Centre sets up Expert Group to examine new methods of sex determination
The Central government has set up an expert group to look into the new technologies being to determine the sex of the foetus, so that the same may be curbed through appropriate amendment to the PC & PNDT Act.
Pre-Conception & Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act, 1994 (PC & PNDT Act)
The PC & PNDT Act outlaws the misuse of ultrasound machines to determine the sex of the foetus, and prohibits female foeticide. The expert panel will suggest amendments to this Act to cover the latest methods of sex determinations.
Central Supervisory Board (CSB)
The CSB is the highest body monitoring the implementation of the PC & PNDT Act. A meeting of the reconstituted CSB, headed by the Health Minister and co-chaired by the Minister for Women and Child Development was held recently. The formation of the expert group was decided at this meeting
Need for amendment to legislation
Even though the most common methods of sex determination have been outlawed, newer technologies have come into existence for the purpose of determination of the sex of the foetus. Some of these new methods are even non-invasive. Also, IVF/ART (In-Vitro Fertilization/Artificial Reproductive Technology) clinics, operating in a legal vacuum, allow their clients to choose the sex of their baby. The expert group has been constituted to suggest amendments to face this challenge and curb these new modes of sex determination.