UNION OF INDIA v. HARDY EXPLORATION: DISTINGUISHING THE ‘VENUE’ AND ‘SEAT’ OF ARBITRATION
November 14, 2018
JUSTICE FOR AVNI
November 21, 2018

POLICY ANALYSIS OF ‘BETI PADHAO, BETI BACHAO SCHEME’

Background of the Issue
In many parts of India, the birth of a girl child is not welcomed. Right from her arrival, she faces discrimination, humiliation, and oppression at every stage of life. When it comes to healthcare, education and growth opportunities, she is neglected because of her gender. Some manage to survive and foster new paths to follow. Most, however, surrender hopelessly to the sad fate assigned to them. In a country rife with gender inequalities and an underlying nature of patriarchy, girl children often find themselves at the short end of the stick. Discrimination against girls is rampant and due to the fear of abuse and exploitation, they are kept at home and not sent to school. Sex-selective abortion or female foeticide has led to a sharp drop in the ratio of girls born in contrast to boy infants in some states in India.[1] The issue of girl child rights and protection in India is a very serious concern. Being home to more than one third of the 10 million child brides in the world, India has one of the highest numbers of girls forced into marriage before the legal age of 18. Ultrasound technology has made it possible for pregnant women and their families to learn the gender of a foetus early in a pregnancy. Discrimination against girl infants, for several reasons, has combined with the technology to result in a rise in abortions of foetuses identified as female during ultrasonic testing.[2] Therefore, it felt necessary for the Government of India  to initiate a campaign against female foeticide and to promote girl child rights.
About the Scheme
The ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ Scheme is a flagship programme run by the central government to ensure the survival, protection and education of the girl child. This is a joint initiative of Ministry of Women and Child Development, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Ministry of Human Resource Development. This scheme aims at improving the sex ratio at birth in gender critical districts[3]. It is a centrally sponsored scheme that provides 100% financial assistance to state governments to encourage girl child education. Haryana has 20 districts that are in the gender critical district list. As per the guidelines, Rs 5 lakh were to be provided to each district for implementing the scheme.[4] The Overall Goal of the ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Scheme’ is to celebrate the girl child and enable her education. The object of this initiative from human rights perspective is prevention of gender biased sex selective elimination, ensuring survival & protection of the girl child and ensuring education and participation of the girl child. The target of this initiative is to enrol girls in secondary schools and achieving 100% re-enrolment of girls who had dropped out.
From girl child rights perspective, this scheme enables education that helps create attitudinal shifts that emphasise the rights of a girl child, breaking myths and stereotypes around gender, it encouraging community ownership in preventing violations faced by girls, it provides a healthy budget allocation for the girl child at state and central level it builds women leaders from the community through various sensitisation programmes that help them understand their rights and ensure it for girls and women. [5]
Moreover, the main strategy of this scheme is to implement a sustained Social Mobilization and Communication Campaign to create equal value for the girl child & promote her education. Place the issue of decline in CSR/SRB in public discourse, improvement of which would be a indicator for good governance. Focus on Gender Critical Districts and Cities low on CSR for intensive & integrated action.[6] Mobilize & Train Panchayati Raj Institutions, Urban local bodies and Grassroot workers as catalysts for social change, in partnership with local community, women’s, youth groups. Ensure service delivery structures/schemes & programmes are sufficiently responsive to issues of gender and children’s rights. Enable Inter-sectoral and inter-institutional convergence at District, Block and Grassroot levels.
Therefore, ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ scheme is dedicated to improve the condition of the girl child in India. The main aim of this programme is to improve girl child’s situation through knowledge and empowerment. It is one of the most important programmes conducted by government for girl child education. girl child protection, sexual and reproductive health and youth development are other key areas of focus.[7]
Statistic and Data Analysis of ‘Beti Bachao and Beti Padhao’ Scheme  
The Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Scheme is a flagship programme which was intitated by the central government to ensure the survival, protection and education of the girl child. Women and children constitute around 70% of India’s people and are the critical foundation for national development at present and in the future.[8] The intergenerational cycle of multiple deprivation and violence faced by girls and women is reflected in the adverse and steeply declining child sex ratio among children under 6 years of age which reached an all-time low of 918 girls for every 1000 boys in 2011[9]. Discrimination against the girl child is also evident in other forms of gross neglect and gender-based violence after birth – infancy, early childhood and adolescence in aspects of unequal access to health, nutrition, care and education.  Sustained inclusive growth must begin with children and women breaking an intergenerational cycle of inequity and multiple deprivations faced by women and girls, as related to poverty, social exclusion, gender discrimination and under nutrition was the main aim of this scheme.[10] Hon’ble Prime Minister had announced pan India expansion to 640 districts (as per Census 2011) on 8th March, 2018 at Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan. The BBBP is 100% central sector scheme with total outlay of Rs. 1132.5 Cr from 2017-18 to 2019-2020. [11]
As per the overall report analysis from ‘NAVDISHA’, Annual Report of 2018-19 for ‘Beti Bachao and Beti Padhao’ as well as central government statistical data on the BBBP scheme states that, there has been improving trends in sex ratio of girl child is visible in 104 BBBP Districts out of 119 Districts have reported progress in first trimester registration. 146 Districts have reported improvement in Institutional deliveries. As per Unified District Information System for Education (U-DISE) 2015-16 stated that girls enrolment in secondary education is 80.97% against 76% in 2013-14. Now the revised target of has been proposed to 82% for 2018-19. Budget Allocations has been Rs 50 Cr for the year 2014-15 was, Rs 75 Cr for 2015-16,  Rs 43 Cr for 2016-17, lastly Rs 200 Cr. for 2017-18.
Targets for 2018-2019 As per implementation guidelines for State Government and UT Administrations, 2018 has been as follows: 
Improvement in Sex Ratio at Birth in selected gender critical districts by 2 points in a year.  Reduce Gender differentials in Under Five Child Mortality Rate from 7 points in 2014 (latest available SRS report) to 1.5 points per year. Increase in enrolment for girls in secondary education to 82% by 2018-19.[12] Provide functional toilet for girls in every school in selected districts. Improve the Nutrition status of girls by reducing number of underweight and anaemic girls under 5 years of age.[13] Ensure universalization of ICDS, girls’ attendance and equal care monitored, using joint ICDS NHM Mother Child Protection Cards. Promote a protective environment for Girl Children through implementation of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act 2012.[14] Train Elected Representatives/ Grassroot functionaries as Community Champions to mobilize communities to improve CSR and promote Girl’s education. [15]
However, the CAG report (2014-2016) has states earlier that the expenditure has been categorised as ‘irregular’ in overall diversion of funds. Overall, out of a total amount of Rs 43 crore that was set aside 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. The report found that the percentage of girls’ enrolment in secondary education in the selected districts decreased in 2015-16 compared to 2014-15.[16]

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References:

[1] ‘Female infanticide in India’, accessed on 3rd Sept, 2018, www.unicef.in/PressReleases/227/Female-foeticide-in-India

[2] Ibid.

[3] ‘Beti Padhao, Beti Bachao Scheme’, accessed on 2nd Sept, 2018, http://www.betibachaobetipadhao.co.in/

[4] ‘Beti Padhao, Beti Bachao Scheme’, accessed on 2nd Sept, 2018, http://www.betibachaobetipadhao.co.in/

[5] Beti Padhao, Beti Bachao Scheme’, accessed on 2nd Sept, 2018, www.pmindia.gov.in

[6] ‘Beti Padhao, Beti Bachao Scheme’, accessed on 2nd Sept, 2018, http://www.betibachaobetipadhao.co.in/

[7] ‘Beti Padhao, Beti Bachao Scheme’, accessed on 2nd Sept, 2018, http://www.betibachaobetipadhao.co.in/

[8] ‘NAVDISHA–A National Thematic Workshop on Best Practices in Women and Child Development was organised by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India 2015. Accessed on 2nd Oct, 2018,  http://www.wcd.nic.in/reports%26publications/navdisha-report

[9] Ibid.

[10] Ibid.

[11] ‘Press release by Ministry of Women and Child Development on BBBP Scheme’, accessed on 2nd  Oct, 2018, http://pibarchive.nic.in/4YearsOfNDA/Comprehensive-Materials/WCD.pdf

[12] Annual Report 2018-2019, accessed on 2nd Oct, 2018, Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India. http://www.wcd.nic.in/sites/default/files/Revised%20Guidelines%20BBBP%20-26th%20April%2C%202018_1.pdf

[13] Ibid.

[14] Ibid.

[15] Ibid.

[16] ‘CAG Report on BBBP Scheme’, accessed on 2nd Oct, 2018, https://cag.gov.in/audit-reports

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

 

 

 

Sharlin Puppal is currently pursuing B.A. LL.B  (Honours) from National law University, Mumbai. She has done her schooling from Poddar International School and studied arts (12th grade) from Ruia Jr. College. She has worked with various government institution’s and different organizations for promoting women rights. She has a keen interest in politics, public policy, human rights, economics, social science and constitutional law. 

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