Does India Really Need a Population Control Law?

Professor S Irudaya Rajan from Centre for Development Studies said that India’s population growth rate has declined in the last three decades but according to the World Population Prospects 2019 report by the United Nations, the population of India will overtake that of China within a decade. In this regard, the Government of India introduced the Population Control Bill 2019 in the Rajya Sabha in June 2019 but the bill is yet to become an act of law.

Time to time people trend this topic on the twitter and today this is trending with a hashtag #WeWantPopulationControlLaw

So let us discuss the topic “Does India Really Need a Population Control Law?” After reading this article you can easily decide that “do we really need a population control law or not ?“.

Why We Need Population Control Law?

  • People who support Population Control Bill says that India’s population is increasing rapidly and because of this our economic gains are neutralising.
  • They are also pointing out that the country’s population has grown four times from 36 crores to 132 crores since 1947.
  • The group has also estimated that India’s population will grow at the annual rate of 1.2% and it will reach 199 crores in 2050.
  • They have also predicted that the country’s fertility rate (number of children per women) in 2050 will be 2.45.
  • And with such an immense rise in its population, India’s share in the world’s population will also grow from 17% at present to 20% in 2050.

Why We Don’t Need Population Control Law?

  • Professor and Head of the department of migrant studies, International Institute of Population Sciences, Mumbai RB Bhagat said that the United Nations (UN) population division has projected that India’s population will grow to 170 crores within the next decade and then starts declining.
  • Some other studies also suggest that population growth may no longer be a matter of concern in many parts of the country.
  • 2013 Rajan’s study estimated that most of the districts had fertility rates below the replacement rates of 2.1 children per woman. This means that the number of children per family is lower than what is needed to keep the population at the same level.
  • People who don’t support this says that this bill is unnecessary. “We already have a population policy and though family planning is an integral part of this, the target for state governments have been removed,”.
  • Studies show that the states like Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Goa, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Maharashtra are below replacement fertility rate and states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar have high fertility rates but these states will also reach at the replacement levels in a decade or so.
  • Rajan said that we should focus should on economic and social policy rather than population control. “Population growth is part of a larger story — education, infant mortality, early marriage.”

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