India currently has a population of around 134 crore people. According to predictions from the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, India’s population will exceed 1.5 billion by 2030. In addition, the population will reach 1.64 billion by 2050. This would push India past China to become the world’s most populous country. To avoid this, India implemented population control methods. Many states, in addition to the federal government, have announced population control measures. The Uttar Pradesh (UP) Law Commission has drafted a new draught Bill that intends to regulate the population by instituting a two-child policy.
- According to estimates from the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, India’s population would reach 1.5 billion by 2030 and 1.64 billion by 2050. This would push India past China to become the world’s most populous country.
- At the moment, India has 16% of the world’s population but just 2.45% of the worldwide surface area and 4% of the global water resources.
- Globally, the debate over population expansion has emerged after recent ecosystem studies pointed to the significance of the human population in driving other species to extinction and creating a resource crunch.
- The National Population Policy of 2000 aimed to achieve a steady population for India. One of its immediate goals is to address unmet contraception, health care infrastructure, and staff needs, as well as to provide integrated service delivery for basic reproductive and child health care.
- The National Population Policy 2000 reaffirmed a commitment to reach replacement fertility levels (total fertility rate of 2.1) by 2010. The majority of southern states have kept their populations under control.
- TFR Decline is a Major Positive: The Total Fertility Rate (TFR) has been declining over time and is now slightly below the replacement rate of 2.1 (at 2.0). This is true throughout all Indian states, indicating that the total population has stabilised.
- Difference in Sex Ratio at Birth and Adulthood: For the first time in India, there were 1,020 adult women for every 1,000 men between 2019 and 21. The findings, however, should not be used to dismiss the fact that India still has a sex ratio at birth (SRB) that is more biased towards boys than the natural SRB (which is 952 girls per 1000 boys).
- Level of Education: Women’s lack of education leads to early marriages. Early marriage not only increases the likelihood of having more children, but it also jeopardises the woman’s health. Fertility typically reduces as women’s education levels rise.
- Factors of Socioeconomic Status: Higher birth rates are also caused by a desire for larger families, specifically a preference for a male child. One explanation for this son-preference is that the inheritance law supporting women’s rights to ancestral property is still in the works. China is already facing a demographic disaster as a result of its nearly four-decade-long one-child policy, which has resulted in a strong preference for sons.
- Politics of Population Stabilization: The Constitution (84th Amendment) Act of 2002 prolonged the freeze on state-by-state allocation of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha seats until 2026. It was hoped that it would serve as a motivator to undertake population stability. This target, however, has not been met as the population of northern states has continued to grow. It will now be politically destabilising in the absence of a further extension.
- Inadequate Contraceptive Use: Women in rural parts of northern states such as UP and Bihar are still having four or more children. This is due to the fact that the contraceptive prevalence rate is less than 10%. Women in many districts do not use contemporary family planning methods and instead rely on traditional contraceptives.
- States must first develop medical facilities and focus on socioeconomic issues if they wish to assure a reduced and steady fertility rate.
- The success of India’s southern states in regulating population increase suggests that economic growth, as well as attention to education, health, and women’s empowerment, work considerably better than punitive measures to disincentivize larger families.
- Seeing Population as a Resource, Not a Burden: According to the Economic Survey for 2018-19, India’s population growth will slow dramatically over the next two decades. Furthermore, population projections forecast a generational gap between India’s north and south in fifteen years. Instead of state-level population control programmes, India requires a national policy to best use its population.
- India must care for its ageing population: According to the United Nations’ 2015 World Population Ageing Report, the number of persons aged 60 and over in India is predicted to rise from 116.55 million in 2015 to more than 330 million by 2050. In the future, population control methods will increase the dependency ratio. As a result, the government must ensure that appropriate savings and insurance policies are in place for the ageing population.
- Following the Cairo Agreement: Population was emphasised during the Cairo International Conference on Population and Development in 1994. To disentangle the tangled issue of poverty and high fertility, the Cairo Consensus called for the development of reproductive rights, the empowerment of women, universal education, and mother and infant health. The consensus also calls for an increase in the prevalence of contemporary contraception, particularly male contraception. States can begin to apply the Cairo consensus instead of unleashing population control measures.
- Adopting a Female-Centered Approach: Population stabilisation comprises not only the regulation of population growth, but also gender parity. As a result, states must incentivize later marriages and childbirth, as well as encourage women’s labor-force participation, among other things.
TFRs in India have been steadily declining in most states. To speed the reduction, states should address the socioeconomic difficulties confronting India’s predominantly young population rather than pursuing neo-Malthusian techniques to population control.
How to structure:
- Give a brief introduction about India’s population. Use India map here
- Provide various measures, initiatives, schemes of the government. Mention about NFHS-5 data here.
- Give the achievements and issues related to these
- Suggest way forward and conclude