Measures to Control Population of India

According to UN’s Population Prospects Report 2019, India will surpass China in population and would become the most populous country by 2027. PM, in his Independence Day speech also raised concern over increasing population of India.

In the context of increasing population’s concern, family planning and population control measures comes into picture.

Benefits of introducing population control measures:

  1. It would stabilize the population of India.
  2. Less burden on resources for exploitation.
  3. Sustainable development.
  4. Less unemployment.
  5. Good healthfacilities, because catering to less population is easy.

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Challenges with population control measures:

Population Control Measures should not be coercive because –

  1. Coercive family planning during emergency (1975-1977)resulted in backlash against male sterilization.
  2. Adopting Population Control Measures coercively will also reduce the worker population 15-54 years that can lead to age composition imbalances.
  3. According to demographers, in every 1000 people, 550 must be of working age so as to support children < 15 years and elders >60 years.
  4. India can’t adopt nationally mandated 2 child norm because India is a signatory to “Cairo Declaration” in 1994 which state that couples should decide freely the number and spacing of children.
  5. Some states have linked the candidate for elections to Panchayats with family size.This has result in men divorcing their wives or put their children for adoption to escape disqualification.
  6. States which has adopted 2 child norms has resulted in sex-selective and unsafe abortions.
  7. UP, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand accounts for 40% of population of India. In these states, fertility rate & child mortality is increasing. Southern states have stabilized their population-can result in North-South divide.
  8. According to NFHS, India has 2.2 average fertility rate and India’s population is already slowing down.

Hence, it can’t be denied that increasing population is a burden on resources and economy. But coercive steps for population control would not work. India can learn from Sri Lanka which has stabilized its population by increasing the marriage age for girls and ensuring education of girls. India should follow this step.

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