The Union Cabinet gave its go-ahead to the proposal to raise the minimum age for marriage of women from 18 to 21 years on Wednesday. The development came almost a year after Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the plan was under review.

The PM had mentioned the same in his Independence Day speech last year. “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,” Narendra Modi said in his speech.

At present, the minimum age of marriage for men is 21 whereas the same for women is 18. The government has been contemplating changes to the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, Special Marriage Act and the Hindu Marriage Act to bring the plan into action.

Senior officials of Health, Women and Child Development and Law Ministry were among the members of the task force which was set up in June last year to give recommendations.

The task force stressed in December that a woman must be at least 21 years old at the time of first pregnancy and that delays in marriages have a positive financial, social and health impact on families, society and children.

Also read: Marriages can be registered in virtual presence of parties, rules Delhi HC

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