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NFHS showing more females and males

This is the fifth round of the National Family and Health Survey (NFHS) on November 24, which is conducted by the Union health ministry.

The NFHS uses centralised data systems set up by the government since independence. The data systems that are based on representative samples are referred to as centralised data systems.

NFHS obtains thorough data by visiting small random sampling of households rather than visiting every household.

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However, there is a potential that numerous mistakes will occur during the survey. The most notable is the sampling mistake, in which the organisation selects the incorrect samples for the survey, potentially resulting in incorrect results.

Experts suggest caution in interpreting the findings, noting that the poll only includes approximately 630,000 of India's 300 million homes, and that the whole picture would only emerge after the census data is released.

According to Poonam Muttreja, director of the Population Fund of India, "the census surveys the whole population of the nation and hence offers a more accurate assessment of the overall sex ratio."

However, the figures have generated headlines in India, with some suggesting that they indicate substantial cultural upheavals in a country where a preference for sons has typically resulted in a sex ratio that favours males.

According to the health ministry, this is the first time in India's history that the female population has overtaken the male population. According to one official, this is due to the government's "actions for women's empowerment."

Campaigners, on the other hand, say the figures don't match up and call the government's assertion "absurd" and "close to impossible."

"Our census has regularly proven that there have been more men in India than women over the last 100 years," Sabu George, a scholar and activist, stated.

"According to the 2011 census, there were 940 women for every 1,000 males, and the child sex ratio [which includes children aged 0 to six years] was just appalling at 918 girls for 1,000 boys, so how can there be such a huge shift in just ten years?" he wondered.

India has long been referred to as "a land of missing women," a phrase used by Nobel Laureate economist Amartya Sen in a 1990 article when the gender ratio had plummeted to 927 women for every 1,000 males. He estimated that 37 million women had gone missing.

Picture showing equality in male and female Women outlive malesUnsplash

The desire for boys in India stems from a widely held traditional idea that a male kid will carry on the family heritage and care for the parents in their old age, whereas women will cost dowries and be left for their married homes.

Campaigners claim that since the 1970s, when prenatal sex screening became widely available, tens of millions of female foetuses have been killed through sex-selective abortions, women outlive malesicide, resulting in the highly skewed sex ratio.

Women outlive males, according to experts, which is why the overall sex ratio is always greater than the sex ratio at birth. However, Mr George claims that the figure of 1,020 is implausible.

"If we eliminate tens of millions of females over the next 30 to 40 years, our true birth deficit by 2021 will be substantially bigger. And how is it possible to accept that this statistic is reliable when there is such a significant gender gap?"

According to demographers, assuming there is no prejudice against girls, the ideal sex ratio at birth is 952, while the most recent poll puts it at 929. According to Mr George, "there is still a 23-point - or 2% - discrepancy between the ideal and the reality."

"If 26 million babies are born in India per year, there have been 130 million babies born in the last five years. In just the last five years, we've killed 2.6 million females. This is a national embarrassment. There's nothing to rejoice about."

The administration has already conceded that their policy failed to stop female foeticide.

Also read: Number of girls born alive for every 1000 boys

Manmohan Singh, the former Prime Minister of India, labelled it a "national humiliation" and called for a "crusade" to safeguard India's females. Prime Minister Narendra Modi issued an appeal to Indians to stop murdering their daughters shortly after assuming office in 2014. A year later, he began a campaign encouraging people to rescue and educate their daughters.

However, despite the steps, views have remained unchanged.

Newborn girls have been found abandoned on streets, buried in shallow graves, and dumped in rivers and drains in recent years. Illegal sex determination clinics are also flourishing, according to reports from throughout India.

Some states, like as Rajasthan and Haryana, have attempted to improve their sex ratio, but most large states with vast populations have yet to make significant progress in curbing female foeticide, according to Mr George.

"I believe the survey results are suspect. There's no way this is going to happen. I don't believe the census data, once it is released, will indicate a significant improvement in the kid sex ratio. In fact, if there isn't a downturn, I'd be astonished "he states.

Keywords: NFHS, More females, males, India, data collection, female foeticide, male-female ratio.


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