Print Friendly, PDF & Email

EDITORIAL ANALYSIS : India must build awareness on population control    


Source: The Hindu

  • Prelims: Current events of national importance(total fertility rate (TFR), NFHS, Population bill, Fertility rate, SDGs etc)
  • Mains GS Paper I & II: Social empowerment, development and management of social sectors/services related to Health.


  • Members of Parliament, introduced a private members’ Bill aimed at population control in India.
    • The Bill argues for an immediate need for population control.




Background of Population control:

  • India was among the first nations to address its population problem in 1951.
  • In 1950: TFR was at around 9(five point nine)% and is now 2% (fifth round of the National Family Health Survey, or NFHS).
  • There was a steep decline after the 1970s:Indicating an inversely proportional relationship between economic prosperity and the fertility rate.


Uttar Pradesh Population (Control, Stabilization and Welfare) Bill, 2021:

  • No government job: Bill said that no government job would be offered to couples with more than two children.


  • There was no clarification about what would happen to a person who had a third child after being in a government job
  • Remarriage: If a person with two children remarried and had a third child.
  • The Bill was seen to strengthen political polarization and facilitate the politics of majority appeasement.


What Data shows?

  • NFHS data: Although the fertility rate of Muslims is higher than Hindus, the gap between the two has shrunk substantially.
  • In 1992-93: The gap between the Hindu and Muslim fertility rate was 1(one point one)
    • which now has reduced to 35(zero point three five).
  • Uttar Pradesh(20% Muslim population): TFR declined from 8(five point eight)% in 1981 to 2.7(two point seven)% in 2011.
  • In Assam(33% Muslim population): TFR is 1.9(one point nine)%.
  • Jammu and Kashmir: Muslim population is the majority, the TFR fell from 5(four point five)% in 1981 to 1.4(one point four)% in 2011.
  • Family planning: Data show that Muslims have adopted better family planning measures than Hindus.


Issues with forced population control:

  • External Affairs Minister: Forced population control can have very dangerous consequences, it can create a gender imbalance”.
  • Forced population control measures have not shown promising results in the countries that have implemented them, Example: China.


Fertility rate:

  • The fertility rate at a given age is the number of children born alive to women of that age during the year as a proportion of the average annual population of women of the same age

Total fertility rate (TFR):

  • It refers to the total number of children born or likely to be born to a woman in her lifetime if she were subject to the prevailing rate of age-specific fertility in the population.

India’s Population Issues:

Way Forward

  • India’s TFR, 2%, is even lower than the replacement level, signifying a remarkable step in the population control parameters.
  • India needs to adopt population control measures: The focus should be on strengthening public health infrastructure and raising awareness about the need for population control.
    • Any forced control method will impact the rate of aging.
  • United Nations data show that there is a projected rise in the population of older people and a decline in the young population in many countries.



Q. Despite Consistent experience of high growth, India still goes with the lowest indicators of human development. Examine the issues that make balanced and inclusive development elusive. (UPSC 2021) (200 WORDS, 10 MARKS)