Saturday, Sep 25, 2004
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By Our Staff Reporter
HYDERABAD, SEPT. 24. Genetic centres in the city will soon come under scanner as part of the district administration's bid to curb sex-determination tests and, in the longer perspective, prevent female foeticide.
The decision to monitor the procedures followed by genetic centres was taken at a review meeting of the District Medical and Health Department conducted by the district Collector, Aravind Kumar, on Friday.
Mr. Kumar issued directions to make sure that the genetic centres, which have to be registered under the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act -1994 (PNDT Act), submitted the consent given to the tests by pregnant women in the format under Form-G by the fifth of every month. Genetic centres failing to submit the reports would have their licences cancelled, the Collector said.
He also ordered the department to conduct regular surprise inspections from October, apart from conducting review meetings with in-charges of genetic centres on a regular basis.
The centres would have to display the certificates of their registration, maintain all records properly, and by October 10 display messages saying that disclosure of sex was prohibited. The messages, along with slogans against disclosure of sex and female foeticide, would be supplied by the district administration.
Violation of the orders could attract a fine of up to Rs. 50,000, apart from imprisonment of three to five years under the PNDT Act, Mr. Kumar said.
The District Medical and Health Officer, B. Satyavathi, said there were 389 genetic centres in the twin cities, which were registered with the Government. The monitoring drive from next month would include a crackdown on centres that were not registered, for which the department would form teams to inspect the centres across the district and the twin cities, she said.
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