore for advocacy campaigns to spread the message of “Beti Bachao Beti Padhao” across 405 districts. “Funds were earmarked for multi-sectoral interventions initially in 405 identified districts for extending community outreach, advocacy and generating awareness, inter alia, through various means, including media. In the initial phase, the emphasis has been on Media and Advocacy for sustained focus on awareness generation and to bring an attitudinal shift in society towards valuing the girl child. The all-India advertisements of Beti Bachao Beti Padhao have successfully been able to establish the brand which has an excellent recall value,” the Ministry of Women and Child Development told the Lok Sabha in December last year.
The Prime Minister also formed an inter-ministerial monitoring and implementation group that would take care of the girl child right from the birth of the child till the time the girl child is married. Over the last eight years of the government, Prime Minister Modi has launched a plethora of schemes to give rights and education to each and every girl child in the country.
The three nodal ministries—Ministry of Women and Child Development, Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare—were given the task to ensure the girl child’s holistic development and education and prevent dropping out from school.
The Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scheme later also included the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and the Ministry of Minority Affairs to form a larger scheme called “Mission Shakti”, whcih has been implemented by the government for the holistic development of the girl child.
The Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scheme also focused on the girl child’s education as it was seen that education among girl children was very poor compared to boys. The Beti Bachao Beti Padhao programme also ensures that girls are given education free of cost and that dropouts amongst girls are arrested. It also focused on higher education of girls to ensure sustainable development of the girl child.
The Economic Survey of India 2023 says that the financial year 2022 saw improvement in Gross Enrolment Ratios (GER) in schools and improvement in gender parity. “GER in the primary-enrolment in class I to V as a percentage of the population in age 6 to 10 years for girls as well as boys have improved in FY22. GER in Upper Primary (enrolment in class VI to VIII as a percent of the population in age 11-13 years), which was stagnant between FY17 and FY19, improved in FY22. In corresponding age groups in Primary and Upper-Primary levels, girls’ GER is better than boys,” the Economic Survey 2023 said.
The GER for girls between 2020 and 2022 in the primary section has 104.8% as compared to 102.1% for boys, while in the upper primary section the GER for girls has been 94.9% as compared to 96.5% for boys.
Girls dropping out of schools after primary education has been a major issue and the government has effectively been able to arrest this trend and retain a large number of girl children in school till the secondary education level. Take this for example, GER for girls in 2014-15 in the Upper Primary and Secondary school level was 88 and 73% respectively, which has been increased to 94.5% and 79.4% respectively in 2021-2022. The data also suggests that the trend of girls’ enrolment and retention in the senior and middle school started to increase from 2016 and continues to increase through the years.
School dropout rates for girls have also witnessed a steady decline. According to data, school dropout rates for girls in secondary education have come down to 12% from 14% in 2014, while in the upper primary section it has come down from 4% to 2.6% in 2020-2021.
The launch of a multitude of schemes such as Samagra Shiksha, RTE Act, improvement in school infrastructure and facilities, residential hostel buildings, availability of teachers, regular training of teachers, free textbooks, uniforms for children, Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya and the PM POSHAN Scheme played an important role in enhancing enrolment and retention of children in schools. Under the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scheme, a special campaign, namely, Kanya Shiksha Pravesh Utsav was also launched in March 2022, to re-enrol in school adolescent girls in the age group of 11 to 14 years. The main components of the scheme were social mobilization and awareness and incentivization of these girls for counselling and referrals. The campaign was launched in a coordinated effort by the Ministry of Women and Child Development and the Ministry of Education to ensure re-enrolment of adolescent girls in schools.
A NITI Aayog report after evaluating the schemes under Beti Bachao Beti Padhao said, “The scheme has been able to generate significant mass mobilization to eliminate gender discrimination and valuing the girl child and the scheme has been able to develop many good practices and community level initiatives. The awareness about the scheme was also found to be high.”

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