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Goa mulling special software to track illegal sex tests
Monday March 30, 2015 10:48 PM, IANS

The administration here is mulling installing a special software to keep record of every ultrasound machine in Goa, an official said on Monday, following the recent crackdown on errant ultrasound clinics in South Goa district.

The move comes at a time when Goa, despite healthy social indicators, has been aggressively trying to better its sex ratio, which has seen a dip in recent times.

North Goa's Additional District Magistrate Swapnil Naik said the administration was also mulling the possibility of installing a special software in every ultrasound machine in the state, which could generate and transmit the record of every examination conducted at the clinics or hospitals straight to the North Goa Collectorate.

"We have a special Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act (PC-PNDT) control room at the Collectorate where this can be relayed," Naik said.

The Goa government, in the recent past, has examined the possibility of installing a software used in Maharashtra's Kolhapur district, which was used to monitor all ultrasound cases involving pregnant women and enjoyed a degree of success.

"Random checks will be carried out at clinics to physically track the actual report of women attended to by the clinic or hospital by verification of the backup record," Naik said.

Violations would result in seizure of ultrasound machines of errant establishments, he said.

Goa, which otherwise takes pride in its high literacy percentage of 87.4, has a sex ratio of 968 females per 1,000 males.

While the ratio is slightly above the national average of 940:1,000, as per the 2011 census, the coastal state, however, ranks 11th vis-a-vis sex ratio comparisons, with Kerala topping the list at 1,084:1,000 and Daman and Diu languishing at the bottom with a ratio of 618:1,000.

Successive state governments, in a bid to incentivise giving birth to girls, have also started several cash-oriented schemes.

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