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Two-child policy

Topics Covered: Development processes and the development industry the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders.

Two-child policy:


Context:

The latest data from the National Family Health Survey-5 (NFHS-5) shows India doesn’t need a two-child policy: experts.

Supporting findings:

  • The use of modern contraceptives in rural and urban areas.
  • An improvement in family planning demands being met.
  • A decline in the average number of children borne by a woman.

These prove that the country’s population is stabilising.

Key data:

  1. The Total Fertility Rate (number of children born per woman) has decreased across 14 out of 17 States and is either at 2.1 children per woman or less.
  2. This also implies that most States have attained replacement level fertility, i.e., the average number of children born per woman at which a population exactly replaces itself from one generation to the next.

Criticisms related to two- child policy:

  1. Critics argue that the population growth of India will slow down naturally as the country grows richer and becomes more educated.
  2. There are already well-documented problems with China’s one-child policy, namely the gender imbalance resulting from a strong preference for boys and millions of undocumented children who were born to parents that already had their one child.
  3. By interfering with the birth rate, India faces a future with severe negative population growth, a serious problem that most developed countries are trying to reverse. With negative population growth, the number of old people receiving social services is larger than the young tax base that is paying for the social services.
  4. The law related may also be anti-women. Human rights activists argue that the law discriminate against women right from birth (through abortion or infanticide of female fetuses and babies).
  5. A legal restriction to two children could force couples to go for sex-selective abortions as there are only two ‘attempts’.

Sources: the Hindu.