As web-based media sites publish a woman's allegations of sexual harassment against CJI Ranjan Gogoi, the Supreme Court Secretariat denies all charges and Justice Gogoi recuses himself from passing orders. He says it is a larger conspiracy to destabilize the judiciary

News Snippets

  • BCCI ombudsman fines Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul Rs 20 lakhs each for misogynistic comments on the chat show Koffee With Karan
  • Buzz around BJP fielding Sunny Deol from Amritsar as Amit Shah meets the actor
  • EC bans web series on Modi and asks the channel to take down all content
  • #MeToo reaches Supreme Court. Former junior research assistant levels sexual harassment charges against CJI Ranjan Gogoi
  • In West Bengal, official in charge of EVMs goes missing but EC says it is for personal reasons
  • Mulayam and Mayawati share the stage at Mainpuri to bury 24-year old enmity
  • After nation-wide outrage, Pragya apologizes and says Karkare was a martyr who was killed by enemy bullets
  • BJP says Pragya's statement are her personal views
  • Pragya Thakur, Malegaon blasts accused and BJP candidate from Bhopal, says police officer Hemant Karkare of anti-terror squad, tortured her in jail and was killed in the 26/11 operations due to her "curse"
  • PM Modi defends choice of Pragya Thakur as BJP's contestant from Bhopal
  • India suspends trade across the Line of Control with Pakistan
  • PM Modi says Pak PM Imran Khan tried to influence Indian elections with "reverse swing" by making comments favouring him
  • 66% voting recorded in phase 2. sporadic violence reported from many places, especially West Bengal
  • Election Commission bans chowkidar chor hai campaign in MP
  • BJP workers' son commits suicide by hanging from a tree in West Bengal
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Saving The Child And The Girl-Child

By Linus Garg

About the Author

Linus Garg Linus tackles things head-on. He takes sides in his analysis and it fits excellently with our editorial policy. No 'maybe's' and 'allegedly' for him, only things in black and white.

In one of the most heartening reports to have come out in recent times, it is seen that child (and infant) mortality rate in India has gone down substantially. The under-five mortality rate (U5MR) has gone down from 43 per 1000 in 2015 to 39 in 2016, a decline of 9% in just one year. In absolute terms, it meant that 120000 fewer children died in 2016, bringing the number under-1 million for the first time ever.

The second and even more important and happy fact is that the gender gap in these deaths is progressively being reduced. Previously, a lot more girls used to die than boys. It is still the same story, but the gap is being reduced and even reversed in some states. The current U5MR by gender is 37 per 1000 for male children and 41 for females. It has been reduced to 11% from as high as 17% two years back. States like Chattisgarh, Delhi, Gujarat, MP, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and Telangana have reversed the trend.

This is a combination of two factors – policies followed by the government and a realization in Indian society that a girl is as important and valuable as a boy. The government has focused on better hygiene, good medical facilities, RMNCH+A (reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health) interventions under the National Heath Mission, vaccinations and strengthening of service delivery. This has yielded dramatic results. Separate toilets for girls at schools, toilets at home (which negate the need for open defecation, a possible and strong source of female genital diseases) and the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao campaign have all created awareness that the health of girls is important.

On the other hand, more and more parents are now not concerned about the gender of their unborn child. Clinics across India that surreptitiously conducted the banned gender determination tests have reported drastic fall in business. Lesser people are aborting girls in the womb. Although discrimination in providing facilities for the girl-child still exists, happily the trend is being reversed. Parents are spending more to take care of the girl-child’s health and education. If this trend continues, girls will have their rightful place in society in not too distant a future.

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