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UP’s Two-child policy

GS Paper 2

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

 

Context:

After reviewing over 8,000 suggestions from the public, the Uttar Pradesh State Law Commission has submitted a report and draft Bill of a new population control law (The Uttar Pradesh Population (Control, Stabilisation and Welfare) Bill, 2021) proposing two-child policy to the State government.

 

Key suggestions adopted by the commiss:

  • Special facilities to all families (irrespective of the BPL category) who have only one child and undertake voluntary sterilisation.
  • A person who has more than two children after the law comes into force would be debarred from several benefits such as welfare schemes.

 

Background:

On World Population Day (11th July), the Uttar Pradesh government announced a new population policy for 2021-2030.

  • The new policy has provisions to give incentives to those who help in population control.

 

Highlights of the draft bill on population control:

The new policy aims at:

  1. Decreasing the total fertility rate from 2.7 to 2.1 by 2026 and 1.7 by 2030.
  2. Increase modern contraceptive prevalence rate from 31.7% to 45% by 2026 and 52% by 2030.
  3. Increase male methods of contraception use from 10.8% to 15.1% by 2026 and 16.4% by 2030.
  4. Decrease maternal mortality rate from 197 to 150 to 98, and infant mortality rate from 43 to 32 to 22, and under 5 infant mortality rate from 47 to 35 to 25.

 

Focus areas:

  1. To increase the accessibility of contraceptive measures issued under the Family Planning Programme and provide a proper system for safe abortion.
  2. To reduce the newborns’ and maternal mortality rate.
  3. To provide for care of the elderly, and better management of education, health, and nutrition of adolescents between 11 to 19 years.

 

Incentives:

  1. Promotions, increments, concessions in housing schemes and others perks to employees who adhere to population control norms, and have two or less children.
  2. Public servants who adopt the two-child norm will get two additional increments during the entire service, maternity or as the case may be, paternity leave of 12 months, with full salary and allowances and three percent increase in the employer’s contribution fund under the National Pension Scheme.
  3. For those who are not government employees and still contribute towards keeping the population in check, will get benefits in like rebates in taxes on water, housing, home loans etc.
  4. If the parent of a child opts for vasectomy, he/she will be eligible for free medical facilities till the age of 20.

The Uttar Pradesh government plans to set up a state population fund to implement the measures.

 

Awareness creation:

  • The draft bill also asks the state government to introduce population control as a compulsory subject in all secondary schools.

 

Applicability:

  1. The provision of this legislation shall apply to a married couple where the boy is not less than 21 years of age and the girl is not less than 18.
  2. The policy will be voluntary – it will not be enforced upon anyone.

 

Need for these measures:

Overpopulation exerts strain on resources. It is therefore necessary and urgent that the provision of basic necessities of human life including affordable food, safe drinking water, decent housing, access to quality education, economic/livelihood opportunities, power/electricity for domestic consumption, and a secure living is accessible to all citizens.

 

Issues and concerns associated with the Bill:

  1. Experts have advised caution against any population policy that puts women’s health and well being at risk.
  2. Given that the burden of contraception and family planning disproportionately falls on women, it is likely that female sterilisation will increase further.
  3. Stringent population control measures can potentially lead to an increase in these practices and unsafe abortions given the strong son-preference in India, as has been witnessed in a few states in the past.

 

Insta Curious:

Do you know about Mission ParivarVikas? Reference: Read here.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Highlights of the Draft.
  2. Latest Census data.

Mains Link:

Discuss the concerns associated with UP’s draft population policy.

Sources: the Hindu.