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India’s increasing population and Policy measures required to tackle it

  • Category
    Polity & Governance
  • Published
    21st Oct, 2022

Context

Considering the United Nations report showing data about India would surpass China to become the most populous country by 2023, has drawn a debate over the population policy and changes to be made for curbing the future implications.

About

Mapping India’s Population:

  • India is second most populous country with over 1.35 billion people.
  • Approximately 17.85% of the world's population are Indians, which means 1 in every 6 people on Earth live in India.
  • India’s population is expected to grow by 25%, with reference to 2011, to 1.52 billion by 2036.
  • India’s population growth rate is expected to decline to its lowest since the Independence in the 2011-2021 decade, with a decadal growth rate of 12.5%.

Current Policy (The National Population Policy, 2000)

  • The National Population Policy (NPP), 2000 is the central government’s second population policy.
  • The NPP states its immediate objective as addressing the unmet needs for contraception, healthcare infrastructure, and health personnel, and providing integrated service delivery for basic reproductive and child healthcare.
  • The medium-term objective of the NPP 2000 was to reduce the Total Fertility Rate (TFR) to replacement levels by 2010.
  • The TFR was to be 1 children per woman.
  • The long-term objective is “to achieve a stable population by 2045, at a level consistent with the requirements of sustainable economic growth, social development, and environmental protection.”

Cause of Overpopulation:

  • Decline in death rate: If the number of children born each year equals the number of adults that die, then the population will stabilize.
  • Agricultural advancements: Agricultural advancements have allowed humans to increase food production using fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides and yields further.
  • Better medical capabilities: Illnesses that had claimed thousands of lives until now were cured because of the invention of vaccines. Combining the increase in food supply with fewer means of mortality tipped the balance and became the starting point of overpopulation.
  • More hands to work: Families that have been through poverty, natural disasters, or are simply in need of more hands to work are a major factor for overpopulation.
  • Advanced fertility treatment: Today there are effective medicines that can increase the chance of conception and lead to a rise in the birth rate. Moreover, due to modern techniques, pregnancies today are far safer.
  • Immigration: Many people prefer to move to urban areas, where the best facilities are available. The result is that those people settle over there, eventually making those places overcrowded.
  • Lack of family planning/unawareness: There is a large number of people, who are illiterate, live below the poverty line, and have little or no knowledge about family planning.
  • Poor contraceptives use: A study by the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that women aged between 16 and 49used at least one form of contraceptive are 43% in underdeveloped countries, which leads to higher birth rates.

Areas to be focused for Sustainable development:

  • Social security and universal health:Increasing rate of old age population will demand a better welfare system along with social security and universal health care facility.

According to the National Commission on Population, the share of the elderly in India’s population, close to 9% in 2011, is growing fast and may reach 18% by 2036. If India is to ensure a decent quality of life for the elderly in the near future, planning and providing for it must begin today.

  • Demographic liability
  • Resource allocation and Achieving SDGs
  • Poverty and quality of life
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