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Approach:

  1. Intro – BBBP scheme and its brief overview.
  2. Mention the major achievements till now.
  3. Elaborately point out the issues and shortcomings.

Beti Bachao Beti Padhao is the Centre’s flagship programme for women’s empowerment, which focuses on education of girl child and improving sex ratio.

According to census data, the child gender ratio (0–6 years) in India was 927 girls per 1,000 boys in 2001, which dropped to 918 girls for every 1,000 boys in 2011. A 2012 UNICEF report had ranked India 41st among 195 countries. It was launched on 22 January 2015 at Panipat, Haryana. It is jointly run by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the Ministry of Human Resource Development. From 2021-22, the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and Ministry of Minority Affairs have been added as partners. The scheme’s initial funding was of 100 crore (US$14 million). Since 2021-22, the scheme has been subsumed into Mission Shakti – Sambal sub-scheme.

Achievements:

  • Sex Ratio at Birth: SRB has improved by 16 points from 918 (2014-15) to 934 (2019-20), as per the Health Management Information System (HMIS) data.
  • Health : % of 1st Trimester ANC (Antenatal Care) Registration has shown an improving trend from 61% (2014-15) to 71% (2019-20). % of Institutional deliveries has shown an improving trend from 87% (2014-15) to 94% (2019-20).
  • Education : Gross Enrolment Ratio of girls in the schools at secondary level has improved from 77.45 (2014-15) to 32 (2018-19) as per Unified District Information System for Education provisional data.
  • Sanitation : % of schools with functional separate toilets for girls has improved from 92.1% (2014-15) to 1% (2018-19).
  • Attitudinal change & visibility awareness : It is able to bring the focus on important issue of female infanticide, lack of education amongst girls and deprivation of their rights on a life cycle continuum.
  • Beti Janmotsav is one of the key programmes celebrated in each district.
  • Display of Birth statistics in public places through Guddi Gudda Boards.
  • Breaking gender stereotypes & challenging son-centric rituals.
  • Campaigns are being undertaken by States & Districts to prevent Child Marriage.
  • Reward & Recognition : Felicitation is being given to Best Panchayats, Parents for valuing their daughters , Community Members, Local Champions for their exemplary work, and meritorious girls.

Challenges:

  • Inefficient fund allocation & utilization: Over the 2014-15 to 2017-18 period, a total sum of Rs. 368 crores was allocated to the BBBP scheme, of which 291 crores was released. A CAG report criticized the scheme’s implementation noting that less than 20% of the total funds released by the Centre had actually been spent at State level in 2016-17. E.g., out of Rs 6.36 crore released by the central government to the state government during 2014-16, only Rs 0.91 crore was utilised up to March 2016 in Punjab. Overall, out of a total amount of Rs 43 crore earmarked for BBBP in the fiscal year 2016-2017, only Rs 5 crore has been correctly utilised, according to the report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Human Resource Development.
  • Unbalanced Expenditure patterns : A review of the component-wise distribution of expenditure for 2017-18, as well as planned expenditure profile for 2018-19 and 2019-20 suggests – (a) A majority of the expenditure, i.e. about 43% on average, is allocated for media campaigns at the national level, with another 4% for campaigns at district level. Another 27% of expenditure is allocated for community-level activities at district level and providing awareness kits to Anganwadi centres; (b) Only a small proportion (about 5% ), is allocated for education and health-related interventions. (c) Another 5% is allocated for training & capacity building at the district Training at the central level receiving only 1%.
  • Implementation Challenges: As per CAG reports, in various districts of Haryana and Punjab, the sex ratio has worsened. For e.g., in Panipat, the ratio was 892 against the target of 902 but, it dropped further to 881.
  • The target of increasing girls’ enrolment in secondary schools and achieving 100% re-enrolment of drop-out girls are also left incomplete.
  • The district authorities are required to effectively monitor and ensure that the use of sex-determination tools by families & doctors leads to stringent legal action against them.
  • The guidelines of the scheme emphasise the importance of enforcing the PCPNDT Act at the national, state and district levels. But, there were various gaps in implementation observed which directly dilute authorities’ monitoring capacity.
  • None of the gender critical districts in Haryana have an anonymous online complaint portal.
  • Only 7 complaints regarding unregistered doctors operating ultrasound machines & illegal activities under the PCPNDT Act were received during 2014-16.
  • No action has been initiated to strengthen the PCPNDT cells.
  • No specific targets are mentioned in the guidelines for conducting inspections of diagnostic centres.
  • Against the requirement of 5 meetings, only 1 meeting was held by the State Inspection and Monitoring Committee.
  • It was also noted that against the required 44 and 308 quarterly meetings expected of the District Task Force and Block Task Force respectively, only 22 and 10 meetings were held, respectively.
  • CAG report found that there were no records of implementation for various activities held for Information, Education & Communication activities & child development at the district, block and gram panchayat levels during 2014-2015 & 2015-2016.
  • Audits in various districts revealed that the births of all girls had been registered while those of some baby boys had been concealed to present improved figures of the gender ratio.
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