Panel evaluating marriageable age of girls submits recommendations to Centre

NEW DELHI: The panel appointed to evaluate the marriageable age of girls has sent its recommendations to the Prime Minister’s Office and the Women and Child Development Ministry, sources said on Tuesday.

The sources said the panel has made strong recommendations towards increasing the age of marriage of girls.

An official said the WCD Ministry is looking into the recommendations made by the committee.

Addressing the nation on the occasion of India’s 74th Independence Day from the ramparts of the Red Fort, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the government is deliberating on what should be the minimum age for marriage of women.

“We have set up a committee to reconsider the minimum age for marriage of our daughters. We will take appropriate decisions after the committee submits its report,” he had said.

Presently, the minimum age for marriage of women is 18 years.

Early last year, the 10-member task force was set up under the chairmanship of Jaya Jaitly and it was to suggest suitable legislations or amendments in existing laws to support its recommendations; and also work out a detailed rollout plan with timelines to implement these recommendations.

The task force was to submit its report by July 31 but sources said the recommendations were submitted recently.

The committee was tasked with examining the correlation of age of marriage and motherhood with health, medical well-being and nutritional status of mother and neonate/infant/child, during pregnancy, birth and thereafter, key parameters like Infant Mortality Rate (IMR), Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR), Total Fertility Rate (TFR), Sex Ratio at Birth (SRB), Child Sex Ratio (CSR) etc.

and any other relevant points pertaining to health and nutrition in this context.