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GS Mains Classes 2023, Batch Starts: 12th August

Society GS Paper I Population Studies by Smriti Rao (150 Words)

  • Category
  • Test Date
    2022-07-01 07:00:00
  • Evaluated


  • Attempt One question out of the given two.
  • The test carries 15 marks.
  • Write Your answer in 150 words.
  • Any page left blank in the answer-book must be crossed out clearly.
  • Evaluated Copy will be re-uploaded on the same thread after 2 days of uploading the copy.
  • Discussion of the question and one to one answer improvement session of evaluated copies will be conducted through Google Meet with concerned faculty. You will be informed via mail or SMS for the discussion.

    Question #1. Examine ways to ensure population growth stabilisation through social empowerment.

    Question #2. Population density is a significant criteria for effective city planning. Do you agree ? Citing examples, comment.
    (Examiner will pay special attention to the candidate's grasp of his/her material, its relevance to the subject chosen, and to his/ her ability to think constructively and to present his/her ideas concisely, logically and effectively).

    Model Answer

    Question #1. Examine ways to ensure population growth stabilisation through social empowerment.

    One of the symptomatic features of Indian society which even puts it out on the world scale is that of population growth. While much of the measures revolve around containment of the numerical strength, it is worth noting that a bottom-up approach may be more sustainable and doable in the long run.

    Population growth stabilization refers to a stage where the size of the population remains unchanged. According to the NFHS 5 India’s Total Fertility rate is at replacement level is at 2.0 where the required replacement level is 2.1. Furthermore, an alarming paradox revealed itself in the form of better sex ratio at 1020/1000 males and a lower sex ratio at birth at 929/1000 males. This calls attention to the need for population growth stabilization. India aims to achieve this goal by 2045.

    The successive stages of the National Family Planning programme adopted in 1952 have revealed at least one learnable outcome viz: Coercion is the most ineffective method for population growth stabilization. As a revisionist measure, the National Population policy broadens the scope for empowerment by being inclusive of health care, health infrastructure, child health care.

     The brunt of population growth is borne disproportionately by vulnerable sections of the society, including but not exhaustive of children, women, poor and religious minorities. The route to population growth stabilization passes through social justice, social equity, and social empowerment of the vulnerable sections in the society. Through measures ranging from education and employment opportunities, infrastructural development, poverty alleviation, marriageable age consent and family planning initiatives, the twin problems of overpopulation and underdevelopment can be effectively tackled.

    Empowerment of Children

    The disproportionate sex ratio reveals hidden son meta preference. In order to ensure better sex ratio at birth, the empowerment must begin at the local grass-root level. With better access to education through tribal Eklavya schools, Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, Mid Day meal schemes, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan the gross enrolment ratio can be enhanced, making the public space equitable for all genders. Furthermore, effective campaigning strategies need to be chalked out to terminate gender bias from its roots.

    Empowerment of Women

    Studies have shown that educated women are more likely to marry late and have less number of children. The core driving factor is to put individual autonomy and decision making power back into the hands of women. By a slew of measures such as Anaemia Mukt Bharat, subsidized lunches, ASHA pre and post natal healthcare, women’s health development can be achieved progressively. Additionally social evils such as child marriage, coercive marriages, need to be tackled through dialogue and intervention.  The role of Self help Groups, Corporate Social Responsibility, Non Governmental Organizations needs to be aligned with the government schemes to enhanced deliverability of measures. 

    Empowerment of poor, minority sections of the society.

    The culture of poverty indicates that begetting more children is insurance for sustained earning. However, not only are the children then subjected to underpaid work in the unorganized sector but also subjected to deteriorating health. The issues get replicated under other vulnerable sections. The religious minorities often feel that they are left behind arousing a feeling of relative deprivation. These psychological barriers have a significant impact on population growth. This can be resolved through better schooling, employment opportunities, and social inclusion for all.

    Additionally, the favourable demographic dividend that India is blessed with has but a short window until 2055, which means the measures taken now will have an immediate impact. Empowerment of population not only contributes to population growth stabilization but also enhances the quality of life and provides more teeth to the Fundamental Right To Life under Article 21, inclusive of Right to dignified life.

    Question #2. Population density is a significant criteria for effective city planning. Do you agree ? Citing examples, comment.

    Demographers study three key aspects of population dynamics, namely, Birth rate, death rate, and migration. While the first two have a bearing on the population size and distribution, it is the latter that often determine population density. Population density can be understood as the concentration of individuals per unit area, which according to the 2011 census stands at 384 people square km for India. While the nativist population gives a rough idea, the demographic trends are better analysed through migration patterns.

    Given the vast geographical extent of the Indian subcontinent, there are areas marked by low density, moderate density, and high density which are spread across on the account of factors such as natural barriers, agriculture, and social processes such as industrialization, urbanization, and modernization.    

    City planning can be understood as a multidimensional approach to incorporate economic, environmental, and social aspects while developing a layout for residential, commercial as well as recreational areas in the cities. Urban planners take note of the impact city planning has on different sections of the population.

    Impact of poor City Planning :

    • Post industrialization cities led to the creation of squalors, slums, overcrowded and underdeveloped dwellings units.
    • Rich and poor divide. The recent Covid 19 pandemic exposed systemic inequalities.
    • Lack of sustainable development. Water logging, flooding, scarcity and droughts.
    • Lack of access to basic services, irregular supply.
    • Traffic and road congestion.
    • Environmental pollution.
    • Overflowing landfills, leaching of chemicals into underground.
    • Chronic Health Issues

    Through pattern analysis, urban planners have scrutinized the impact of poor city planning, leading to a key finding. Population density is perhaps a more accurate measure for city planning. Much of the woes of poor city planning can be significantly addressed with concrete and viable data on population density.

    Measures for better urban planning :

    • Rapid mass transport for better transportation. Car- pooling, BS VI norms, Odd-even rule are some means to plan movement in the city.
    • Scientific town planning. Ancient cities from the Harappan civilization point to town planning following mathematical and scientific underpinnings. The buildings were built in a sustainable manner, using utilitarian approach. Along with the spatial organization, drainage systems are also well known features. Adoption of ancient measures must be an important lesson for the future city planners.
    • Migrant tracking system, data on in and out migration will not lead give a better idea of the source and destination points but allow the state and national governance to incorporate effective schemes and ensure equitable distribution of resources.
    • Multi-sectoral efforts incorporating spatial planning, public health, socio-economic development.
    • Indian IT companies are moving to tier 2 cities to mete out labour supply and demand needs. Therefore it necessitates better planning of infrastructural growth in tier 2 cities, while population density can be effectively leveled out.
    • Existing initiatives such as Aspirational Districts, AMRUT, PM-AWAS yojana, Smart cities mission need to be better implemented.

    According to the report on Reforms in Urban Planning Capacity in India by NITI Ayog, India is the second largest urban system in the world, accommodating 11% of the world’s total urban population.  Urban growth is further expected to contribute to 73% of the total population increase by 2036. It becomes imperative then to emphasis on remodeling on urban planning and ensures sustainable growth of cities.


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