The already large population in India as well as the high population growth rate necessitates speedy achievement of demographic transition from high birth rate to low birth rate. Comment.Approach:

  • Introduce the question by mentioning facts from census data and briefly discuss the factors responsible for high population growth in India
  • Mention various effects of the rapid population growth in India
  • Discuss the steps taken to control population growth
  • Conclude appropriately

Model Answer :India is one of the most densely populated countries of the world. It has to support about 17% of the world population, although its land area is merely 2.4% of the land area of the world. According to Census 2011, India’s population stands at 1.21 billion.Various factors affect India’s high population growth including low socio-economic development, early marriage, low usage of contraceptives, low levels of education etc. Effects of the rapid population growth in India:

  • Providing employment to growing population, of which many are illiterate, remains challenging and in absence of adequate opportunities is an indication of the wastage of human capital.
  • Over-strained infrastructure such as housing, transportation, health care, sanitation and education. 
  • Pressure on land and other renewable natural resources as common properties such as forest and water are over-exploited. This results in deforestation and desertification with permanent damage to the renewable resources.
  • Cost of production of the basic necessities of life, such as food, increases when the population is growing fast and less productive lands are brought into cultivation with costly irrigation etc.
  • Inequitable distribution of income: In the face of a rapidly growing population, the major concern of a developing country tends to be focused more on economic growth while concerns of unequal distribution of income are pushed to background.

Steps/Measures to Control the Population Growth of India by the Government of India: (Note: Brief mentioning of government steps to address the issue is sufficient. Here, we are just providing a more comprehensive list)

  • The National Population Policy 2000 gave a focused approach to the problem of population stabilization.
  • The National Commission on Population was formed in the year 2000. The Commission, chaired by the Prime Minister, has the mandate to review, monitor and give directions for implementation of the National Population Policy.
  • The Jansankhya Sthirata Kosh (National Population Stabilization Fund) was setup as an autonomous society of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in 2005. Its broad mandate is to undertake activities aimed at achieving population stabilization.
  • Programmes like the National Rural Health Mission, Janani Suraksha Yojana, ICDS (Integrated Child Development Services) etc. have also been launched by the government to tackle the healthcare needs of people. This is also expected to contribute to population stabilization.
  • Free contraceptives are also being provided. In addition, monetary incentives are given to couples undertaking permanent family planning methods like vasectomy and tubectomy.
  • RMNCH Counselors (Reproductive Maternal New Born and Child Health) availability at the high case facilities to ensure counseling of the clients visiting the facilities.
  • Accreditation of more private/NGO facilities to increase the provider base for family planning services under PPP.
  • Around World Population Day (11th July), events are held for mobilization/sensitization followed by a fortnight of assured family planning service delivery, It has been made a mandatory activity from 2012-13 and starts from 27th June each year..

Conclusion: Providing greater choice and improved access to modern contraceptives should become an inextricable part of India’s health and gender-equality programme. Public sensitisation campaigns about the benefits of family planning, and replacing coercive surgeries with access to a range of modern reproductive health choices, should form the bedrock of our health strategy.

Subjects : Current Affairs

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