Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma on Thursday took to Twitter to hail Prime Minister Narendra Modi for increasing the age bar for marriages of girls from 18 years to 21 years. Later, the CM deleted the tweet, reason to which is yet to be known.
The now deleted tweet read, "I wholeheartedly welcome the decision of Union Cabinet headed by Adarniya PM Shri @narendramodi ji to increase the age bar for marriage of girls from 18 to 21 years. This is a historic decision towards empowering women by helping them achieve greater goals in life."
The Union Cabinet on Wednesday cleared the proposal to raise the minimum age of marriage for women from 18 to 21, reported India Today.
According to Indian Express, following the Cabinet nod to the Bill, the government will introduce an amendment to the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006, and consequently bring amendments to the Special Marriage Act and personal laws such as the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.
The proposal was recommended by the task force headed by Jaya Jaitley in Niti Aayog. Pediatrician VK Paul was also a part of the task force, reported India Today.
“I want to make clear that our reasoning behind the recommendation was never one of population control. Recent data released by NFHS 5 (National Family Health Survey) have already shown that the Total Fertility Rate is decreasing and the population is under control. The idea behind it (the recommendation) is the empowerment of women,” Jaitly was quoted by The Indian Express as saying.
At present, the minimum age of marriage for men is 21 and for women is 18.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his Independence Day speech last year, had made a mention of the proposal.
"This government is constantly concerned about the health of daughters and sisters. To save the daughters from malnutrition, it is necessary that they're married at the right age," PM Modi had said.
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