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PM launches scheme, Maneka stokes controversy

The statement of the Union Minister for Women and Child Development may pave the way for a controversy on the issue and could be even dubbed as bizarre by some as pre-natal sex determination is blamed for falling number of girls.

Speaking on the concluding day of the two-day National Thematic Workshop on Women and Child Development at Panipat, Gandhi said she would consider the suggestion of Maharashtra Women and Child Development Minister Pankaja Munde that checking female foeticide would be easier if sex determination tests are made mandatory. At present, sex determination tests are illegal.

On the other hand denouncing the practice of female foeticide, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the discrimination against girls reflects “mental illness” and displays a mindset worse than that in the 18th century. Launching ‘beti bachao beti padhao (save daughter, educate daughter)’ scheme in Haryana, a state with one of the poorest sex ratio.

In a hard-hitting speech, he said, “We cannot call ourselves citizens of 21st century by practicing such a crime when daughters are killed soon after they were born.”

Modi has launched the nationwide campaign from Haryana as it has the worst gender ratio in the country. Of the 100 districts with the worst gender ratio in India where the campaign is being initiated, Haryana has 12.
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