Himachal introduces reservation for single girl child at university level

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Shimla, April 5 (ANI): In a bid to discourage malpractices of gender discrimination in the State, the Himachal Pradesh University (HPU) in Shimla town has reserved additional seats for single girl child in graduate and postgraduate professional courses at the university.

It is intended to strengthen women empowerment and the university officials believe that the move will motivate parents to encourage girl children towards education and enlighten them on the importance of girl child.

"We have made this reservation in continuation with the programme launched by our State government i.e. 'Beti Anmol Hai' (Daughter is precious). We felt that under this programme there is a need to give something to the girl child. In my mind, it came that we are running a number of courses at the university. We have around 26 departments. We have one evening college, one regional centre at Dharamshala city and certain schools in the university campus. So, we thought it would be beneficial to those who have promoted single girl child," said Sunil Kumar Gupta, Vice-Chancellor, HPU.

Gupta said that this move will help in correcting the male and female ratio in the state and will be instrumental in curbing menaces like female foeticide.

The reservation will be made in each of the 26 departments of the university in all three centres.

The girl students in the State have welcomed this move.

"It is a good decision taken by the university. This will spread a positive message in the society. This should also be implemented in professional courses in other colleges as well," said Kalpana Negi, a single girl child student at the university.

Boys are generally viewed as breadwinners and believed that they will look after their parents and carry on the family name. But many uneducated or illiterate parents view them as financial liabilities for whom they will have to pay substantial dowries to get them married off.

Female foeticide is a major problem in India.

According to the 1991 census, the male, female ration was 1000: 45. Presently, this has come down to 927 (933 according to 2001 census) females in comparison to every 1,000 males.

This rate is much lower than the average around the world, that is 1,050 females. According to UNICEF, every day 7000 female foetus are destroyed in India. By Hemant Chauhan (ANI)

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