WCD Ministry to rank districts under Beti Bachao Beti Padhao initiative, incentivise them

NEW DELHI, Oct 1: In a bid to speed up progress under the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao initiative, the Women and Child Development Ministry is set to introduce a mechanism to rank the performance of districts and incentivise them according to it.

Launched in 2015, the initiative aims to bolster the Child Sex Ratio in India and empower girls and women throughout their life cycle.

While the sex ratio at birth (SRB) has improved in the country from 918 in 2014-15 to 934 in 2019-20, it is still below the World Health Organization’s international standard for natural sex ratio of 952.

The data shared in the operational manual issued by the ministry revealed that 516 districts have an SRB lower than the WHO standard and 169 districts still have SRB lower or equal to 918. Allocation of funds to districts under the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao initiative is based on their SRB status. Districts with SRB less than or equal to 918 receive additional support.

According to the manual, by maintaining this district scorecard, the ministry aims to assess and incentivise the progress made by districts in promoting the welfare of girls and women.

The scorecard, a critical feature of the manual, will be crafted based on data extracted from the Mission Shakti Management Information System. It will include separate sections for process indicators and outcome indicators, each playing a vital role in evaluating district performance.

The outcome indicators will be categorised into broader themes encompassing a girl child’s protection, survival, health, education, and overall development. The process indicators, on the other hand, will focus on the institutional mechanisms in place and capacity-building measures undertaken at various levels of scheme implementation.

Based on the district scorecard, the Ministry will release the annual District Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Ranking. This data will also be aggregated at the state level to gauge overall state performance.

The manual also said a committee headed by the secretary of the Ministry of Women and Child Development will be established to oversee the implementation of the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao initiative. It will meet at least once a year, preferably in April, to monitor the progress of the scheme activities and the status of objectives achievement.

In states and Union territories, the implementation will be overseen by committees formed under the Mission Shakti framework, led by chief secretaries. These committees will include officers from women and child development, social welfare and other relevant departments.

At the state level, the Mission Shakti State Hub for Empowerment of Women will facilitate coordination with central ministries and districts. At the district level, the Mission Shakti Committee, comprising officers from the women and child development and other nodal departments and headed by the district magistrate/district collector, will be responsible for implementing Beti Bachao Beti Padhao.

Districts will also have the flexibility to partner with civil society organisations, academic institutions, and external agencies for strategic interventions.

The Women and Child Development Ministry is developing a comprehensive web-based reporting system to enable real-time monitoring of the Mission Shakti initiative. This portal will provide easy access to information on service delivery structures, available institutions, services provided, human resources, financial resources, and beneficiaries while maintaining data confidentiality. (PTI)

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