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“Sex ratio improving radically in Himachal”

Staff Correspondent

SHIMLA: Though much behind the industrially and agriculturally developed Punjab and Haryana, Himachal Pradesh now has far better social parameters than its neighbours.

The latest gender statistics report out on Wednesday reveals that the sex ratio has registered an increase of 6.8 per cent — 974 females against 1,000 males. The sex ratio in Haryana and Punjab is 877 and 893 respectively and just 883 in Jammu & Kashmir.

The report says the female literacy rate, which was just 20.23 per cent in 1971, has gone up to 76.60 per cent. Female participation in the sixth general elections was 45.3 per cent, which has increased to 74.6 per cent in the 13th general elections. The decadal growth rate for females was 13.13 per cent against 12.50 per cent for males. The number of employed women has also increased to 37,555, a 10 per cent increase over 34,197 earlier.

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, who released the report on Wednesday, said the State Government has provided 50 per cent reservation for women in Panchayati Raj elections, and 57 per cent women representatives have been elected to various posts since many fell in the open category also.

He claimed the State Government had launched a number of schemes aimed at alleviating the social and economic status of women in the society.

Head of State Department of Economics and Statistics Pradeep Chauhan added that crime against women had gone down significantly in the hill State. He said majority data available in the report is based on the latest census report. Mr. Chauhan said some district-wise comparison needed to be updated after the availability of entire 2011 census accounts. Wednesday was also the 118th birthday of renowned statistician Professor Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis, he said.

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