India is home to nearly 137 crore people, making it the second-most populous country in the world after China. Currently, the population growth rate is 1 per cent, which is significant when calculated in terms of the population of our country. The state of Uttar Pradesh is the most populated in the country with 220 million people. On the face of it, the population control bill recently passed by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath seems precisely what the state needs. However, there are various other factors that needs to be scritinised.
The draft of the bill proposes that individuals who have more than two children will be denied government jobs, and their promotions would be halted. They will not be entitled to subsidies and would be ineligible to contest local elections. Implementing a stable governance scheme is of the most daunting challenges that the state has faced for the longest of time. Yet, experts suggest that the population of India, and that of UP, is already slowing. The 'coercive' action of keeping a check on the number of births in a family would give way to unsafe sex, or worse, sex-selective abortions in the state, given that maximum people in the state prefer sons over daughters.
Is There Any Need For Such A Policy?
Experts have suggest that the state does not need a population control policy. India's population growth rate is gradually slowing. The pace was 1.8 per cent in 2000, 1.3 per cent in 2011 and currently, it is at 1 per cent. According to official data, UP's population growth rate fell from 4.87 in the early 1990s to 2.7 in 2016, and according to estimates, it is likely to reach 2.1 per cent by 2025. Overall, the country's fertility rates are also seeing a dip. According to a National Family Health Survey (NFHS) report, in 19 out of 22 Indian states, the rate is 2.1 births per woman (this data excludes UP statistics).
A report published by the Lancet said that globally, we are experiencing a reduction in births. In World Population Prospects, 2019, the United Nations said that by 2070, the world would touch below replacement level in birth rates. While China's rate had fallen to 1.3 per cent after they implemented the one-child policy (which has now been scrapped), India's stood at 2.2 per cent in 2016.
Suspected Reasons Behind The Latest Rule
Forty per cent of the Indian population is hosted by six states alone and they are Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. The fertility rate in these states is at 2.1 per cent is a massive contrast to the fertility rate of the southern states like Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh (which is 1.3 per cent). Population growth has always been one reason where Uttar Pradesh has been targeted. Keeping that in mind, CM Yogi Adityanath might just be looking out for the state elections scheduled next year. The draft population control policy can be flagged as a development plan for the political party.
Experts believe that India is more stable concerning population than how it is generally portrayed. A majority of the Indian population is young and can catapult the country from the crisis of poverty, illiteracy and unemployment.