Critical Analysis of India’s National Population Policy 2000

Government of India introduced first National Population Policy in 1976, which focussed on reducing birth rate, lowering infant mortality rate and improving standard of life. The policy was revised in 1977 which focussed on:

  • No coercion for family planning
  • Minimum marriage age 18 years for females and 21 years for males.
  • Emphasis on awareness through education and media
  • Mandatory registration of marriages
  • Use of media for spreading the awareness about family planning among the rural masses.
  • Monetary compensation to those who opt for permanent measures of birth control (sterilisation and tubectomy).

The National Population Policy 2000 provided a comprehensive framework to provide the reproductive and health needs of the people of India for the next ten years. It has fixed short term, medium term and long term goals as follows:

  • Short term goal: Addressing the un-fulfilled needs of contraception and health care infrastructure. Provision ofintegrated service for basic reproductive and child health care.
  • Medium term goal: Bring down the Total Fertility rate.
  • Long term goal: To achieve a stable population by 2045.

The government implemented the policy with involvement of local level bodies and voluntary sector with funds from central government.

Critical Assessment of India’s Population Policy

India’s national population policies have failed to achieve their objectives as we remain world’s second largest populated country. 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 NPP have a narrow perspective, give much importance to contraception and sterilisation. The basic prerequisite of meaningfully controlling population include poverty alleviation, improving the standards of living and the spread of education. Secondly, on national scale the policy was not publicised and failed to generate mass support in favour 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. This made the very NPP itself very unpopular.

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