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Politics India

No intention to bring in two child policy, fertility rates have declined: Centre in LS

At the same time UP has introduced a draft bill on population control and 3 BJP and 1 JD(U) Lok Sabha members have moved Private Members’ Bills on population control

Sabrangindia 24 Jul 2021

Two Child PolicyImage Courtesy:indiatoday.in

On the question of whether the Government proposes to bring in a two-child policy in the country, the Minister of State in the Health Ministry, Bharati Pawar has answered in the negative.

Her written answer on July 23 stated that various initiatives have been taken under the National Family Planning Programme (2000), that has controlled the population and other factors related to population. The Total Fertility Rate has declined from 2.7 percent to 2.2 percent from 2005 to 2006 to 2015 to 2016, she said.

In addition to this, 28 out of 36 States and Union Territories have already achieved the replacement level fertility of 2.1 percent or less. The Crude Birth Rate has also declined from 23.8 percent to 20 percent from 2005 to 2018.

Her answer also read, “India’s Wanted Fertility Rate has come down to 1.8 in NFHS IV indicating that couples want only 1.8 children on an average…States like Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and other States/UTs have succeeded in reducing their fertility rates by adopting a holistic approach towards family planning without resorting to any stringent population control measures.”

Interestingly, the Uttar Pradesh State Law Commission has released a draft Bill on population control titled “The Uttar Pradesh Population (Control, Stabilisation and Welfare) Bill, 2021”. Section 4 of the Bill states that those government employees who adopt the “two-child norm by undergoing voluntary sterilisation” shall be entitled to various benefits. These benefits can also be availed if the spouse of the government employee undergoes sterilisation.

Citizens for Justice and Peace has sent its comments to the state commission regarding the proposed bill and how it will disturb the sex ratio, lead to increase in foeticide, and adversely impact the marginalised sections who will get barred from receiving government subsidies, ration and other schemes.

But Pawar’s answer contradicts the stance of the Uttar Pradesh Government. “International experience shows that any coercion or diktat to have a certain number of children is counter-productive and leads to demographic distortions like sex selective abortions, abandonment of the female child and even female infanticide due to intense son preference. All this eventually resulted in a skewed sex ratio”, she said.

In another answer provided by Health and Family Welfare Minister, Mansukh Mandaviya on July 23, he listed down other figures indicating that India is not witnessing a population explosion for having to introduce a law to control it. He provided that:

  • The Decadal growth rate has declined from 21.54 percent in 1990 to 2000 to 17.64 percent during 2001 to 2011
  • The Crude Death Rate has declined from 7.6 percent in 2005 to 6.2 percent in 2018
  • India’s Wanted Fertility Rate was 1.9 percent in NFHS III and has further come down to 1.8 in NFHS IV.
  • The teenage birth rate has halved from 16 percent (NFHS III) to 8 percent (NFHS IV)
  • The teenage marriage has halved from 47.4 percent (NFHS III) to 26.8 percent (NFHS IV)

As widely reported in the media, three Bhartiya Janta Party Lok Sabha members and one from the JD(U) will be moving Private Members’ Bills on population control. Out of the four only BJP Members of Parliament from Gorakhpur, Ravi Kishan is from Uttar Pradesh, who according to the media, has four children.

According to an Indian Express report, Lok Sabha members data shows that 168 out of 540 MPs have more than two children, and out of them, 105 are from the Bhartiya Janta Party. Further, 66 Bhartiya Janta Party MPs have three children, 26 have four children and 13 have five children. Three MPs namely Maulana Badruddin Ajmal of the AIUDF, Dileshwar Kamait of the JD(U), Pakauri Lal of Apna Dal have seven children each. Mohammad Sadique of the Congress and P Abdussamad Samadani of the IUML have six children each.

The answers may be read here:

Related:

CJP sends comments to UP Law Commission on ‘Population Control’ Bill
CJP writes to Zee News over their Population Politics show

No intention to bring in two child policy, fertility rates have declined: Centre in LS

At the same time UP has introduced a draft bill on population control and 3 BJP and 1 JD(U) Lok Sabha members have moved Private Members’ Bills on population control

Two Child PolicyImage Courtesy:indiatoday.in

On the question of whether the Government proposes to bring in a two-child policy in the country, the Minister of State in the Health Ministry, Bharati Pawar has answered in the negative.

Her written answer on July 23 stated that various initiatives have been taken under the National Family Planning Programme (2000), that has controlled the population and other factors related to population. The Total Fertility Rate has declined from 2.7 percent to 2.2 percent from 2005 to 2006 to 2015 to 2016, she said.

In addition to this, 28 out of 36 States and Union Territories have already achieved the replacement level fertility of 2.1 percent or less. The Crude Birth Rate has also declined from 23.8 percent to 20 percent from 2005 to 2018.

Her answer also read, “India’s Wanted Fertility Rate has come down to 1.8 in NFHS IV indicating that couples want only 1.8 children on an average…States like Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and other States/UTs have succeeded in reducing their fertility rates by adopting a holistic approach towards family planning without resorting to any stringent population control measures.”

Interestingly, the Uttar Pradesh State Law Commission has released a draft Bill on population control titled “The Uttar Pradesh Population (Control, Stabilisation and Welfare) Bill, 2021”. Section 4 of the Bill states that those government employees who adopt the “two-child norm by undergoing voluntary sterilisation” shall be entitled to various benefits. These benefits can also be availed if the spouse of the government employee undergoes sterilisation.

Citizens for Justice and Peace has sent its comments to the state commission regarding the proposed bill and how it will disturb the sex ratio, lead to increase in foeticide, and adversely impact the marginalised sections who will get barred from receiving government subsidies, ration and other schemes.

But Pawar’s answer contradicts the stance of the Uttar Pradesh Government. “International experience shows that any coercion or diktat to have a certain number of children is counter-productive and leads to demographic distortions like sex selective abortions, abandonment of the female child and even female infanticide due to intense son preference. All this eventually resulted in a skewed sex ratio”, she said.

In another answer provided by Health and Family Welfare Minister, Mansukh Mandaviya on July 23, he listed down other figures indicating that India is not witnessing a population explosion for having to introduce a law to control it. He provided that:

  • The Decadal growth rate has declined from 21.54 percent in 1990 to 2000 to 17.64 percent during 2001 to 2011
  • The Crude Death Rate has declined from 7.6 percent in 2005 to 6.2 percent in 2018
  • India’s Wanted Fertility Rate was 1.9 percent in NFHS III and has further come down to 1.8 in NFHS IV.
  • The teenage birth rate has halved from 16 percent (NFHS III) to 8 percent (NFHS IV)
  • The teenage marriage has halved from 47.4 percent (NFHS III) to 26.8 percent (NFHS IV)

As widely reported in the media, three Bhartiya Janta Party Lok Sabha members and one from the JD(U) will be moving Private Members’ Bills on population control. Out of the four only BJP Members of Parliament from Gorakhpur, Ravi Kishan is from Uttar Pradesh, who according to the media, has four children.

According to an Indian Express report, Lok Sabha members data shows that 168 out of 540 MPs have more than two children, and out of them, 105 are from the Bhartiya Janta Party. Further, 66 Bhartiya Janta Party MPs have three children, 26 have four children and 13 have five children. Three MPs namely Maulana Badruddin Ajmal of the AIUDF, Dileshwar Kamait of the JD(U), Pakauri Lal of Apna Dal have seven children each. Mohammad Sadique of the Congress and P Abdussamad Samadani of the IUML have six children each.

The answers may be read here:

Related:

CJP sends comments to UP Law Commission on ‘Population Control’ Bill
CJP writes to Zee News over their Population Politics show

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