In a welcome development for India, there has been a sharp reduction in the Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) for the year 2016. As per a bulletin published by the government, the IMR has reduced from 37 per 1000 live births in 2015 to 34 per 1000 live births in 2016. This is a reduction of 3 points, which is an effective reduction of 8 percent in just a year’s time. The IMR has reduced last year as well by two points. The reduction in IMR is a significant boost for the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scheme launched by the government. Another positive development is the significant reduction in birth cohort. The birth cohort has dropped to below 25 million. This is the first time that the birth cohort has dropped below 25 million. In comparison to 2015, the total infant deaths have reduced by 90,000 in 2016, which is a significant achievement.
Positive changes have also been noticed in the gender difference between male and female IMR. This has reduced in 2016 and is now less than 10 percent. All the states, excluding only Uttarakhand, have reported a reduction in the IMR in 2016. An official statement released by the government said, “These remarkable achievements in merely one year is also the result of a countrywide efforts to increase the health service coverage through various initiatives of the Government that includes strengthening of service delivery; quality assurance; RMNCH+A; human resources, community processes; information and knowledge; drugs and diagnostics, and supply chain management, etc.”