The Government of India and State Governments should not only be aware of the adverse effects of population growth in an already densely populated country, they should also make it apparent to the people that the government is concerned about this dire situation.
The highly publicized UNDP report that by 2050, India’s population will reach 166.8 crores, surpassing China’s population at 131.7 crores, is alarming. India will become the most populous country in the world next year. India already has about 17.5% of the world’s population. This is a situation of which India would not be proud.
Let no one think that is India’s problem. On the other hand, it would be a global problem because high population density in India beyond the acceptable level will lead to several problems globally in various ways. If a country has a very dense population where economic growth cannot sustain such a dense population by generating jobs or opportunities, the people in those areas are bound to trickle down to other countries, where there could be opportunities. This could create problems for other countries over time, upsetting the demographic balance
India’s population growth is said to be in decline. This is no cause for consolation, because even with declining population growth, India’s population will reach an unacceptable level. Such population growth would occur even if fertility immediately fell to about two births per woman. Even with a declining fertility rate, India’s population is expected to grow at an alarming level.
There is consensus that economic development, adult literacy, and the empowerment and education of women will lead to a reduction in the number of children per family. There is also an opinion that when families realize that they are in serious economic trouble, they themselves will reduce the number of children. However, the reality on the ground is that India cannot afford to wait for such a slow rate of change to reduce the population level.
There is also a vague vision of the “demographic dividend”, where it is said that more hands would mean greater production of labor and therefore faster economic development. This is a biased view, because under conditions where skill level cannot be adequately transmitted due to high population density, this would not be a case of a demographic dividend but only a case of demographic slowdown.
Although it is pointed out that the longevity of life due to advances in medicine may also be a contributing factor to the population problem, this is a negative way of looking at it. The only positive way to stem the alarming population growth is to prevent births through appropriate strategies and educational campaigns. Obviously, this is not being done adequately.
The reality on the ground is that after the national emergency, when coercive methods were adopted to control population growth and people became unhappy with it and the ruling party lost power, subsequent governments seem to consider the population control as a tricky issue and population control strategies and implementation has practically been child’s play.
It is surprising that while Prime Minister Modi talks about several problems and strives to find solutions, he has not paid enough attention to drastically reduce the population level in India by discouraging births. Although Mr Modi has sometimes spoken of the need for population control, he has not given the impetus he normally gives on other issues such as public cleanliness, climate management and environmental issues, etc.
The Government of India and State Governments should not only be aware of the adverse effects of population growth in an already densely populated country, they should also make it apparent to the people that the government is concerned about this dire situation. It should convince people that urgent measures to control population growth are not optional but inevitable, even if such measures should not be coercive as much as possible.
The Indian government should insist that there is only one child per family from now on. Some critics of the one-child family policy cite the example of China, where strict enforcement of the one-child norm has resulted in a disproportionate elderly population and a labor shortage. Again, this is a misconception because with a better health scenario, people are working longer and automation has reduced labor requirements in several sectors.
Some religious groups may oppose a family norm for any reason. The government should firmly reject these views and move forward with its population control measures. Allowing one or two religious groups not to observe the one-child family norm and allowing other religious groups to observe this norm would lead to a serious demographic imbalance in the country that would create social problems.
The government should also strictly enforce the rule that there can be only one woman for every man and polygamy should be strictly prohibited. Although there are already some rules in this regard, it is observed that they are not strictly enforced. There are several politicians in India, who have more than one wife and remain legislators, parliamentarians or ministers. Strict enforcement of a woman for a man could be a significant proactive strategy.
Several disincentives should be introduced to avoid having multiple children in families and there are many such possibilities.
It is well known that two states i.e. Uttar Pradesh and Bihar are largely responsible for the country’s population growth and these two states account for a quarter of India’s population (more than 36 crores). Certainly, a highly targeted population control campaign is needed in these two states. populated states.
There is also a need for a separate ministry to be established with a minister of ministerial rank in the central government and all state governments to focus on and implement government policies on population management with a firm timetable.
Finally, Indians should be aware of the fact that even if India succeeded in bringing population growth down to near zero within a decade, India would still remain the most populous and the most densely populated country in the world for a long time to come. world. time to come. This scenario clearly highlights the seriousness of the current demographic problem in India.