New Delhi, Feb 25: India has the third highest child mortality rate among SAARC countries with 48 deaths reported per 1000 live births, Union Women and Child Development minister Maneka Gandhi informed the Rajya Sabha today.
According to World Bank data of 2015, country's under-five child mortality rate is 48 deaths per 1000 live births. Afghanistan has the highest rate at 91 followed by Pakistan 81.
"In India, the office of the Registrar General of India regularly releases reliable estimates of child deaths in terms of Under-Five Mortality Rate (U5MR) using data collected through Sample Registration System (SRS)," Gandhi said in a written reply.
According to ORGI, the U5MR, estimated as number of child deaths per 1000 live births, was 85, 77, 59, 55, 52 and 49 in 2000, 2005, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013, respectively.
She said India is also likely to miss the target of reducing U5MR by two-third, though 'narrowly'.
"The Millennium Development Goals (MDG) has the goal to reduce by two-thirds between 1990 and 2015, the under-five child mortality rate. As per the latest India Country MDG monitoring report titled 'Millennium Development Goals India Country Report 2015', the U5MR was estimated at 125 deaths per 1000 live births in 1990.
"In order to achieve the target, U5MR is to be reduced to 42 deaths per 1000 live births by 2015. As per SRS 2013, the U5MR is at 49 deaths per 1000 live births. It is likely to reach 48 deaths per 1000 live births by 2015, missing the target narrowly," the minister said.