MCI Should take Strict Action Against Violators of PC & PNDT Act


Central Supervisory Board Recommends Empowering of National and State Inspection & Monitoring Committees

“The Medical Council of India should take cognizance of practice of illegal sex selection, determination and sex selective abortion and ensure that guidelines for accreditation of training and experience for medical practitioners are put in place quickly. MCI should also make sure that registration of doctors found guilty of violation under the PC & PNDT Act is suspended or cancelled immediately in accordance with the provisions of the Act”. The Union Health and Family Welfare Minister, Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad was today speaking at the first meeting of the newly reconstituted Central Supervisory Board (CSB) of the Pre-conception & Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques Act, 1994 (PC & PNDT Act).

Chairing the meeting, the Minister said “there is no escaping the fact, that we need to change mindsets for the girl child to be universally desired and nurtured. Society as a whole has to rise to the occasion and leaders have to act as catalysts of change in their own areas of influence”. Shri Azad acknowledged that while the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare is entrusted with the responsibility of preventing the misuse of medical techniques for sex determination, both before and after conception, the implementation of the PC & PNDT Act, rests with the State Govts. “There is need to strengthen implementation structures and systems in the States”, he reiterated.

The Minister informed that the Central Government has taken up PC & PNDT as an important focus area under NRHM. “We are providing funds to the States for setting up and strengthening PNDT cells, both at the State and the District levels for intensifying IEC activities and for other State level interventions. We have also put in place a National Inspection and Monitoring Committee with an objective to undertake surprise inspections across States. On its part, the Ministry has also recently revised guidelines for giving financial assistance to NGOs for supporting effective enforcement of the PC & PNDT Act. Process of regular reviews with 18 States which have the most adverse sex ratios is also underway”, he added.

Shri Azad elaborated that the Central Supervisory Board brings together key stakeholders including State Governments, medical practitioners and civil society representatives and thus offers an excellent platform for deliberations on issues related to social, cultural and technical aspects of the problem of sex selection and determination. He thus urged the CSB members to suggest measures to keep pace with the rapidly changing technology and promote desired changes in socio-cultural values and behaviours.

After due deliberations, the CSB members recommended that National Inspection and Monitoring Committee and State Monitoring and Inspection Committees should be empowered to oversee follow up action by the District Appropriate Authority on irregularities found during inspections and if required take recourse to section 28 (b) of the Act which empowers a person other than DAA to file a case in the court if DAA fails to take action within 15 days, for enhanced effectiveness. CSB also accepted need for regulating the mobile genetic clinics, which are being grossly misused. The MCI representative assured that detailed framework for accreditation of training and experience would be put in place on priority.

At the meeting, it was reported that as per quarterly progress reports submitted by States/UTs, 42190 medical units have been registered under PC&PNDT Act, 298 machines have been sealed and seized for violations of the law and a total of 843 court cases have been filed under the Act and 55 convictions have been secured under the Act.

Under the Chairmanship of the Union Minister of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India, Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad, those who attended today’s meeting included – Smt. Krishna Tirath, MOS (I/c) (Women & Child Development) as Co- chair; Shri K. Chandramouli, Secretary, Ministry of Health & F.W. as Vice-Chairman. Women MPs on the Board – Smt. Poonamben Veljibhai Jat and Smt. Mabel Rebello along with Ms. Brinda Karat, MP (special invitee) were also present in the meeting. The Non – official members at the meeting included – Dr. Girija Wagh, Jt. Secy., Chaitanya, Karve Nagar, Pune; Dr. Gayatri Thaker, Gynaecologist & Obstetrician Siddhivinayak Hospital, Jamnagar, Gujarat; Dr.Bani Sarkar, HOD. Dept.of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Dr.Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, New Delhi; Dr. Sanjay Anant Gupte, former President, FOGSI, Mumbai; Dr. Rajiv Yeravdekar, Director, Symbiosis Institute of Health Sciences & Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences, Symbiosis International University, Pune and a member of MCI; Dr.Neelam Singh, Secretary, Vatsalya, Lucknow. Secretaries/representatives from Govt. of Delhi; Govt. of Kerala; Govt. of Punjab and Govt. of Rajasthan also attended the meeting. Special invitees on the Board included President, Indian Radiological & Imaging Association; Secretary- General, Indian Medical Association; President, FOGSI, Mumbai;; Secretary (Health & FW), Government of J&K, Secretary (Health & FW), Govt. of Haryana, Secretary (Health & FW), Govt. of Gujarat, Secretary (Health & FW), Govt. of Himachal Pradesh; Dr. Neelam Singh, Advocate, Supreme Court of India and Ms. Ena Singh, UNFPA Representative in India.


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