“India has made tremendous progress since 1990. …
What would you expect about sex ratio at birth in India?
I expected the following:
- It would have improved across the whole country.
- It would be worse in the north than in the south.
- It would be worse in rural areas than in urban areas.
- The law banning prenatal sex determination, which was passed almost 30 years ago, would have helped with the known problem of selective abortion of female fetuses.
I had also assumed these to be true and touted them as facts to multiple people, including twice in the last two years. Recently, when I tried to confirm this, I learnt the opposite:
- Sex ratio at birth has gotten worse across the whole country.
- It is better in the south than in the north, but neither is it better in every southern state nor is it good in absolute terms.
- It is worse in urban areas than in rural areas.
- The impact of the law has been mild.”