New Delhi [India], June 6 (ANI): The Central government has set up a task force to examine matters related to the age of motherhood, imperatives of lowering the maternal mortality rate (MMR) and improvement of nutritional levels and related issues.
"The Government of India in a gazette notification issued on June 4, 2020, has set up a task force to examine matters pertaining to the age of motherhood, imperatives of lowering MMR, improvement of nutritional levels and related issues," the Ministry of Women and Child Development said in an official statement on Saturday.
According to the statement, the task force will suggest measures for promoting higher education among women and suitable legislative instruments and/or amendments in existing laws to support the recommendations.
The task force will examine the correlation of age of marriage and motherhood with health, medical well-being, and nutritional status of mother and child, during pregnancy, birth, and thereafter.
It will also examine the key parameters like Infant Mortality Rate (IMR), Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR), Total Fertility Rate (TFR), Sex Ratio at Birth (SRB), Child Sex Ratio (CSR), etc and any other relevant points pertaining to health and nutrition in this context.
It will also work out a detailed roll-out plan with timelines to implement the recommendations of the task force and will be provided secretarial assistance by the NITI Aayog. It will submit its report by July 31, 2020.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, during her Budget 2020-21 speech, had said that there are imperatives of lowering MMR as well as improvement of nutrition levels as the country progresses and opportunities open up for women to pursue higher education and careers.
"Women's age of marriage was increased from fifteen years to eighteen years in 1978, by amending erstwhile Sharda Act of 1929... The entire issue about the age of a girl entering motherhood needs to be seen in this light," Sitharaman had said, according to the statement.
The task force will be headed by veteran politician Jaya Jaitly, and also include Niti Aayog member Dr Vinod Paul, and secretaries of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Ministry of Women and Child Development, Department of Higher Education, Department of School Education and Literacy, Legislative Department as ex-officio members.
The task force will also include Najma Akhtar, Vasudha Kamath and Dr Dipti Shah as members. (ANI)