Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT)
A sound social health is the cornerstone of sustainable social development leading towards wellbeing of every citizen in any state or country. The sex ratio is an indicator which describes the number of women per 1000 men for a given population. The child sex ratio describes the ratio of girls to boys in the age group of 0-6 years. The sex ratio of a given population is also used as a strong indicator to ascertain social health. In the developed societies where female and male enjoy equal status, the women usually outnumber men. The adverse sex ratios (where female are lesser than male) not only indicate poor social health, but also a barrier in attaining sustainable social development. Misuse of technology is a major reason for distorting child sex ratios. In order to regulate use and prohibit misuse of technology, the Pre-Conception and Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques (PC & PNDT) act enacted in 1994 and amended in 2003 is an important tool for addressing sex selective eliminations. The main purpose of the act is to prohibit and regulate the use of diagnostics techniques before and or after conception for sex determinations leading to sex selective elimination of foetus. The provision of the act encompasses creating institutional mechanisms and providing tools to monitor the use of diagnostic techniques for prohibiting sex selection. There is provision of punishment and penalty for those who violate provisions of PC & PNDT Act.
Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act, 1994 is an Act of the Parliament of India enacted to stop female foeticides and arrest the declining sex ratio in India. The act banned prenatal sex determination.
The main purpose of enacting the act is to ban the use of sex selection techniques before or after conception and prevent the misuse of prenatal diagnostic technique for sex selective abortion.
Offences under this act include conducting or helping in the conduct of prenatal diagnostic technique in the unregistered units, sex selection on a man or woman, conducting PNDT test for any purpose other than the one mentioned in the act, sale, distribution, supply, renting etc. of any ultra sound machine or any other equipment capable of detecting sex of the foetus.
Main provisions in the act are:-
1.The Act provides for the prohibition of sex selection, before or after conception.
2.It regulates the use of pre-natal diagnostic techniques, like ultrasound machine by allowing them their use only to detect :-
genetic abnormalities, metabolic disorders, chromosomal abnormalities, certain congenital malformations, haemoglobinopathies, Sex linked disorders.
3.No laboratory or centre or clinic will conduct any test including ultrasonography for the purpose of determining the sex of the foetus.
4.No person, including the one who is conducting the procedure as per the law, will communicate the sex of the foetus to the pregnant woman or her relatives by words, signs or any other method.
5.Any person who puts an advertisement for pre-natal and pre-conception sex determination facilities in the form of a notice, circular, label, wrapper or any document, or advertises through interior or other media in electronic or print form or engages in any visible representation made by means of hoarding, wall painting, signal, light, sound, can be imprisoned for up to three years and fined Rs. 10,000.