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Performance Report on Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao Scheme: Poor Utilisation of Funds

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According to a latest report by the Committee on the Empowerment of Women, the performance of the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao Scheme in the states has not been up to the mark. The Committee has expressed its “dismay” over the poor utilisation of funds in the implementation of scheme.

What is Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao Scheme?

Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao Yojana is a campaign under the Government of India that was established for generating awareness and improving the efficiency of the welfare services intended for girls in India. This scheme was launched by PM Narendra Modi on 22 January 2015 which is run jointly by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and the Ministry of Human Resource Development. Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao campaign is a national initiative jointly which aims to address the issue of the declining child sex ratio image (CSR).

Objectives of Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Scheme

As per the 2011 national census, the reduction in the number of the female population of certain Indian states continued to decrease. This, as a result, led to the establishment of this campaign.
The main objectives of Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao Yojana include:
– To prevent gender-biased sex selective elimination.
– To ensure the protection and survival of the girl child.
– Ensuring education and participation of the girl child.

Performance of the Scheme

The committee, chaired by Maharashtra BJP Lok Sabha MP Heena Vijaykumar Gavit, tabled its fifth report on “Empowerment of women through education with special reference to Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao Scheme’’ in Lok Sabha. According to the report, almost 80 per cent of the funds for the scheme has been used for its advertising and not on sectoral interventions such as in health and education for women. The committee has remarked that since its inception in 2014-15 till 2019-20, the total budgetary allocation under the scheme was Rs 848 crore, excluding the Covid-stricken financial year of 2020-21. During this period, an amount Rs 622.48 crore was released to the states.
“However, to the committee’s dismay, only 25.13% of the funds, i.e. Rs 156.46 crore, has been spent by the states, reflecting not up to the mark performance of the scheme,” the panel’s report said.
The committee further observed that out of a total of Rs 446.72 crore released during 2016- 2019, “a whopping 78.91% was spent only on media advocacy”.
“Though the committee understands the necessity to undertake a media campaign to spread the message of Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao among the people, they have felt that it is equally important to balance the objectives of the scheme,” the report said.
The panel recommended that “Since BBBP is one of the most important schemes of the government to improve child sex ratio in backward regions and ensure education of the girl children, the committee recommends that the government should, hereafter, reconsider spending on advertisements under the ”Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao” scheme and should focus on planned expenditure allocation for sectoral interventions in education and health.”

National Task Force

There is a national task force headed by the secretary of MWCD, a state task force headed by the chief secretary or the UT administrator and a district task force headed by DCs or DMs to guide and monitor the intermediary targets of the scheme.
The report said, “the committee finds that there is a lapse in undertaking required number of task force meetings and collecting monthly reports or statement of expenditure from districts on time. Such examples of non-compliance of the guidelines are clear indicators that the scheme is not being reviewed or monitored properly. Regular audits and real-time updation of activities are necessary to ensure compliance.”