New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: India's Total Fertility Rate (TFR), the average number of children per woman, has further declined from 2.2 to 2 at the national level and ranged from 1.4 in Chandigarh to 2.4 in Uttar Pradesh, as per a Health Ministry survey, reported by news agency IANS.

Releasing the factsheets of key indicators on population, reproductive and child health, family welfare, nutrition and others, NITI Aayog's Member, Health, Dr Vinod Kumar Paul, and Union Health and Family Welfare Secretary Rajesh Bhushan listed the findings of Phase 2 of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) (2019-21).

The survey showed that all Phase 2 states have achieved replacement level of fertility (2.1) except Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, and Uttar Pradesh. The overall Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (CPR) has increased substantially from 54 per cent to 67 per cent at all-India level and in almost all Phase 2 states/UTs with the exception of Punjab. The use of modern methods of contraceptives has also increased in almost all states and UTs.

Further, the needs of family planning have witnessed a significant decline from 13 per cent to 9 per cent at all-India level and in most of the Phase 2 states/UTs. The need for spacing has come down to less than 10 per cent in all the states except Jharkhand at 12 per cent, and Arunachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh - both at 13 per cent.

female-male ratio improves:

Meanwhile, the female-male ratio has improved in India. For every 1,000 men, India has now 1,020 women in the country. They no longer face the threat of a population explosion and are not getting any younger according to the findings of the fifth round of NFHS. The radical findings were released by the Union health ministry on November 24.

It must be noted that NFHS is a sample survey. Whether its findings apply to the larger population is uncertain. It can only be concluded when the next national census is conducted. However, it is very likely that the findings will resonate in the case of many states and Union territories.

“The improved s*x ratio and s*x ratio at birth is also a significant achievement; even though the real picture will emerge from the census, we can say for now looking at the results that our measures for women empowerment have steered us in the right direction ,” said Vikas Sheel, additional secretary, Union ministry of health and family welfare and mission director, National Health Mission.

Highlighting the issue, Nobel Prize winning economist Amartya Sen in a 1990 essay in the New York Review of Books called India a country of “missing women”. During that time, there were 927 women per 1,000 men in India. On the other had, in 2005-2006, the female-male ratio was equal, 1000: 1000 according to NFHS round 3. It went down to 991:1000 in 2015-2016 in NFHS round 4. Now, in 2021, for the first time in any of the NFHS or Census, the female-male ratio is in favour of women.

NFHS round 5, conducted in two phases between 2019 and 2021, covered 650,000 households from 707 districts of the country. The union government is yet to release the full database of NFHS-5.

(With inputs from IANS)

Posted By: Sugandha Jha