Skip to main content

Home Ministry data vs Health Ministry data! Gujarat's poor sex ratio at birth data

Home minister Amit Shah, health minister Harsh Vardhan
By Rajiv Shah 
Don’t India’s top ministries – of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and of Home Affairs (MoHA) – tally data before releasing them? It would seem so… A few days back, I did a story in Counterview, based on an MoHA report, stating that Gujarat has the lowest sex rate at birth (SRB) at 901 girls as against 1000 births, followed by Assam (903), Madhya Pradesh (905) and Jammu & Kashmir (909), raising valid apprehensions that widescale female foeticide may be prevalent in India’s “model” State.
Before I did the story, I had read a story in Gujarati daily “Sandesh”, which said that Gujarat was declared 100% Open Defecation Free in 2017, yet the claim turns out to be bogus in in the National Family Health Survey (NFHS)-5 report, released recently by MoHFW, which said that 26% of households still defecate in the open and that the state had added just 10% new toilets at the time of the survey (2019).
I asked senior journalist, Neelesh Rathod, who had done the story, to forward me the NFHS report, which he promptly did. After a gap of about a fortnight, I decided to scan through the report’s Gujarat portion, and I was surprised: It said that Gujarat’s SRB was 955 females per males for in the “last five years”. The figures were for NFHS report for 2019-20. There apparently was a considerable improvement: It was 906 in the earlier report (for 2015-16).
Improvement? Well, tue MoHA report does not seem to think so, while the MoHFW report appears to suggest there was. Be that as it may, I decided to read through the introduction to the figures on Gujarat, which seemed to “clarify” things: It had generated data from 29,368 households, 33,343 women, and just 5,351 men. On the other hand, the MoHA report data are based on the actual registration at birth – which was 87.3% of the total births that may have taken place in 2019.
The NFHS-5 report also have some other revealing facts about Gujarat: 14.2% of urban and 26.9% or rural women were married before they reached 18; 2.6% urban and 6.7% rural women of the age 15-19 were already mothers or were pregnant at the time of the survey; neonatal mortality rate (NNMR) was 16.8 (urban) and 24.8 (rural), infant mortality rate (IMR) was 24.1 (urban) and 35.5 (rural), and under-five mortality rate (U5MR) was 26.7 (urban) and 44.2 (rural) – all per 1000.
Also, I found these data interesting: Ever-married women age 18-49 years who have ever experienced spousal violence 10.0 (urban) and 16.8 (rural); ever-married women age 18-49 years who have experienced physical violence during any pregnancy 2.2% (urban) and 1.2% (rural); and young women age 18-29 years who experienced sexual violence before reaching 18 years of age 3% (urban) and 4% (rural).

Comments

Somehow the figures sent out by the various ministries (central or state) are always doubtful.

TRENDING

Top upper caste judges 'biased' towards Dalit colleagues: US Bar Association report

By Rajiv Shah  A high profile report prepared by the influential  American Bar Association (ABA) Center for Human Rights , taking note of the fact that “in the 70-year history of the Indian Republic, only six Dalit judges have been appointed to the Supreme Court”, has taken strong exception to what it calls “lack of representation of Dalits” in the legal profession and the judiciary.

Billion vaccine doses? Devil is in details: 70% haven't got 2nd jab; numbers jacked up

By Prof Ujjwal K Chowdhury*  India has reached the one billion Covid-19 vaccinations milestone. It is indeed a great news and a big salute to the less paid ordinary health-workers in interiors of India for this feat. The government wants all of India's 944 million adults to get vaccinated this year. Around three-quarters of adults in the country of 1.3 billion people have had one shot and around 30 percent are fully vaccinated, the government says.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Failure of 'trickle down theory' behind India's poor Global Hunger Index rating

By Dr Gian Singh*  On October 14, 2021, two organisations, Concern Worldwide (An Irish aid agency) and WeltHungerHilfe (a German organization that researches the problem of global hunger), jointly published the Global Hunger Index (GHI) for 2021. These organizations have included 116 countries in the world hunger rankings.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Nehru legacy? GDP-centric growth has had 'no positive impact' on people's livelihood

By Dr Kamal Nayan Kabra*  Experience has shown that many counties adopt measures to go in for the growth of their GDP, basically in the existing framework, though also going in for, at the same time, new products and technologies and similar other changes. It is believed that by means of this process enough new job opportunities would emerge to meet the economy’s needs both in terms of numbers as also in terms of the requisite remuneration (wages) as also the supplies of the goods and services to maintain the economy on an even keel.

March opposes Sabarmati Ashram renovation: 'Mahatmaji had kept open for access to all'

Counterview Desk A Sevagram to Sabarmati march, which began on October 17 from Wardha (Maharashtra) and will end on October 24 in Ahmedabad (Gujarat), has demanded that the Sabarmati Ashram, the government should not impose "the fashion and glitz of a shallow modernity" at the cost of Rs 1,200 crore, in the name of renovating the Ashram founded by Gandhiji.

Conceived as infrastructure, western approach 'not fit' for building Indian cities

By Arjun Kumar* A recent webinar on Rethinking the City, organized by the Center for Habitat, Urban and Regional Studies (CHURS) at the Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), New Delhi, even as stating that Western concept of city cannot be applied on India, insisted, urban areas were conceived as infrastructure, disregarding the actual inhabitants who live in there. Those who participated in the webinar included Prof Pithamber Rao Polsani, Faculty and Dean, School of Advanced Studies and Research, Srishti Manipal Institute of Art, Design & Technology, and Tikender Singh Panwar, Former Deputy Mayor, Shimla and Visiting Senior Fellow, IMPRI. The session was initiated by Tikender Singh Panwar providing the context on the current state of city planning in India. He emphasized the need for more sustainable models in order improved urban habitation. Prof Pithamber Rao Polsani focused on two important factors that force us to rethink the city as a construct and a space of habita

As Afghan economy crumbles, West working out emergency plans for 'cash airlifts'

By MK Bhadrakumar*  The Taliban is getting many suitors lately. It is far from the “pariah” that the Biden Administration thought it was destined to be. During the past month alone, the Taliban received six suitors from the region and beyond offering courtship – the foreign minister of Qatar; the special envoys of Russia, China and Pakistan; the High representative of UK Prime Minister; and the foreign minister of Uzbekistan who visited Kabul on Thursday.