Niti Aayog has suggested that in the next three years, data systems pertaining to children must be strengthened.
New Delhi: The Niti Aayog has suggested to the Centre that there is an urgent need to map children who face vulnerabilities like working in conflict zones and involved in labour intensive activities. This data should be fed into a centralised database, and in addition to this an updated database should be created for trafficked and missing children.
The Government think tank, which is in the process of finalising its 15-year vision document, which will replace the Five-Year Plan period system from the current financial year, as part of an action plan for implementing the vision document, has further suggested that all out of school children need to be mapped as a pre-requisite for planning remedial programmes for bringing them back to school. The three-year action plan drafted by Niti Aayog says that a major obstacle for designing effective policy interventions for children is the unavailability of credible data regarding them.
Citing examples it points out that the number of children in the 5-14 years age group is estimated to be 4.3 million as per the Labour Ministry data. On the other hand, the 2011 census figures state that this number is 10.12 million.
Moreover, it adds, even where data for children is available, there is a lot of ambiguity. For instance, the chapter on human trafficking brought out by the National Crime Records Bureau, does not take into account cases of child kidnapping abduction.
In such a scenario, the Niti Aayog has suggested that in the next three years, data systems pertaining to children must be strengthened. There should also be a focus on improving the execution of existing policies and programmes pertaining to children.
It is all the more important for India to maintain data related to children, as they constitute a little over a third of the country’s population, making it one of the youngest nations in the world.