"India's national population policies have failed to achieve their objectives as we remain world's second largest populated country."What are the shortcomings? Discuss.

Model Answer:
The first National Population Policy was formulated and tabled in 1976 in Parliament. However, the statement was neither discussed nor adopted. Further the National Health Policy was then designed in 1983.It stressed the need for ‘securing the small family norm, through voluntary efforts and moving towards the goal of population stabilization’. This was followed by the National Population Policy in 2000.The immediate objective of the policy was to address the unmet needs for contraception, health care infrastructure and personnel, to bring down total fertility rate. But, India’s national population policies have failed to achieve their objectives as we remain world’s second largest populated country. At present India is the second most populous country in the world, sustaining 16.7% of the world’s population on 2.4% of the world’s surface area. The population of India in 1951 was 35 crore, but by 2011, it had increased to 121 crore. There have been few shortcomings. Firstly, the basic prerequisite of meaningfully controlling population include poverty alleviation, improving the standards of living and the spread of education, but the NPP have a narrow perspective, give much importance to contraception and sterilisation. Secondly, on national scale the policy was not publicized and failed to generate mass support in favor of population control. Thirdly, we have insufficient infrastructure owing to the lack of trained staff, lack of adequate aptitude among the staff and limited use or misuse of the equipment for population control resulted in failure of the policy. Lastly, the use of coercion during the Emergency (1976-77) caused a serious resentment among the masses, which made the very NPP itself very unpopular.

Question for UPSC Mains:
“India’s national population policies have failed to achieve their objectives as we remain world’s second largest populated country.” What are the shortcomings? Discuss.

Published: February 7, 2016 | Modified:June 27, 2019

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