Press Release

18 July 2017

Rajasthan fails to fully implement the Mukhbir Yojana to counter female foeticide

New Delhi: Asian Centre for Human Rights in its report, “Rajasthan’s Record on the Missing Girls: India’s one-eyed king in the land of the blind?” stated that Rajasthan has failed to fully utilise its Mukhbir scheme to address female foeticide in the State. Rajasthan is the only State to have established PC&PNDT Bureau of Investigation.

As on 20.12.2016, 31 Mukhbirs and 20 pregnant women were awarded for providing accurate information on sex selection, and 52 decoy operations were conducted. Though Rajasthan secured 85 convictions, the highest in the country, under the PC&PNDT Act during 2009-2015, only 12 staff of the PC&PNDT Bureau of Investigation against sanctioned staff of 18 at the State level were appointed while three posts at district level sanctioned in December 2012 have been lying vacant as on December 2016.

A total of 5,04,444 girls from 0-10 years altogether went missing during 2001 - 2011 in Rajasthan as per 2011 census report and Rajasthan recorded 6th lowest Child Sex Ratio (CSR) among 35 States and UTs of India with CSR of 888 against national CSR average of 919.

In Rajasthan, the CSR has been consistently falling: the CSR was healthy 954 as per 1981 census but it reduced to 916 as per 1991 census, 909 as per 2001 census and 888 as per 2011 census. In terms of points, from 1981 to 2011, the CSR actually fell by 66 points. The fall in the CSR spreads over the entire State.  As per 2011 Census, 27 out of 33 districts of Rajasthan recorded CSR below national average CSR of 919 while 12 out of 33 districts recorded CSR below the state average CSR of 888. Only three districts of Ganganagar, Jaisalmar and Hanumangarh were the exceptions.

The use of technology for sex selection is one of the root causes for this drastic and consistent fall in the CSR in Rajasthan.

Earlier, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) which audited social sector funding upto financial year ending on 31st March 2014 to Rajasthan stated that the Inspection Committees such as Appropriate Authorities under the PC&PNDT Act were not notified till June 2001 and nomination of members of district level Advisory Committee could not be completed even after lapse of 18 years. Further, 18 posts at the State level and 3 posts at district level sanctioned in December 2012 in the PC&PNDT Bureau of Investigation were lying vacant at the time of the audit. The Bureau of Investigation was not effectively operationalised and it hampered Mukhbir Yojana. The CAG further stated that requisite inspections of sonography centres were not carried out during the period 2012-14 and shortfall of inspections were very high and ranged between 55 and 97 per cent.

Further, the CAG report highlighted that the implementation of the schemes for retention of the girl child to arrest falling CSR was abysmal. The Mukhyamantri Balika Sambal Yojana (MBSY) launched on 1st April 2007 to promote girl child and provide economic support to her failed to make any impact. Under the scheme, the Government of Rajasthan bought bonds worth Rs.10,000  under the Children Career Plan (CCP) in Unit Trust of India (UTI) in the name of the beneficiary girl child. As per available records, during April 2007 to September 2015 only 3,450 beneficiaries i.e. 405.88 beneficiaries per year and 33.82 beneficiaries per month were covered. Further, the CAG found several irregularities including non-maintenance of records to identify number of beneficiaries eligible under the scheme, inordinate delay in forwarding applications for approval and failure to deposit for issuance of bonds and no records to ascertain if bonds have been issued by the UTI to all beneficiaries.

“There seems to have been little improvement in some aspects apart from nominating three social workers in each of the 33 District Advisory Committees and three social workers in each of the 292 Sub-Division Level Advisory Committees following the CAG audit.” – stated Asian Centre for Human Rights.

The Mukhyamantri Shubh Laxmi Yojana (MSLY) which replaced the MBSY from 1st April 2013 had higher outreach with 22,26,817 beneficiaries as on October 2016 but financial assistance of Rs 7,300 to be given in three instalments by the 5th year under the MSLY was highly inadequate. The Mukhyamantri Rajshri Yojana (MRY) which replaced the MSLY from Financial Year 2016-17 and increased financial assistance covered 2,22,502 beneficiaries as on October 2016.

Asian Centre for Human Rights recommended to the State Government of Rajasthan to revise Mukhymantri Rajshri Yojana (MRY) to increase the amount of post birth benefits of at least Rs. 1 lakh, provide educational scholarship of Rs. 50,000 and further additional financial assistance of Rs. 1 lakh to be paid to surviving girls for assistance during marriage; upload all details of physical and financial achievements of the MRY scheme on a dedicated website and update the website regularly to provide all relevant information such as list of beneficiaries, funds sanctioned and utilization certificates; and ensure proper implementation of the PC&PNDT Act inter alia by appointing the Inspection committees, increasing the staff and filling up the vacancies in PC&PNDT Bureau of Investigation, conducting inspection of each sonography centre at least once in a year and providing human and financial resources for the same, proper implementation of the Mukhbir Yojana, introducing Integrated Monitoring system for PC&PNDT Act  and installing tracking devices in all sonography machines  and holding time bound trial of the cases under the PC&PNDT Act and making necessary budgetary allocations for implementation of all these measures.[Ends]