Pointing out the gender crisis, the Economic Survey 2017-18 released on Monday, said there is a "phenomenon of son meta preference which involves parents adopting fertility "stopping rules" - having children until the desired number of sons are born..."
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao [Save girls, Educate girls] initiative in 2015 in a sign the government prioritised women empowerment.
This preference resulted in the birth of 21 million unwanted "girls" who often receive less food and education than their brothers. Another area of concern is use of contraception.
Sex-selective abortions are illegal in India - even telling parents what sex their baby is is strictly banned to prevent them - but people find ways around the law, such is the desire to have a boy over a girl. As a result, 21 million of these girls have been categorized as "unwanted"-girls whose parents wanted boys but gave birth to a girl instead".
The population of India has increased by nearly a billion since 1960 but the population growth has skewed massively in favour of boys.
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It was not about creating chances, it was about different things. "In the short-term, I don't think we will do a lot". They brought some fresh ideas, obviously confidence. "He is very important for us". "We need to deliver as well".
For all the social campaigns and awareness drives to end sex selection in India, the preference for sons is still going strong.
Several economic factors such as passing property on to sons, having to pay a dowry for a daughter's wedding and women moving to their husband's house after getting married contribute to the meta-preference, according to the study. In northern Punjab and Haryana states, there are 1,200 boys under the age of seven for every 1,000 girls, though they are among the richest states.
The survey points out that in India, the sex ratio of the last child has been skewed in favour of the male child all throughout - for first-born, it is 1.82, 1.55 for second born, 1.65 for third child and so on, reported the Indian Express. "So, Indian society as a whole should perhaps resolve-the miles to go before society can sleep in good conscience-to consign these odious categories to history soon", the survey resolves.
India, a growing economy and a rising superpower, is still regressive at many fronts.
Broadly under these three parameters, roughly 17 indicators have been charted to gauge how deep-seated the problem of inequality is in India. The percentage of women who did not experience physical or emotional violence also increased from 63% to 71% in this time.
The Survey noted that the north eastern states have been consistently outperforming others on the development parameters related to women, while hinterland states are lagging behind.