Written by Talent KAS

Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:

Social Justice [Paper-I]: Rights Issues (Human rights, Women rights, SC/ST rights, Child rights, etc.)

Economy [Paper-II]: Indicators of development, Kerala model development – Achievements of Kerala in Health Sector


The latest Sample Registration System (SRS) 2015-2017 bulletin for MMR was released recently.


  • The government has categorised states into three groups: Empowered Action Group (EAG), Southern States and Other States.
  • It was done mainly to understand the maternal mortality situation in the country better and to map the changes, especially at the regional level.
  • Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh/Uttarakhand and Assam fall under the EAG.
  • Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu are in the Southern States group.
  • Others” comprise the remaining States and Union Territories.

Key Findings

  • India’s Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) has seen a decline from 130 per 1 lakh live births in 2014-2016 to 122 per 1 lakh live births in 2015-2017.
  • The figure has declined from 167 in 2011-2013 to 130 in 2014-2016 and to 122 in 2015-17, registering a 6.15 per cent reduction since the last survey figures of 2014-2016.
  • Karnataka has shown the highest percentage decline in MMR (13 points).
  • Retaining its first position, Kerala has reduced its MMR from 46 in 2014-2016 to 42 in 2015-2017.
  • Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh have shown an increase by 15 points each in MMR.
  • For Assam, which recorded the highest MMR, the 229 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births is still an improvement from the 2014-16 MMR of 237.
  • The decline has been most significant in EAG States from 188 to 175.
  • The ratio has reduced considerably from 77 to 72 per 1,00,000 live births among Southern States and in the Other States from 93 to 90.
  • Independent MMR data of Jharkhand (76), Chhattisgarh (141) and Uttarakhand (89) has been released for the first time.
  • The States of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Punjab have not shown any change in the ratio.


  • The decline in MMR is important for India as 11 States have achieved the National Health Policy target of MMR 100 per lakh live births well ahead of 2020.
  • Kerala, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu have already met the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) target of 70 per 100,000 MMR.
  • The achievements have been made possible in view of the gains made in institutional deliveries and focused approach towards Aspirational districts and inter-sectoral action to reach the most marginalised and vulnerable mothers.
  • Focus on quality and coverage of health services through public health initiatives under the National Health Mission such as LaQshya, Poshan Abhiyan, Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan, Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram, Janani Suraksha Yojana and Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana have contributed to this decline.
  • The recently launched Surakshit Matritva Aashwasan Initiative (SUMAN) will ensure that not a single mother or newborn dies due to a preventable cause and move towards zero preventable maternal and newborn deaths.

[Source: The Hindu, Indian Express]

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Talent KAS