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  • 13 October, 2022

  • 6 Min Read

Population Policy in India

Population Policy in India

  • India will overtake China as the world's most populated nation by 2023, according to figures just published in the United Department of Economic and Social Affairs World Population Prospects, 2022 report.

Present National Population Policy (NPP) 2000

  • It was founded on the tenets of free will, informed consent, and achieving a level of fertility equivalent to replacement.
  • It attempted to tackle the problems of contraception, maternal health, and child survival all at once.
  • The National Family Planning Programme of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare directs and coordinates the execution of the National Population Policy 2000.

New population policy is required, and NPP 2000 has to be changed.

  • Data from the Economic Survey 2018–19: The peak of India's demographic dividend is anticipated to occur around 2041, when 59% of the population will be of working age. By the end of the century, however, it is anticipated that global population will peak and then begin to decline.
  • Aging: The globe is ageing significantly as lifespans increase and fertility rates decline globally. By 2025, the elderly would make up 12% of India's overall population. By 2050, every fifth Indian will be older than 65.
  • Productivity: According to Thomas Malthus' population theory, population increase and productivity should be in balance. The current population needs to receive targeted skills training and better economic planning in order to become productive and employable.
  • Chinese experience teaches us that population management policies should not be drastically altered lest unintended effects result. For instance, China's one child policy resulted in a steep decline in the pace of population growth but also in a high increase in the number of elderly people.
  • Evidence-based policy: Rather than putting an excessive amount of emphasis on lowering the fertility rate, the Indian government should concentrate on setting up conditions to ensure progressive adjustments in family size within the framework of a developing economy.
  • Automation: In the modern world, people's productivity is significantly impacted by automation, which can occasionally result in job loss. But it doesn't take the place of human nature and touch. Consider the unregulated care industry.
  • India has a very small window of time (the next few decades) to capitalize on the potential of its young people by investing in their education, skills, and general well-being. Otherwise, India's demographic advantage could turn into a demographic catastrophe.
  • Gender issues: The fall in fertility lessens the load on women. However, as women typically live longer than men, they make up two-thirds of the senior population. India must therefore acknowledge the gender component of population policy in order to benefit from these changes.
  • Gender-neutral employment: India needs to raise the percentage of women employed and boost work possibilities for young women. Elderly women require networks of financial and social assistance.
  • India's future depends on maximizing the potential of its youth, particularly in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Madhya Pradesh, where the Total Fertility Rate (TFR) is greater than the country's average. These States require greater funding and assistance to guarantee their employment, skill development, and education lest they incur a significant financial liability.
  • It was a well-intentioned initiative that aimed to lower maternal death rates and promote family planning. Additionally, states have their own population plans. However, it must give attention to both reproductive health and the ageing population.
  • Discussion of population policy has changed: The conventional narrative of population control can give way to a policy that values people as resources for India's growth. The emphasis must shift to ensuring a contented, healthy, and effective populace.
  • The two-child norm suggests a coercive method that targets a single population in particular. It draws attention away from the contemporary, intricate population-related issues. It shouldn't be the main goal of population strategy, but it can be one at most.

Favorable developments

  • The Total Fertility Rate (TFR) in India reached 2.0 in the National Family Health Survey 5 in 2021, which is the first time it has fallen below the replacement level of 2.1 and from a TFR of 2.2 in NFHS. 4. Encourage more people to take contraceptives, space their pregnancies out, have access to healthcare, and encourage family planning.
  • TFR, MMR, and increases in wealth and education have all decreased thanks in part to India.
  • Replacement level fertility of 2.1 or less has already been reached in 25 of the 37 States and UTs.
  • From 1999 to 2000, the decadal growth rate was 21.54%; from 2001 to 2011, it was 17.64%.
  • From 2005 to 2017, the crude birth rate (CBR) decreased from 23.8 to 20.2 (SRS).

Way Forward

  • Family planning and young capacity building require adequate investments (at least 5% of GDP) and proper implementation of programmes like the Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan, Skill India Mission, PM Kaushal Vikas Yojana, etc.
  • India must change its focus from family planning to family welfare.
  • Empowering men and women to make educated decisions about their fertility, health, and wellbeing should be the main policy priority.
  • Pandemic of COVID-19: The pandemic's effects on India's adolescents and young people need to be addressed with particular care.
  • To care for an ageing population, institutional or state capacity must be developed together with an improved system for protecting the aged.

Read Also: Global Hunger Index 2022

Source: The Indian express

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