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Last Updated : Aug 18, 2019 11:47 AM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

What’s the deal with forced ‘population control’?

Currently, India is one of the countries with a young demography


Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the 73rd Independence Day address, raised concerns about population explosion in India and stressed on the need for a discussion around it.

PM Modi added that people having small families is also an expression of patriotism. This is for the first time the government has acknowledged that population explosion is an issue and that something needs to be done about it.

By controlling the population, government’s welfare projects and schemes can alleviate poverty and reach more people.

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The talk about the need to control the population has been going on for a while as we will become the most populous country, in another decade.

However, will controlling the population really help? Maybe not, if recent reports and failure of China’s ‘one-child policy’ is anything to go by.

Asaduddin Owaisi, President, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), said in a tweet, “Majority of India is young and productive, but this advantage will only last till 2040.”

Currently, India is one of the countries with a young demography. Close to half the population is below the age of 25 and around 65 percent is below age 35.

In fact, by 2020, average Indian age will be 29 years as compared to 37 for China and 48 for Japan.

Being a young nation obviously has its advantages. When Japan and other developed countries are struggling with aging population, it is India that some of the enterprises from those companies are looking at for their next phase of growth.

Also, contrary to the idea that India’s population is going up, in several parts of India it has come down. According to reports, fertility rate has come down below the national average of 2.2 in southern part of India. The fertility rate in Tamil Nadu and other southern region hovers around 1.7-1.8.

States that have the highest fertility rate of 3.2 on average are Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

Sandeep Manudhane, an educationist, in a tweet explained that the country’s population will automatically stabilise to 160 crore by 2050 from what is about 130 crore right now. According to him, we should just let it be instead of creating a social mayhem by implementing a policy that would reduce it.

China’s one-child policy was a case in point. The policy introduced in 1979 created more harm than good despite reaching its goal. The goal was to bring down the population. The policy skewed the population, leaving more men than women. This has caused all sorts of issues, including personality disorders in youngsters.

According to industry watchers, any attempt to control population when it is already stabilising will create similar situation, or worse, in the future.

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First Published on Aug 18, 2019 11:46 am
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