India needs to raise awareness about population management.
Tags: GS1 Population and Related News Issues
A private members’ bill to regulate India’s population was recently introduced in the Lok Sabha by two Bharatiya Janata Party lawmakers.
The Bill aims to add a new directive principle for the State to take all necessary measures to prevent population growth by encouraging modest family norms and attain a stable population to Part IV of the Constitution.
The Bill also establishes small family standards as a fundamental obligation for citizens, who must also seek to maintain a stable population.
The legislation’s justification
India’s poor rate of development is primarily due to population growth, and the Bill makes the case that population control is urgently needed.
India’s massive population and rapid growth are the country’s most pressing social and economic issues.
Extreme poverty and issues will result from rapid population increase.
There is no law on population control, and many administrations’ policies have failed to keep the population under control.
A growing population hinders the state’s ability to improve the quality of life for its residents because a sizable portion of national income is used to maintain the current infrastructure.
A population legislation is required so that every Indian can benefit more from economic progress and manage the problems brought on by rapid population growth.
the Discussion and Debate Regarding the Increasing Population of India
India’s population growth has been a topic of discussion and debate since the country’s independence.
India was one of the first countries to address its population issue in 1951, bringing attention to the negative effects of overcrowding.
India’s population has increased significantly, but there has also been a considerable fall in the country’s overall fertility rate (TFR).
The TFR is at 2%, down from around 5.9% in 1950. (fifth round of the National Family Health Survey, or NFHS).
After the 1970s, there was a sharp fall, demonstrating an inversely proportionate relationship between economic success and fertility rates.
In India, the discussion of the necessity of population control has become very politicised.
Ultimately, the discussion of development suffers as a result of how frequently such a delicate topic is reduced to a little religious dispute.
The Uttar Pradesh Population (Control, Stabilization, and Welfare) Bill, 2021 was introduced by the Uttar Pradesh government in 2022.
Population growth has been noted as a major issue in the Hindi heartland, particularly in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
However, the recommendations were more ideological than useful.
For instance, the Bill stated that couples with more than two children would not be eligible for any government jobs.
However, it wasn’t made clear what would happen to someone who had a third kid after working for the government or if a parent of two children remarried for any reason and produced a third child.
The Bill was perceived as fostering majority appeasement politics and deepening political polarisation.
According to NFHS data, despite Muslims having a larger fertility rate than Hindus, the difference between the two has significantly closed.
The difference between Hindu and Muslim fertility rates was 1.1 in 1992–1993, but it is presently only 0.35.
Additionally, data indicate that Muslims have embraced better family planning practises than Hindus.
The TFR in India, at 2%, is even lower than the replacement level, marking a significant improvement in population control measures.
According to a recent UN report, India is expected to overtake China as the world’s most populous nation in 2019.
India’s Total Fertility Rate (TFR) decreased from 5.9 children per woman in 1950 to 2.2 children per woman in 2020, falling just short of 2.1 replacement level fertility, according to the World Population Prospects 2022.
Summary and Recommendations
A law requiring forced population control is unnecessary in India.
In the nations that have used them, forced population control techniques have not produced positive results; India’s close neighbour China is the most pertinent example.
A demographic imbalance has resulted from the failed one-child policy.
Due to imposed population control laws, China’s population is ageing more quickly than the population of any other developed nation.
In response to the need for such a law, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar stated that “forced population control might have extremely grave effects, it can create a gender imbalance.”
Building up the public health system and spreading the word about the importance of population control should be the main priorities.
The pace of ageing will be impacted by any forced control technique.
Practice Question for the Mains? Do you believe that India needs a law to manage its population? Give arguments for your opinion.