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A Case Study of India
Chapter 1 – Introduction
1.1 - Context
Development, population and population policy in India shall form the substance of this Study.
1.1.1. – Why Population ?
The population of the world is projected to reach 9 million by 2050. The 20th century transformed the demographic profile of the world. It began with a population of 1.6 billion and ended with a population of 6.1 billion (Population Reference Bureau, 2004). Public discourses on population tend to flow in one of two directions. One centres around unprecedented low fertility in many countries. The other emphasizes the continued growing population in the less developed regions of the globe. The latter shall form the subject matter of this study.
It is almost certain that nearly all future population growth shall occur in the developing regions of the world (WB, 1985, Sen and Iyer, 2002, Population Reference Bureau, 2004). To that extent the average level of human welfare will depend on the degree of welfare in those areas. Amidst modernisation, neo-liberalism, post-modernism, feminism, decentralisation, projects, programmes, aid, governments, politics, economics,
Population Policies and Development:
A Case Study of India
growth, finance, markets, NGOs, World Bank, UN, IMF – the explosive matter that ‘development’ is made of - lie the people. Development in the ultimate analysis is about living people. Population meaning ‘people’ and their welfare form the central concern of development. It is with people and the policies that affect them that this study shall deal. Furthermore, population trends have vast and wide ranging impact on everything from economic patterns to the balance of political power (Ghadar, 2005). Demographic discourses within the development industry have run in different directions. The question ‘Is rapid population growth a problem or is it an exaggeration?’ is often debated. The main views have been that a greater population means there is less to go around, more mouths to feed, cloth and house and general despair. The contrasting view is that population growth is not a problem at all and in fact it provides an impetus to human activity, innovation and technology.
1.1.2. – Why Population Policy?
Fertility planning and population control have long been the subject matter of public policy in developing countries. The integration of population variables into development planning has been made with the goal of accommodating anticipated population trends. Education, public works, health-care delivery, agricultural extension programs, and employment-generating programs are all examples of programs that utilize population data to accommodate various demographic trends (U.N. 1990). The size of the population, its characteristics, spatial and rural-urban distribution, rate of growth and its
Population Policies and Development:
A Case Study of India
determinants decide the quantum, pattern and distribution of consumption and production. It is, therefore, only natural for the state or the government to be concerned about population. Such concern is most essential for a complex democratic society seeking to eradicate poverty and ensure adequate standards of living for its people (Visaria, P. 2002). These are sensitive issues in which fundamental human values are at stake. It is a subject which touches issues central to the human condition, including personal freedom and the definition of economic and social progress (W.B., 1985, Yunker, 2003). Rational public policy, state or other interventions in such a sensitive area can and have had appalling backlashes. Thus, population policies though considered central to development planning have a delicate ground on which to tread.
1.1.3. – Why India?
A nation with a population which has crossed the one billion mark1, a nation where more than 260 million officially lead a life of deprivation 2, a nation which for several decades now, has been attempting to move out of the ‘low-income’ category. This researcher says welcome to India. ‘For long, India has struck the observer as being both crowded and poor.’ (Cassen, 1978, p. 2). Over centuries a stagnant perception of India has been marked by the ubiquitous characteristics of a massive population and chronic poverty. India is a country of contradictions – where the rich and poor live side by side, where great minds and illiteracy flourish, where the number of trained doctors and
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/3575994.stm Human Development Report India - 2005
Population Policies and Development:
A Case Study of India
number of ailing people both increase each year. Furthermore, population and family planning services in India are significant not only because of their impact on India but because of the country’s large size and still relatively high growth rate means that India contributes significantly to the level and pattern of world population growth (Donaldson, 2002). Therefore, it is this land which is residence to the greatest number of the poor 3 (Virmani, 2006) in the world that provides the location of this study.
1.2 - Research Objectives, Questions and Methods
1.2.1 - Research Objectives
In light of the above, this study seeks an understanding of population and development interlinkages. More importantly it seeks an appreciation of the extent public policy in the sphere of population planning can advance the development process in the case of India. Thus, India shall form the unit of analysis. Furthermore, the focus will be on understanding the importance of population policy, how and why it has evolved and the dynamics that go into its making. This study will link population policy on the macro scale with implementation and other issues on the micro scale. The New Population Policy (NPP) launched in 2000 shall be examined and analysed. Its theoretical underpinnings will be uncovered. Its professed impact shall be examined. Furthermore, major assumptions and other rationales shall be critiqued.
What are the interlinkages between population and development? 2.2.Research Questions In doing the above. Whether and how does the new policy take into account cultural. to examine and establish the macro-micro links.Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India 1. it shall use the case study method.3 – Research methods To achieve the above mentioned objectives. What are the theoretical underpinnings of the NPP? 3. Furthermore. What are the causes for high fertility in India? 4.2. this study shall employ qualitative and quantitative research methods. It shall review secondary qualitative data in the form of policy documents. the following research questions shall be the guiding light. religious and economic differences within India? 6. writings and views expressed by experts in the field. Use of descriptive statistics and maps shall be 5 . What are the plausible effects of the NPP? 1. where a case study of India will be conducted. 1. Does the NPP address the causes of high fertility in India? 5.2 .
why. or it may be informed by a theoretical/ value framework which seeks to offer a critique of policy. legal. economics. information for policy which gives feedback into the policy-making activities (Parsons. Policy monitoring and evaluation examine how policies have performed against policy goals and what impact a policy may have had on a given problem. policy analysis necessarily needs to maintain a multidisciplinary framework approach.Policy determination which is concerned with how policy is made. anthropological and geographical contexts of public policy. policy monitoring and evaluation and analysis for policy. 2005). Frameworks for policy analysis include analysis of policy. 6 . Thus. The analysis of policy requires an understanding of political science. Policy content which involves a description of a particular policy and how it developed in relation to other earlier policies. review and analysis of secondary data along with descriptive statistics shall form the principal research methods. when and for whom. Analysis for policy include – Policy advocacy which involves research and arguments which are intended to influence the policy agenda inside and outside government. 1995.3 – Framework for Policy Analysis Parsons (1995) states that the analysis of policies has increasingly taken on a multidisciplinary character. sociology as well as the historical. Baldock.Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India made to gain a pragmatic grasp of India’s demographics. Thus. philosophy. Manning and Vickerstaff 2003 and Hill. 1. Analysis of policy include . psychology.
A framework for analysis has been drawn up. Chief objectives of the study have been established. changing paradigms and logics behind different population policies will be ascertained.Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India This study shall carry a cross – framework analysis. Some of the past policy archives will be dug up. the impact of the policy on population outcomes and on social development in the country will be probed into and shortcomings of the policy will be addressed. It will employ certain aspects of the different kinds of policy analysis. theoretical underpinnings and key features of the New Population Policy will be examined. Chapter 2 shall examine the principal discourses prevalent in the filed. Ultimately. The dominant views on the world stage as expressed through the international conferences on population and development shall be determined. Furthermore the research objectives. macro-micro linkages will be drawn on the basis of a multi-disciplinary framework. reasons for high fertility in India will be discovered. the possible impact of the policy will be investigated. Furthermore. Development Planning and Population Planning in India will be examined to get an understanding of what guides policies in the 7 . 1. It shall establish the different interlinkages between population and development. A brief background. conclusions will be drawn and possible future scenarios will be depicted.4 – Chapter Outline Chapter 1 has laid out the context of the study. followed by the administrative and political set up will introduce the reader to India. Chapter 3 shall then proceed to set out the background for the case study of India. inherent contradictions within the policy will be revealed. Thus. questions and methods have been specified.
Chapter 4 shall form the main analytical chapter. Conclusions on the analysis will be drawn. lessons learnt from the different chapters will be noted. Whether and how the NPP fits into India’s aims. Reasons for high fertility in India shall be investigated.Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India country. The main findings will be specified. Ultimately possible future policy options will be laid down. 8 . policy and development setting and apparent needs according to the reasons uncovered will then be analysed. chapter 5 shall form the conclusion. Key features of the NPP will be detailed in to provide a full understanding of the setting. Past population policies will be outlined in brief. Finally. Spatial and temporal features that form India’s demographic profile will be sketched. Herein.
Arguments as to whether population growth is a ‘problem’ have raged on. Thus. It shall study the changing trends in academic and practitioners thought as to their understanding and position on population and development. while population policies of myriad natures in different countries have flourished.Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India Chapter 2 : Interlinkages between Population and Development 2. Environmental issues. ethics. political and racial issues and recently issues of female empowerment and social development are seen through the ‘prism of population’ (Furedi.1 . it shall examine the changing rationales of population policies. Furthermore. However over time. human rights. environment and social development. 9 . they straddle concerns in economics. 1997). it has acquired a variety of different shades. issues of human rights.Introduction: Population growth at exponential rates has essentially been a topic of classical economics (Demeny and McNicoll 1998). This chapter shall examine the different dominant themes prevalent linking population and development. Population discourses range from discussions on stages of population growth (transition) to environmental impacts and carrying capacity of the earth to ethical issues concerning birth control.
but they still remain the principal themes running across most writings on population and development. p. It was Malthus.14)’ Malthusian doomsday prophesies brought attention of the world and its people on the plausible effects of a growing population. Subsequent authors may have modified and added to these two schools. ‘Population. (Malthus. hunger.Principal discourses in Population and Development A Case Study of India The two governing schools of thought in economics relating population and development have been the Malthusian and the Boserupian schools of thought. he argued that an increase in agricultural productivity results in increasing population size but does not result in any long term improvement in the standard of living. He said. His focus was population growth and the carrying capacity of the earth. an English pastor in the 1800’s who first popularized the questions about population growth. 10 . 1998. environmental destruction. Further. when unchecked.2 . disease and social unrest. For the Malthusians and Neo-Malthusians population growth is the root cause of poverty. Subsistence increases only in an arithmetic ratio. increases in a geometric ratio.Population Policies and Development: 2. Malthus predicted that a time shall come when a ravaged world will not be able to support its teaming millions and will end in destruction. He stated that the power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man. Furthermore.
Furthermore. disease. famine. He is of the view that population growth is not something which will stabilize itself but needs human effort. then nature will do so for us. Population increase motivated and often facilitated technological change. It is time to realize that humankind is reaching the diminishing returns phase of human population growth.Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India Writers such as Settles (2006) and Ehrlich (2006) are of Malthusian persuasion. Boserup’s (1981. She observes that the effect of population increase can be either negative (as focused on by Malthusian theory) or positive. ‘if we do not impose sustainability constraints ourselves. He continues by saying that this explosive exponential human growth will stop before such a point is reached. Ehrlich (2006) constructs a scenario where the doubling of the human population continues unchecked for another twenty doublings and a situation arises where each human being has one square foot of space. The essay in its undertone questions whether humanity will come to its senses of its own accord or will need a slap in the face to be awakened. the main issue is whether the exponential growth is halted by relatively benign means or by increasing death rates due to starvation. he comments that. only his timing. She is a strong advocate of promoting technological change 11 . focus on the interrelation between rapid growth in population and fast technological advancements. infanticide. However.’ He concludes by saying that Malthus' analysis was not wrong. Settles’ (2006) argument runs along the same lines. 1990) writings. on the other hand. and therefore its effects on development were positive. war. and environmental degradation. She goes on to stress the beneficial effects of an increasing population on infrastructural investment and technological levels.
Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India irrespective of its effects on population growth. For Simon (1981) low rates of fertility are a problem because of a tendency to narrow total demand in the market. The activity undertaken to maintain living standards will result in the community now exploiting opportunities for economic growth that existed previously but were left unutilized. This would result in a fall in investment and a fall in income. and the more growth. Hirschman (1958) puts forth the proposition that population pressure on living standards will lead to counter pressure that is to activity designed to maintain or restore the traditional standard of living. Furthermore. she traces how demographic pressures at different times in history have propelled mankind towards making technological progress and how societies may stagnant in the absence of such pressures. Kogel and Prskawetx (2001) suggest a model in 12 . This is the view of the underconsumptionist economics argument. However. He stresses the energizing effect of population pressure in inducing new developments and its direct positive influence leading to improved performance of the administrative. She suggests creation of economic opportunities in rural areas as more important than fertility decline for development. political and cultural processes. If population growth is slow and the consequent decline in living standards is also slow then the positive reaction may not be strong. the logic of which is the more people. the bigger the market. They appear to be mirror-images of the Malthusian viewpoint. he realizes that the above situation could occur only if certain assumptions were to hold true. He argues that the real problem is when population growth declines too fast. This is on the basis of a psychological postulate which says that people will resist a lowering in their standard of living.
They are of the view that typical Malthusian and Boserupian views misstate the relations and ignore major determinates of agrarian outcomes. spreading knowledge of alternative systems and behaviour. minor structural change or radical structural change could be the ways forward. The driving force is the assumption that parents face a quality – quantity trade off.Malthusian writers as well as the advancement of technology and innovation argument. Critics and adherents of both schools have been numerous. 13 . He ends on a positive note. They consider family systems and local-level community and administrative organisations as central to an understanding of this relation and conclude by saying that four simple changes could resolve the impasse and set it on a new development path. saying there is still a slight ray of hope as figures show decrease in population growth rates. However. population growth declines and human capital accumulation replaces population growth as the engine of economic growth. Further. Neurath (1994) looks at both sides of the argument. The perceptions of the effects of rapid population increase on growth have changed over time. He examines the Malthusian and neo. He looks at what the pessimists and optimists have to say. Sheer informational activity. For that reason. technological change. Cain and McNicoll (1988) examine agrarian outcomes in the face of population growth.Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India which fertility declines and economic growth accelerates. he throws in his lot with the pessimists. declining infant mortality rates leads to falling precautionary demand for children and to rising human capital accumulation.
Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India Furthermore. 1995). actively promoted policies aimed at facilitating fertility reduction and lowering population growth rates. it has taken on different tones. 2. the governments of about thirty less-developed countries. 14 . Thus. 1995). particularly in Asia. Indeed. 1997. Several countries. If the outcomes are distinguished from ‘development’ that is because development is construed narrowly only in terms of income. This study shall now look at the changing perceptions and the development of schools of thought in different subject areas. the logic of economic growth has pushed forward population policies. Demeny and McNicoll (1998) state that few would dispute that the size and rate of growth of population have profound effects on human societies. had adopted national family planning programmes as integral parts of their development policies (Johnson. Johnson. their governance and environment. comprising almost two-thirds of the combined populations of the less-developed regions. 1981.Interlinkages between Population and Development Post World War II and independence of the now developing countries saw a wide acceptance of population planning in most third world countries (Furedi. The first national population policies evolved as governments came to understand the consequences of rapid population growth and high fertility both for their national development efforts as well as for the welfare of families and individuals.3 . Simon. by the end of 1969.
They refrained from such ethical issues as who is to be allowed to have children who is not. political or environmental collapse maybe avoided.Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India ‘The Limits to Growth’ a report prepared by Meadows et. housing and sanitation. war. 15 . rapid depletion of resources. The report (through use of computations and other assumptions) came to the conclusion that if mankind kept growing at the then current level (1970’s level) of 2 percent. (on the assumed total available supplies). sudden famine. and kept increasing its percapita consumption of irreplaceable goods at the then current rate of 1.5 percent per year. However the authors refrained from suggesting recommendations on how to achieve this slowing down. The study predicted that with luck. hungry. and rapid pollution of the environment. The authors tried to reach as wide a public as possible with their general warning of a looming collapse of the life-supporting system on earth. uneducated. unless mankind soon changed its ways of rapid growth of population. It was a strictly non-political report. However continued rapid growth of population in the poorer areas of the globe would mean more people who are poor. (1972) for The Club of Rome was an important influence in further strengthening the imminent needs of population planning. lacking basic subsistence. al. The authors added that the dire consequences could be avoided – if both growth of the population and increase in per-capita consumption of irreplaceable resources were to be slowed down systematically and brought to a virtual standstill. a general breakdown of the system could be expected within a century. The World Bank conducted a study entitled ‘Population Change and Economic Development’ in 1985. and who is to produce and sell and who is to receive what materials and what products. Furthermore.
it inadvertently touches upon several social issues such as education. Thus. However. It becomes difficult to manage the adjustments that accompany and promote economic and social change. communication. it points out that fact remains that no evidence proves that a large and rapidly growing population has itself been influential in promoting new technology. housing and providing per person which would not be a wise investment.Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India investment in population quality becomes more difficult. cause continuous upgradation of the labour force through better education. health. economic and military power. However. social services and production. it goes on to explain why population growth today is more of a problem than it was for the developed countries when they were developing. and increase a countries political. encourage technological innovation. Population growth threatens the precarious balance between natural resources and people. Disadvantages of too scarce a population are also recognized such as failure to benefit from economies of scale in transport. income is still low and political as well as social institutions are less well established. housing and urbanization. The study accepts the Boserupian view that population growth itself helps bring technological change. pensions. The scale of population growth is bigger. It talks about the costs of population growth stressing the costs of educating. though the study is principally economic in nature. large tracts of uncultivated land are not available. reduce investment risks. the study acknowledges that moderate rates of population growth can be beneficial as they stimulate demand. feeding. 16 . human and physical capital are not adequately built up. Furthermore. large scale migration (as to the Americas in the 1800’s) is not possible.
1987) urged developing countries through their findings to embark on large scale population programmes and adopt demographic targets and goals.htm http://extras.C. Heer.co.stm.indianchild. incentives and disincentives in their efforts at population control and stabilisation. Findlay and Findlay.net/ldn/2006/mar/06032305.uk/htmlContent. However.com/indira_gandhi.. 2004.capmag.telegraph.org/wiki/Compulsory_sterilization#India_. 6 August 1999. Repetto. Iss. implementation of the resultant policies provided road blocks. Wall Street Journal. http://www.com/article.Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India These and several other writings of the time (Chandrashekhar.html. 1979.wikipedia.journalnow. 167.asp?ID=507. D. 29 August 2006. http://www.fcgi? cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=11648679&dopt=Abstract. 1968.. (Eastern Edition) N.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/5262748. 41 17 .html. 1994) even till date whenever population debates take place. Orthodoxy theory views population growth as a cause of 4 http://www. Far Eastern Economic Review.nlm.Y. the horrors of inhumane abortions in China and forced sterilizations in India began to surface. http://www.nih. (Eastern Edition) N. S. These are often told 4 (Neurath.. D. These relationships between population and development have been captured by different writers. They were determinative as to the goals of population policies in different developing countries. http://www.htm.com/tna/2000/12-04-2000/vo16no25_infanticide..gov/entrez/query. However. Hong Kong: Oct 14. Wall Street Journal. Did development come prior to population control or was a huge population a hurdle to a countries development? These questions began to plague the governments of most developing countries around the 1980s. http://www. Jayasurya.co. Transition theory views industrialisation as a necessary condition for fertility decline. Vol.com/againsttheirwill/background/storybody19.html http://news.ncbi.lifesite. R. Most policies had adopted punitive measures. 1979. http://en.thenewamerican.jhtml?html=/archive/1998/06/14/wchi14.bbc.26_China. Blanchet (1991) identifies three different relationships between population and development. 1967.Y.
Population growth is to be encouraged as it provides stimuli to economic growth. However. Post 1975.’ Furedi (1997) examines changes in the relations between population and development as well as the implementation of policies on a historical trajectory. the linkage between the two seems to be dissolving. development was promoted as a panacea to the population problem. if not by coercion.Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India continued underdevelopment and therefore fertility decline must be induced by deliberate state intervention. High 18 . Furedi (1997) elucidates other interesting concepts on population such as • Competitive fertility . Eight main views are considered. Revisionism theory holds that population growth is a neutral phenomenon with respect to economic development.fertility is linked to the considerations of power and rival communities view each other with suspicion. ‘this position is rarely held concerning developing countries.1 provides a summarised explanation of each of these views. • Social Darwinism – people of the world are different and they exist at different levels of human evolution. He traces three stages of intellectual representation of this encounter. it is implicit behind most population statements concerning developed countries. • Eugenics – the science of improving the human stock by promoting superior people and races over the less suitable ones. Initially after the world war. Table 2. The nexus between population and development is gradually eroding from the minds of the general public and the academics. Thus. Superiority was linked to the power to reproduce. or even beneficial to it. From the 1960’s the relationship was reversed and population control was considered to be the prerequisite for development.
Population growth Natalist is positive and is justified on religious grounds. high mortality rates of children and other factors force people to have large families.The most vocal opponents to population policy. Women and Human Subordination of women. Table 2. Views people as polluters and population growth as a pathological problem which threatens not only limited resources but also a way of life. through education and reform.1 – The nexus between population and development These can be called the political determinants of population as a ‘problem’. Does not recognize a greater population as a problem as people are looked at as problem solvers. In the west it calls for reduced aid to developing countries and immigration control. Poverty. More people mean better technology. low status of women. Synthesis between traditional Malthusian concern about natural limits and the preoccupation of contemporary environmentalism. as valuable resources are diverted from productive expenditure to the feeding of a growing population High fertility is cause and not effect of poverty. It is Furedi’s (1997) understanding that no real link exists between population and 19 .Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India rates of fertility were not only seen as symptoms of racial vitality. rising expectations of growing number of people and differential rate of fertility between the north and south represents a potential threat and stimuli for future wars Redistributionist Limited Resources Socio-Biological People-as-a-source of instability and conflicts. Post world war two. Pro. lack of economic resources. Solution lies in changing the status of poor people. economic growth and stimulation. Politicized limited resources view. Perspective Developmentalist Understanding Population growth as a major obstacle to development. their exclusion from the decision making Rights People-as-ProblemSolvers Religious process and insufficient access to safe reproductive technology has kept birth rates higher than women would like. but also as essential for the exercise of global power. high fertility.
Duden (1992) traces the growth of discourses in population in a post-development light. 1992. Caldwell (2005) has examined the importance of American research in pushing forward the population control programmes in the 1950s and he finds that even in their absence the programmes would have eventually been adopted. imperialism and coercion population control is packaged in the more acceptable terminology of environmental protection and women’s empowerment. p. Once globabalization of health care lead to falling mortality rates. pollute. population programmes are a cover-up for the not so benign designs of the developed countries that continually fear developing countries will overtake them by the sheer might of their numbers. and for the common good. She examines transition of the term population from being a ‘verbal noun’ (Duden. She criticises the call for 20 . However.147) through statistics to an aggregating device which reduces persons to bloodless entities that can be managed as characterless classes that reproduce. stability and war which have kept official development assistance going into the population projects. Aguirre and Hadley (2005) are in agreement with Furedi (1997) when they state that to avoid negative connotations of racism. some checks would be required to bring about a commensurate change in birth rates. produce or consume. call for control.Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India development and that they must part ways. he opines that it is these political considerations of power. He opines that the demographic theory of the 1950s was a product of the demographic transition itself. Thus.
developers. the control of fertility was the obvious solution to the problem. However. Thus. understanding and adaptation of the writings of Johnson (1995). The sixties saw leading American officials initiate a crusade for population control. these earlier meetings were not gatherings of 5 This section is based on a reading. Duden (1992) is also of the opinion that population and development share no relation and that people should be left on their own to decide on their most intimate sexual behaviour. On the world stage these paradigms have enjoyed the limelight at different times. R. Hewitt and Smyth (2004) and the Programme of Action as adopted by the International Conference on Population and Development. 2. it appears that the relation between population and development is contested. Pine. human rights activists.4 . New arguments promoting population stabilisation and control grip the world every decade.Changing Paradigms and Logics of Population Policies and Programmes5 The raison d’etre behind population policies seems to be continuously shifting. The argument deployed was simple: since population growth was a major obstacle to development. Correa (1994). 21 . Economists. (1994). environmentalists and feminists have all had their say in this continuing and yet unresolved debate. Two international conferences on Population and Development had been held under the auspices of the UN – the first in Rome in 1954 and the second in Belgrade in 1964.Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India birth control from 1950 onwards and especially during the 1970’s. Funds spent on population programmes were considered to be better value for money than investments on development projects. This study shall now examine the changing logics and perceptions as to the rationale for population planning.
PostBucharest. population stabilisation or development was in the centre of this battlefield. The question. the need to curb global migration and the need to defend international stability began playing a more central role than economic motives. the goals and targets for reducing high rates of population growth and high levels of fertility. amongst other policy and programme objectives. other considerations such as north-south controversy about the distribution of resources overtook the conference and gave it a more political character. The need to protect the environment. The final resolution at the Bucharest Conference toned down the one-dimensional emphasis on population programmes. Family planning was established as a ‘human right’. However.Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India official governmental representatives but rather technical and scientific assemblies where experts could examine population trends in different parts of the world and assess their implications. what came first. the need to empower women. It was at Bucharest in 1974 that the World Population Plan of Action was adopted and an attempt made to define. Third world countries argued that population problems were not causes but effects of underdevelopment and they called for ‘a New International Order’. There was a clash of competing ideologies. Subsequently. This recasting then attracted the earlier critics of the coercive policies of population control as it promoted the 22 . population programmes and policy were recast in poverty and equity terms and reduction in poverty provided the new motive for families to reduce their size. The slogan ‘Development is the best Contraception’ was coined and widely accepted. saw an acceptance of a more developmental vocabulary obscuring the singleminded pursuance of the early population programmes.
in 1992 did not take as vociferous a position as to the populationenvironment-development nexus as was expected. within the framework of socio-economic development Post-Bucharest substantial differences remained in the approaches to population questions. 1984 saw the International Conference on Population in Mexico City. The nineties saw an explosion of environmental consciousness in the West. educating parents. No real consensus was produced on the question of population. improving the status of women. however. the final Plan of Action merely suggested countries to consider adopting population policies. especially women. responsibly and without coercion. the number and spacing of their children and to have the information. education and means to do so. reducing infant mortality and the provision of family planning services. Some of the means of implementing the new redistributionist approach to population were raising rural incomes. the final Resolution called for major efforts to ‘ensure that all couples and individuals can exercise the basic human right to decide freely. The UNCED tried and failed to say something definitive about population and its relationship to environment and development 23 . However.’ The Brundtland report (widely credited for having developed the concept of sustainable development) of 1987 took a comprehensive view of the population-environment-development nexus. Brazil. August.Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India improvement in the quality of life and attacked inequalities. However. The United States threw a bombshell into the proceedings by arguing for ‘market-based solutions’ to population and threatened to withdraw funding. the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro.
’ Different themes such as population and human rights. The big question then was how women could not be the primary decision-makers as it was on their cooperation that all prospects of success rested. resources and the environment. population and peace all played a part in the process for building the consensus for action.‘by acting vigorously and effectively to turn back the tide of population growth and to reduce human fertility. population.Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India It was 1994. The message was clear as preparations for the ICPD advanced . The ICPD was marked by a harsh criticism of ‘top down’ population control programmes which in the opinion of many speakers put an emphasis on demographic targets which too often lead to insensitive and coercive services. population and urbanisation. Politically articulate women particularly those associated with feminist groupings were becoming especially aware that the population debate was taking place over their heads. not women. p. devising rewards and penalties for good or bad performance and yet. working out family planning targets and quotas. However. a women’s alliance asked the International Women’s Health 24 . mankind would in a very real sense be taking back or reasserting its duty and its ability to control its own destiny (Johnson. one of the fundamental human rights. population and development. A women’s right to bear a child. increasingly came to be linked to a women’s right not to bear a child. that saw the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) take place in Cairo. the delivery mechanisms of all population and family planning programmes. 1995.27). Furthermore. Men. as it were. it was women’s bodies which were. She was to be control of her own body. it was population and women which took centre stage as far as the main theme of the Cairo conference went. were determining population policies.
The Declaration asserted that sexual and reproductive health and rights were fundamental to all people. The Women’s Environment and Development Organisation (another dominant women’s organisation participating in the ICPD) main priorities were to ensure women’s participation. Equally significant. Key to the new approach was empowering women and providing them more choice through expanded access to education and health services and promoting skills development and employment. It pressed for women’s reproductive rights to be recognised. and recognizing the central role of women in every issue related to population and development.Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India Coalition (IWHC). especially in fields where gender discrimination persisted. Delegations from 179 States took part in negotiations to finalise a Programme for Action in population and development for the next twenty years. They prepared the declaration which was to go on the table in Cairo. The programme advocates making 25 .Our Rights in Cairo ’94) brought together representatives from over 70 different women’s organisations. the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) was held in Cairo. a US-based organisation to be the secretariat. experts and institutions specialising in development and demographics. Egypt. addressing the rights and needs of women. and in specialised areas. The Brasilia Charter (a document which emerged as a result of the National Encounter on Women and Development . training and jobs. from 5-13 September 1994. The document endorses a new strategy which emphasises the numerous interlinkages between population and development and focuses on meeting the needs of individual women and men rather than on achieving demographic targets. It spelt out a set of operating principles and programme strategies to ensure that these rights were exercised. they campaigned for women’s access to education. Subsequent to all the preparations.
gender equality and the needs of young people. Establishment of population World Conference on 1974 Population. Resolutions and focus of each conference along with the year and location of the conference are shown). therefore. make widely available contraception and information about family planning services. It shifts the basis of population thinking away from a primarily macro focus to one grounded in the rights of people (Sen and Iyer. Thus. 1964 Resolution/Focus Rapid Population growth is an obstacle to economic growth. Bucharest policies and programmes is in the most Best developing countries. population control and stabilisation are essential for development. It argues instead for an integrated approach linking population action to development.2 provides a condensed understanding of these changing rationales over time. including human development. the programme implies that policies and programmes should not focus only on population numbers and growth rates. Redistributionist + Development Contraception. 2002). women’s empowerment. Therefore population policies were to be adopted within the wider framework of socioeconomic development It is the basic human right of all human beings to decide on the number and spacing of their children. therefore. This is the theme which now runs in the minds of those working within the stream of population and development. Establishment of the population – environment – development nexus.Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India family planning services available universally by 2015. Conference. ) (Rome. City United Conference on Mexico 1984 Nations 1992 on 26 . (Table 2. Conference Year Prior to Bucharest 1954. Control and stabilise population International Conference Population. Belgrade.
However. Cairo on and 1994 and A Case Study of India growth in the interest of the environment in developing countries and change consumption patterns in developed countries to make development more sustainable. empowering women. Table 2. the perceptions on interlinkages between population and development and having traced changing rationales for population policies on the world stage.5 . Population and women – central theme – criticism of the top down population policies and demographic targets which had resulted in insensitive and coercive programmes. providing family planning services and educating the masses about its effects have remained the underlying themes running through the fabric of population programmes and policies. expanding choice and making family planning services Development. this research shall now proceed to conduct a case study.Population Policies and Development: Environment Janeiro International Conference Population Development. Chapter 3 – India: A Case Study 27 .2 – Changing Rationales for population policies and programmes 2. stabilising the population. Having examined the principal schools of thought on population growth. Therefore. Rio de available to all. an analysis of the New Population Policy of India 2000 shall be carried out.Conclusion The rationales. In the aforesaid background. curbing its rapid growth. logics and professed aims of population policies have continually evolved.
Furthermore.1 . Outlined below is a brief introduction to India. India’s efforts in population planning shall then be laid out. Details about India’s development planning methods shall follow.Facts about India 28 . shall proceed with conducting a case study of India. this chapter and the next together. Spatial and temporal characteristics of India’s population shall be examined. 3. The precise aim is to gain an understanding of the situation in India and how public policy has tried to shape demographics. its administrative and political set up. its geographical location. it is essential to get an understanding of the country itself. But before that.Population Policies and Development: 3. answers are also sought to whether the changing policies are adequate and address the principal reasons for high fertility.Introduction A Case Study of India Having examined the different theories about the effects of population growth as well as having traced the different perceptions of interlinkages between development and population growth.2 .
S (1967). the second most populous country. by the Bay of Bengal on the south-east and the Arabian Sea on the south-west.htm. a centre of important trade routes and vast empires.http://www. Dyson. India has long played a major role in human history. and tapering southwards. Nepal.2 million square miles (about the third of the area of the United States excluding Alaska). Cassen and Visaria (2004) 29 . (1978).com/maps/india/geological. The country is bounded by the snow-capped Himalayan mountain ranges in the north. is a country in South Asia. India stretches about 2. Hinduism. India has also been one of the cradles of Human Civilizations. Sikhism.000 miles from Kashmir in the north to Cape Comorin in the south and about 1.wikipedia.org/wiki/India.mapsofindia.com/facts/India.) Home to the Indus Valley Civilization. Located on a vast tongue shaped promontory that juts southwards from the continent of Asia. http://www. Buddhism and Jainism all have 6 This section is based on information collated from the following websites and books Websites .Population Policies and Development: 3. Cassen. With an area of 1. and the largest liberal democracy in the world. (Map 3. It is the seventhlargest country by geographical area.850 miles from Assam in the east to Gujarat in the west. http://en.1 shows India’s location on the Atlas. and Bangladesh and Myanmar to the east. India is well marked off from the rest of Asia by mountains and seas. officially the Republic of India.1 .aneki. Books – Chandrashekhar.Introduction and Geographical Location6 A Case Study of India India. the People's Republic of China and Bhutan to the north-east. It shares borders with Pakistan to the west.2. The country lies entirely in the Northern hemisphere and extends between latitudes 8 and 37 and longitudes 68 and 97.html.
These were followed by European traders.000 years. one of the oldest in the world. dates back at least 5. 3.Administrative and Political Set-up7 7 This section is based upon the authors own previous study in Indian Law. D. The subcontinent was divided into the secular state of India and the smaller Muslim state of Pakistan. Aryan tribes from the northwest invaded about 1500 B. 30 .Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India their origins in India. The Gangetic plain has constituted India’s demographic heartland and continues to be so.. A third war between the two countries in 1971 resulted in East Pakistan becoming the separate nation of Bangladesh. environmental degradation. Nonviolent resistance to British colonialism under Mohandas Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru led to independence in 1947. (2001) and the official website of the Government of India http://goidirectory. history and culture have all played their part in shaping her population.2.C. all this despite impressive gains in economic investment and output. Fundamental concerns in India include the ongoing dispute with Pakistan over Kashmir. and ethnic and religious strife. India’s geography.in/.nic. topography. Britain had assumed political control of virtually all Indian lands. The Indus Valley civilization. extensive poverty. By the 19th century. Arab incursions started in the 8th century and Turkish in the 12th. while Islam and Christianity enjoy a strong cultural heritage having arrived through trade even before foreign invasions. massive overpopulation. their merger with the earlier inhabitants created the classical Indian culture.2 . beginning in the late 15th century. Basu.
EQUALITY of status and of opportunity. 8 From Preamble to the Indian Constitution 31 . Chandigarh. These ideals of socialism. diversity of the states is maintained through their independent governments. faith and worship. India is a Union of twenty-eight States and seven centrally administered Union Territories. LIBERTY of thought. Thus. The centrally administered territories are Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Sikkim. Manipur. expression. Jammu & Kashmir. Kerala. Bihar. economic and political. Nagaland. Arunachal Pradesh.2 is a political map of India showing the different States and Union territories. Rajasthan. Delhi has its own legislature and head of the government. action and deed have been a bedrock of India’s policy decisions. Karnataka. Meghalaya. Map 3. Mizoram. and to promote among them all FRATERNITY thereby assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation’. Maharashtra. The States are Andhra Pradesh. Uttaranchal and West Bengal. Himachal Pradesh. but it is still not considered as a full-fledged state. Lakshadweep. Dadra & Nagar Haveli. Assam. social. Punjab. Uttar Pradesh. Madhya Pradesh. belief. Tripura. Daman & Diu. Tamil Nadu. India established herself as a ‘SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC8 and resolved to secure to all its citizens: JUSTICE. Chhattisgarh. but unity of the country is maintained through the central/union government. Orissa. Goa. Gujarat. secularism and freedom in thought.Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India Upon gaining independence in 1947. Jharkhand. Haryana. Delhi and Pondicherry.
2 – Political Map of India Source .Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India Map 3.com/ 32 .mapsofindia.http://www.
However. The Constitution of India represents the highest law of the country. The Rajya Sabha (the Council of States) and the Lok Sabha (the Peoples Assembly) form the two houses of parliament. India has a bicameral legislature. family planning and population control can be further decentralized 33 . The Judiciary consists of the Supreme Court and High Courts and other lower courts. Independence of the judiciary from the executive and legislative branch of the Government is maintained.). The executive authority is responsible to the elected representatives of the people in Parliament for all its decisions and actions.Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India India has a parliamentary form of government based on universal adult franchise. Article 243G establishes the power of the State government to devolve power upon the Panchayats (decentralized bodies of local governance). From this it can be inferred that the policy decisions would be bound by Bentham’s (1768) utilitarian principal of greatest good of the greatest number. Issues of national importance fall into the Union List whereas matters of local import fall in the State list. Thus. the issue of population control and family planning falls in the Concurrent List. The Concurrent List includes all those areas which are of importance in social and economic planning (includes other areas relating to crime. This means both the Centre and the State governments can make laws on this subject. Sovereignty rests ultimately with the people. Article 250 of the Indian Constitution lays down the subject matter of laws to be made by the central and the state governments. it is the Prime minister along with the cabinet of ministers who form the actual executive and are responsible to the people. However. family affairs etc. Furthermore.The President is the head of the executive branch of the government.
The Planning Commission was charged with the responsibility of making assessment of all resources of the country. The Planning Commission was set up by a Resolution of the Government of India in March 1950 in pursuance of the declared objectives of the Government to promote a rapid rise in the standard of living of the people by efficient exploitation of the resources of the country. devaluation of the currency. self-reliance and social justice.2. modernization. Kabra (1998). (2001). 3.3 – Development Planning in India10 India launched its development initiative upon gaining independence in 1947. 9 From the authors previous studies in Indian Law and Basu. when there was a break because of the Indo-Pakistan Conflict.nic. A National Planning process was embarked upon. This section is based on a reading of the following . formulating plans for the most effective and balanced utilization of resources and determining priorities.http://planningcommission. Yadav (2002) 10 34 . increasing production and offering opportunities to all for employment in the service of the community.Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India to the local level9. The importance accorded to population and family planning is manifest from its place in the Concurrent List. Two successive years of drought.in/. D. Democratic Socialism formed the guiding principle then. A strategy of five year development plans was adopted with fifteen year rolling plans. The public sector was visualized as having a crucial role in guiding and directing the economy towards growth. The first Five-year Plan was launched in 1951 and two subsequent five-year plans were formulated till 1965. Annual plans were to provide the operationalisation of the five year plans. augmenting deficient resources.
The effects of this on population policy will be examined in brief in chapter 4. in general. and dwindling foreign exchange reserves led India to the IMF and World Bank11.worldbank. The banks structural adjustment loan has changed the way India is governed and the nature of its policies. is that it should increasingly be of an indicative nature. the fourth Five-year plan was started in 1969. 11 http://www.Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India a general rise in prices and erosion of resources disrupted the planning process and after three Annual Plans between 1966 and 1969. For the first eight Plans the emphasis was on a growing public sector with massive investments in basic and heavy industries as well as provision of social services. a confluence of growing external debt.pdf 35 . the emphasis on the public sector has become less pronounced and the current thinking on planning in the country. In June 1991. high fiscal deficits. With the launch of the Ninth Plan in 1997.org/oed/trade/docs/appendix_d7. The Eighth Plan was finally launched in 1992 after the initiation of structural adjustment policies. The Eighth Plan could not take off in 1990 due to turmoil of the political situation at the Centre and the years 1990-91 and 1991-92 were treated as Annual Plans.
html.nic.nic. 36 . Aspalter (2002) 13 http://populationcommission. 14 http://populationcommission. The First of the Five Year Development Plans called for an explicit population policy and considered family planning as a step towards improvement in health of mothers and children.3. A modified National Population Policy was announced in 1977 which viewed the policy ‘as an integral part of education. The name of the programme 12 This section is based on information gathered from the official website of the population commission http://populationcommission.Population Planning in India 3. Donaldson (2002) and Dyson. Akweongo. Subsequently. a separate Department of Family Planning was carved out in the Ministry of Health in order to strengthen the population control programme. Phillips. The strategy in the First Plan was to treat family planning as a part of the health programme and provide 100% funds for it as a centrally sponsored programme. A sub committee was established by the National Planning Committee in 1938 by the Interim Government.htm. health. Cassen and Visaria (2004). Way back in 1940.Population Policies and Development: 3. India was the first country to adopt Population planning after independence as part of its development efforts13 (Bawah.pbs. family planning and a limitation of children are essential and the State should adopt a policy to encourage these14’. and stressed the voluntary nature of the family planning programme’.nic. maternal and child health etc.org/wgbh/nova/worldbalance/campaigns.3 . http://www. In 1966.in/hp. family happiness and national planning. 1999).htm and readings from Chandrashekhar (1967).in/hp. Simmons.in/hp. it was resolved by the National Planning Committee that ‘in the interest of social economy.1 – A Brief History12 A Case Study of India Discussion about instituting a population policy started in India prior to attainment of independence.htm.
S. In 1991. the Government announced a National Health Policy which adopted the recommendations of the Working Group on Population Policy as the long term demographic goal of the country. M. The Report related population growth to the basic needs. The policy called for increasing age at marriage. democratic 37 . This implied a population growth rate of 1. the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare appointed an expert Group under the Chairmanship of Dr. In 1983. increasing birth intervals and concentrating on child survival. Swaminathan to draw up a Draft Population Policy for consideration by Parliament.2 per cent per year. literacy and antipoverty efforts.Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India was changed from Family Planning to Family Welfare (retained till date). The Government appointed a Working Group on Population Policy. women's status and employment. the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare decided to devise innovative strategies leading to the development of an Action Plan for revamping family welfare programmes in India. The 1986 version of India's Population Policy viewed family planning in a broader perspective of child survival. This was considered as the threshold level for population stabilization. Its report advocated a Net Reproduction Rate of one (NRR=1) by the year 2000. postponing the birth of the first child. The report of this Group was submitted to the Ministry in 1994. The Plan emphasized the need to improve the quality of services and to devise special area specific strategies. In 1993. The recommendation of the Working Group still remains the guiding number of the population programme. which meant a Birth rate of 21 and a Death Rate of 9 per thousand.
1 – Milestones in Population policy experiments 3. Report was prepared and helped produce broad political consensus The 50th Independence anniversary saw then Prime Minister Mr.2 – Principal Characteristics of the Past Policies15 From the above discussion it can be observed that population policies in India seem to have the same rationales as the policies on the world stage (as outlined in chapter 15 This section is based on a reading of the following texts (and other readings) – McNicoll (1994). 38 . Gujral promise that a new population policy would soon be announced Group of Ministers finalized the draft policy and placed it before the Cabinet of Ministers for ratification.Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India decentralization. Neurath (1994). The focus was the nexus between population growth. (Table 3. (2002). gender issues and eco-system.3. Visaria. Correa (1994). 1993 1994 1997 1999 Table 3.1 explains the milestones in India’s population policy experiments) Year Milestone 1946 1952 1976 1977 1983 1991 Bhore Committee Report Launching of the Family Planning Program Statement of the National Population Policy Policy Statement on Family Welfare Program National Health Policy emphasized the need for adopting the small family norm Committee on Population appointed by the National Development Council. environmental sustainability and development An expert group under the leadership of Dr. P. This finally resulted in the New Population Policy which was launched in 2000. Swaminathan asked to prepare a draft of a new population policy. These features were incorporated in the ‘Statement on National Population Policy’ prepared by the Ministry in 1996-1997.
family planning and population control. 2002). Horror stories of large scale forced sterilization camps have plagued population planning efforts in India since (Furedi. The principal issues that have come up through experience shall now be investigated. Emergency was instituted in the country by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Programmes were characterized by target setting and ground staff was expected to fulfill certain quotas. abstinence and other traditional methods were encouraged. Correa. keen to contribute to India’s development with a personal and patriotic fervor by adopting a small family norm. what the above account of India’s experiments in Population planning (from official records of the government of India) misses are the finer nuances of the different policies adopted. 1994. Neurath. Donaldson. implementation in the country gave rise to problems and resulted in changes. 1997. post-independence. Educated young men. This (amidst other high-handedness during the Emergency) ultimately led to the fall of the 39 . The first policies were a bit hesitant on the use of contraceptives. Slippages and frustrations in the achievement of the goals then led to special drives and an added emphasize on sterilization. were highly motivated by leaders who believed that India’s progress lay in curtailing its population size. It was in 1966 that the ‘extension approach’ took shape. People lost their individuality and turned into numbers who could be sterilized. Furthermore. Furthermore. Apart from the global factors. The rhythm method. follower or the policies have been a result of interaction is unclear. Her son Sanjay Gandhi decided to have an iron hand in matters of fertility. This marked a shift from the earlier clinic based approach. incentives and disincentives became the language of population programmes. Whether India has been a pioneer. 1994. The family planning programme was first and foremost embraced by men.Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India 2).
The New Population Policy launched in 2000 though not a mere replication of the ICPD Programme of Action. The subsequent change in nomenclature from family planning to family welfare was deliberate. whose career and promotions depended on the number of ‘cases’ they could mobilize for family planning. a brief understanding of India’s demography and reasons for high fertility is called for. were arm-twisted into accepting methods like IUDs. Women who went for post-natal check ups or abortions. After 25 years. Massive human rights violations during vasectomies had marked the term family planning with a scandalous and negative connotation. The ICPD to which India is a signatory. family planning became family welfare. by health workers. The only difference being that women became the prime targets for India’s population control programme facilitated by the merging of maternal and child health with family welfare. After the fall of the earlier government due to the exposure of its coercive practices in the family planning stream. 40 . Target setting and fulfilling quotas the other bane of Indian population programmes continued in fashion.Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India government from power. now euphemistically called family welfare. has once again steered the logics of Population Planning in India. depending on the number of children and surviving sons. future governments had to be careful of the soil beneath their feet. adopts the human rights language and the focus is on reproductive rights and women. Prior to a look at this policy document. pills or sterilization. but it was like old wine in new bottle. Thus women’s right to birth control got hijacked by the state’s agenda of population control.
It reached 211 million by the first decennial census in 1871.102. In the past India’s population grew slowly. India accounts for 2.1 . slow or negative during the next – largely due to the huge famines in the 1870s and 1890s and the influenza epidemic of 1918.5 billion by the middle of the twenty-first century (Census of India. In each subsequent intercensal decade the scale of the population addition rose. 2004).4 – India’s Population A Case Study of India 3. India is the most populous country in the world.Population Policies and Development: 3.4. from about 28 million during 1921-31 to 180 million during 1991-2001. Despite these disasters the population reached approximately 251 million by 1921. It has trebled since independence and seems inexorable headed towards a total of atleast 1. After China. National Population Commission. 2001. Dyson. Cassen and Visaria. It also shows the rate of growth. 41 .000 and increasing. It is estimated that soon India will be the most populous country in the world. The next decades saw an alternative pattern of growth – relatively fast during one decade.4% of the world’s landmass but 16% of the world’s population. Every minute 29 children are born in India.Spatial and Temporal Characteristics of India’s Population India’s population is roughly 1.530. It peaked somewhere in 1980 and since then a downward trend is beginning to be observed. Chart 3.1 shows population growth in India from 1901 till 2001. It can be seen that growth started increasing gradually after the major dip in 1921.
Chart 3.Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India . Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh are experiencing a much higher 42 . Orissa. Madhya Pradesh.2 shows the interstate differences in population growth. Chart 3.1 – Population growth in India Source – Population Commission of India 2001 The growth pattern has been different in the different states of India. The northern states of Bihar.
2001. Cassen and Visaria. 43 . higher female empowerment and stronger matriarchal ties in the southern states and the location of the northern states in the classical high fertility area of the Gangetic plain are some of the explanations forwarded by different authors (Jeejabhoy and Sathar. 2004. Dyson. Advanced stages of development.4. Crude Birth Rate in the different states is shown in map 3. In both these the interstate diversities are evident. Reasons for the lower growth rate in these states have been analyzed by different demographers.Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India growth rate than the southern states of Kerela. Map 3.3 shows the population density in the different states. Tamil Nadu and Goa. Rahnam and Rao. 2004).
mapsofindia.3 .Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India Map 3.Population density map showing interstate differences Source .http://www.com/ 44 .
Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India Map 3.4 – Crude Birth Rate showing interstate differences Source – Planning Commission of India 2001 45 .
644.3 25.544.321.866.551.076 741. urban population.247 Degree of urbanization Percent urban Urban-rural ratio 10.812 285.298.293 Table 3.329.941.455.977 159.603 109.015. Reasons for this shall be examined in chapter 4.5 show composition of the Indian population on the basis of age and sex in 2000. over the 20th century the population in urban agglomerates has seen a rise from 10% in 1901 to almost 30% in 2001 Further projections estimate that by 2050.3.097 846.8 10. India 1901-2001 Census Population Total Year 1901 1911 1921 1931 1941 1951 1961 1971 1981 1991 2001 238.235.9 23.159.633 28.153.675 523.977.046 245.771 548.Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India The urban and rural spread of population has been changing. rural population and degree of urbanization.327 252. 2025 and 2050 respectively.113. 3.027.851.462.547 217.086.888 1.954 Rural 212.151.045.9 17. Associated impacts shall be subsequently examined in chapter 4.7 27.660.521.550 628.2 – Rural: Urban Population and Distribution Source: 2001 Census of India Charts 3.836.390 251.387.936.989 44.652 683.4 and 3.507.3 11. 50% of the population will be in urban areas (Census of India.2 shows this increase in the urban areas.8 12 12 13 14 16 21 22 25 30 35 39 Urban 25.238 318.234.088.660.093.283 298. Population.443.3 18 19.396.757 223.249 274.454 226. Table 3.873 25.934 78. The changes in the 46 .156 360.580 361. However.354.213 278.2 12 13.297 62. The issue of concern here is the low male: female ratio.167 33. 2001).168 439.090 439. Earlier the population was predominantly in the rural areas.
Population Policies and Development:
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age structure shall be used to explain the concept of population momentum and its effect in India.
Chart 3.3 – Population by age and sex for 2000 Source – U.S. Census Bureau (IDB)
Chart 3.4 – Population by age and sex for 2025 Source – U.S. Census Bureau (IDB)
Population Policies and Development:
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Chart 3.5 – Population by age and sex for 2050 Source – U.S. Census Bureau (IDB) As was mentioned earlier religion, culture and tradition play an important role in India. Several decisions are based on religious beliefs and they guide human behavior in the Indian society (Heehs, 2002, Robinson, 2004). Table 3.3 shows the composition of the population on the basis of religion. Religions : (Excluding J & K) Population Percentage Hindus 687,646,721 82.00% Muslims 101,596,057 12.12% Christians 19,640,284 2.34% Sikhs 16,259,744 1.94% Buddhists 6,387,500 0.76% Jains 3,352,706 0.40% Other Religions & Persuasions 3,269,355 0.39% Religion Not Stated 415,569 0.05% Total : 838,567,936 100.00% Table 3.3 – Distribution by religion for 2001 Source: 1991 Census of India Another important feature is the change in percentage and absolute number of those under the poverty line. Table 3.4 shows the changing percentage and number of people under the poverty line as given by the planning commission of India in 1995. It
Population Policies and Development:
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can be observed that though the head count percentage has dropped in the rural and urban areas from 54.9 % in 1973-74 to 36.0 % in 1993-94, the corresponding drop in absolute numbers is almost negligible. The impact of income on fertility has been often debated (as seen in chapter 2). Map 3.5 shows the interstate differences in gross domestic product. India seems to be case in point for the original mooters of population policies who expounded that population growth is a hindrance to economic development. Inspite of much effort in development planning, the absolute number of her poor remains undiminished. Year Rural Rural No. of Percentage persons 197374 197778 1983 198788 199394 Table 3.4 – Change in number and percentage (rural and urban) of people below the poverty line Source – Planning Commission of India (lakhs) 2613 2642 2520 2319 2440 of Persons 56.4 53.1 45.7 39.1 37.3 Urban Urban No. of Percentage persons (lakhs) 600 646 709 752 763 of Persons 49.0 45.2 40.8 38.2 32.4 Combined Combined No. of Percentage persons 3213 3289 3229 3070 3204 of persons 54.9 51.3 44.5 38.9 36.0
Population Policies and Development:
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Map 3.5 – Per Capita state domestic product Source – National Commission on Population The question of female literacy is considered by the ICPD Plan of Action as central to determining female autonomy. Here too, wide interstate differences are
6 shows these differences. Map 3.6 shows the impact of female education on infant mortality and fertility.6 – Female literacy Source – National Commission on Population 51 . Map 3. Chart 3.Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India observed and noted below.
52 . Rajasthan and Orissa will account for the bulk of growth. It can be seen that the large north Indian states of Bihar.Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India Chart 3. Uttar Pradesh.6 – Women’s education .Impact on Fertility and Infant Mortality Source – National Commission on Population Chart 3.7 shows the estimated population growth between 1996 and 2016 in different states. Madhya Pradesh.
interstate distribution.National Population Commission 3. maps and tables give a visual explanation of the spatial and temporal characteristics of India’s population. its development and specifically population planning and India’s demographic profile. However. that would make this document bulky without reason. Several other aspects such as crude death rate. distribution by religion and finally upon the poor. etc could have been included here.Conclusion The above charts. literacy.Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India Chart 3.5 . infant mortality. this study shall now proceed to examine some 53 . The focus of the analysis shall be on the features mentioned above – rural: urban distribution. Having gained an insight into the nature of India’s administrative and political systems.7 – Projected growth between 1996 and 2016 according to states Source .
the New Population Policy and its suitability or otherwise. 54 .Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India of the chief reasons associated with high fertility in India.
(Furedi. but belief in the need to stabilize the population has remained central. 1997).Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India Chapter 4 – Analysis of India’s Population Policy 4. Furedi (1997) has aptly described the motives for government policies on population stating that. ‘Governmental support for population policies is based on the fact that in one sense there are always too many people relative to the amount of revenues it has at its disposal. This 55 . Indian policymakers and development planners have sought to slow down and arrest population growth.1 – Introduction This chapter shall carry out an analysis of India’s Population Policy in the aforesaid background. In the face of this debate. 1997. India’s political and administrative set-up. The questions . past policies and spatial and temporal characteristics provide a clue as to the ways forward for its population policy.’ The theoretical underpinnings of the policies may have changed over time. blocks out the fundamental agreement between the two camps that population control is essential for development (Furedi. environmental degradation and unrest? still remain contested. The relationship between Population growth and development remains unestablished. p. resource scarcity.Does slowing down of population growth leads to economic growth? Is population growth an obstacle to growth? Does uncontrolled population growth lead to poverty. A point to be noted here is that the controversy between direct and indirect means of fertility control.50). The search for a rational and humane solution to the population problem lies at the heart of population policies and politics.
It should be noted here that the reasons for high fertility given below are all contested by different authors.2 – Factors responsible for high Fertility Reasons for high fertility in India will be examined in this section. It will look at key features of the New Population Policy. Issues arising out of implementation shall be discussed. Blake (1972) explains that in a general sense.Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India chapter shall examine the reasons for high fertility in India. They are interlinked and work to reinforce each other. lack of discursive space prohibits giving a deeper insight into the different relations between each specific reason and its impact on high fertility. Emerging matters will be analyzed. socio-cultural and religious. 4. However. 56 . The nature of these reasons vary from being economic. He assigns the difference between costs and utilities which differ across societies as the determining factor in decisions of individual couples as to the number of their children. the institutional structure of every society define and control what it is that individual couples get out of having children – the rewards or utilities for having a family – and how much couples must sacrifice to have them – the costs.
1 .High Infant Mortality One of the reasons for high birth rate is the high infant mortality rate. Dharmalinga (1994) opines that though old age security has played a role in determining fertility.2. 1972).2. Aarsen. Nutritional deficiency and lack of immunization are pinned down as the reasons of high infant mortality (World Bank. Children provide security to parents in old age (Davis. As an insurance to have atleast some children surviving parents have more children (World Bank. 2004)). Misra. 1985. Furthermore. World Bank. Thus. this proposition is not accepted by all. Roy and Retheford. children working as laborers from early ages and thereby contributing to family income and high fertility rates (Mamdani. 2003. Mohanty. al. 4. 1972. children have meant more hands to work on the land.) 57 . However. 1993. 1985.Population Policies and Development: 4. 1985. Mamdani. When probability of child survival is low. Satia et. the poor have come to realize that not only their sons cannot be depended on because attitudes of their sons have changed but also because it is most likely that their sons will also live in abject poverty.Economic Reasons A Case Study of India Empirical studies have drawn links between rural settings. parents may not be motivated by the small family norm. 1955. 2005). social and economic changes have resulted in sons not always supporting their parents.2 .
2.7 Life expectancy at birth (years) 67. (2002).4 and 3.Availability and Knowledge of Family Planning Methods 58 .Demographic Indicators Source.2 Infant deaths per 1. Table 4.1 . (This can also be observed from charts 3. India’s population will continue to grow as more and more people who were born earlier now enter into the reproductive age group.2 5 Births per 1.7 Annual rate of growth (percent) 1.Population Momentum A Case Study of India The concept of population momentum resulting in continued population growth even after a fall in total fertility rate has been explained by several authors such as Sen and Iyer. Demographic Indicators 200 2025 17 5 1.8 10 2. Visaria.U.3 . (1985). Census (IDB) 4.5 in chapter 3) Further increasing life expectancy also adds to the growing population as more people live longer. This drop is significant. (2002) and W.000 live birth 40 Total fertility rate (per woman) 2. However.B.2 77.1 shows certain important demographic indicators for India.2.9 in 2001. 3.4 .9 Table 4.Population Policies and Development: 4.2 1. India’s fertility rate has fallen from almost 6 in 1950 to 2.000 population 24 Deaths per 1.S.000 population 7 Rate of natural increase (percent) 1.3.
2 – Unmet need for Family Planning Methods Source – National Commission on Population The above two charts show that though effective couple protection rate has risen in the country from around 10 % in 1970 to almost 50% in 1998.1 . However.Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India Chart 4. unmet need 59 .Effective Couple Protection rate and Birth Rate Source – National Commission on Population Chart 4.
young wives are motivated to have offsprings early as to rise in status in the family.2.8% is for permanent methods (Singh. 2005.1% of which 8. 2004). marriage is viewed as a religious and moral obligation. Bhattacharya.Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India for contraception is still existent. 1985.B. Mazumdar. Total unmet needs for contraception are approximately 16. Aspalter.Socio-Cultural and Religious Reasons Several authors have examined the relation between fertility patterns and sociocultural factors. leads to consequences which are conducive to abundant reproduction. The economic cost of childrearing is lowered.3% is for reversible means and 7. Illiteracy and poverty characteristics are also linked to fertility rates. 1980. Generally. Verma and Roy. (Caldwell. Mukherjee.5 . child care does not impinge as much on the parents time. fertility differentials by religion are strong (Mistry. a more traditional society such as India is associated with high fertility. 4. 1999. Fertility among Muslims as well as growth rates are much higher 60 . 2006 ) In India. 2002. especially in the four northern states of high population growth and high fertility. grooms are not required to be financially independent and brides are generally in the late teens or early twenties thus increasing ultimate fertility. W. Davis (1955) is of the opinion that subordination and incorporation of the nuclear family by wider kinship groups which is common in agrarian and underdeveloped societies. McQuillan 2004). 2002.
and beliefs about religious duties and salvations account for this. Misra.islamonline.com/cgi-bin/news_service/spot_full_story. Another marked difference is the choice of contraception. (Adlakha. A man has a responsibility to ensure the well being of his wife and too many births in a short time affects the health of the wife negatively therefore temporary contraception can be used to ensure the wife’s wellbeing d. Prolific behavior (producing more children) is considered to be a recommended (mandub) act.indiatimes. Muslims prefer the use of spacing and temporary methods17.. Strong son preference is more dominant among Hindus. permanent contraception in the face of disease is acceptable. However. not doing it does not call for punishment in this life or on the day of judgment as it is not undesirable or forbidden (makruh or haram) 61 . 4. from The Times of India is about a man dieing upon hearing that he had borne a bay girl. Sikhs and Christians) and the lowest use (28%) is found among the Muslims.Status of Female 16 http://timesofindia. birth and death rituals. property inheritance dowry. 1997). A number of economic. 17 http://www. Further.This article dated 30th August 2006.org/islam_contraception_abortion_in_SacredChoices. Permanent contraception (sterilization) is prohibited in Islam as it is synonymous to castration which is prohibited by Allah. Son preference has been associated with sex selective abortions and even female infanticide16 (Vlassoff.6 . Temporary contraception is acceptable as azl is permissible c. Buddhists. Research was based on the above websites and discussions with friends of the Islamic faith. Bhagat and Praharaj. social. 2002.religiousconsultation. b. Child sex ratios show a large difference between Hindus and Muslims.2. a. Roy and Retheford.cms . A. C. Widespread son preference is evident in Indian society.asp?service_id=833 Research done on Islamic Law on family Planning by this author revealed the following position of Islam on Family Planning and Contraception.com/articleshow/1939982. including financial support. old age security.Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India than as compared to Hindus and especially other minority groups.htm http://www. prestige and power. 2004). e. and religious reasons. family lineage. 1991. In the use of contraceptives a higher prevalence rates (43%) is observed in the minority groups of (Jains. $ articles relating to bias against women were reported on the same day.
Gender stratification appears to influence the relative say of the husband’s say whether or not contraception should be used (Oppenheim. indicative form of planning as dictated by neo-liberalism and adopted n the 9th five year plan commencing from 1997 is also evident in the document. 4. control over income. 4. 2002. availability of easy transport and communication facilities all go towards determining female status (Bhattacharya.3 .Key Features of the New Population Policy Indian population policies in the past as well as the current one have been largely influenced by the dominant world paradigm.3. Furthermore. The principal themes of the ICPD Plan of Action can be seen in the NPP.Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India The extent of female individuality. this study shall now examine the key features of the NPP 2000. Female empowerment and Reproductive rights form the cornerstones of the policy. 2002). Visaria and Ramachandran. Having explored some of the different reasons which account for high fertility in India. decision making and bargaining power in the family. Klasen. the new liberal. The sex based abortions mentioned earlier are telling as to the bias against females in the Indian society. labor force participation.Objective and aims 62 . educational level. 2000). 2006.1 .
the NPP continues to set an overarching target. Inspite of past tragedies experienced in target oriented policies. health care infrastructure. through vigorous implementation of inter-sectoral operational strategies. regulation and contraception with a wide basket of choices • promote the small family norm to achieve replacement levels of TFR From a reading of the above. reduce infant mortality rate to below 30 per 1000.Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India The NPP states its objective as follows: ‘The immediate objective of the NPP 2000 is to address the unmet needs for contraception. Though explicit targets are not mentioned. and to provide integrated service delivery for basic and reproductive and child health care. make school education upto age 14 free and compulsory. at a level consistent with the requirements of sustainable economic growth. the long 63 . social development and environmental protection. it becomes obvious that the focus continues to be on fertility reduction. The long-term objective is to achieve a stable population by 2045.’ It lays down the themes which are central to its understanding. and services for fertility. The medium term objective is to bring the TFR to replacement levels by 2010. promote delayed age of marriage for girls achieve universal access to information/counseling. These come in the form of aims within the policy document and can be stated as follows • • • • • to address the unmet need for basic and reproductive and child health services. and health personnel.
high infant mortality. Though Appendix I to the NPP contains operational strategies for the above stated Action Plan they are of little importance as the different states are not bound to follow them. policies in some states are going down that path (Baxi.3. States conjure their own policies either based on the NPP or independent from it. the policy is riddled as it states the aim of attaining replacement fertility level by 2010 and a stable population by 2045. Already. Unmet needs for contraception 3.Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India term target setting is telling. The state policies can be tempted to set targets and nothing will be learnt from the past experiences. 2002).Reasons for high fertility as recognized by the NPP and strategies The NPP recognizes the following as reasons for high fertility in India 1. However. Early age of marriage of girls The earlier analysis showed that the reasons recognized by the NPP are not the only reasons for high fertility. The policy emanates from the central government and sub policies are set at the state level. High wanted fertility due to high infant mortality 4. poverty and economic concerns of old persons are noted implicitly elsewhere within the policy. Quadeer (2002) finds that thought the preamble to the NPP says it is target free. 4.2 . 64 . Population Momentum 2.
Child Health and Survival 5. Empowering women for Improved Health and Nutrition 4. Collaboration with and commitments from Non-Government organizations and Private Sector 9. Adolescents d. Urban slums b. Diverse Health Care Providers 8. Contraceptive Technology and Research on Reproductive and Child health 11. women’s empowerment. Tribal communities. Underserved Populations a. Education and Communication On a precursory glance the strategies adopted by the policy give a holistic picture. decentralization. reproductive heath. Providing for the Older Population 12.Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India For attaining its stated objectives. Meeting the Unmet Needs for Family Welfare Services 6. Information. 65 . Mainstreaming Indian Systems of Medicine and Homeopathy 10. Increased participation of men in planned parenthood 7. collaboration with NGOs and meeting unmeet contraceptive demand all lead back to the stated aim of population stabilization. Convergence of Service Delivery at Village Levels 3. the NPP lays down 12 strategic themes 1. old age security. Issues of child health. hill area populations and displaced and migrant populations c. Decentralisated Planning and Programme Implementation 2.
this is symptomatic of the chances that the policy is a façade for the world audience while the situation on the ground continues unchanged or worsens. late marriage. and safe abortions as well as safe deliveries are incorporated in the policy document. It provides an opportunity for local level participation which often leads to empowerment at the local level. Often times 66 . ‘in the new millennia. one does not really know about the scope for supplementing the central allocations for population stabilization. However.Themes adopted for fertility control in the New Population Policy Some of the central themes and the logic behind them will be examined in this section. 1985). Criticisms to the policy from different factions are also outlined. Visaria (2002) finds that all the common prescriptions to promote the use of spacing methods. Decentralization is a positive aspect of this policy as it provides a less potentially sensitive route for governments would be interventions seeking change in fertility through community pressures and local governments (World Bank.Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India In the Conclusion the policy states. higher female literacy and better status of women. Furthermore. nations are being judged by the well-being of their people…’ showing its concern more with how it is judged by other nations than a primary concern for its own people.3.3 . When state finances are already overstretched. 4. it potentially is a tool for neglecting responsibility.
The influence of four dimensions of family planning effort on contraceptive use are assessed: mass media exposure (i. Oedorongo. health insurance for those who get sterilizes after the second child. The analysis strongly suggests that mass media messages have a powerful effect on modern contraceptive use (influencing women’s motivation to limit fertility and increase their knowledge abut the availability of supplies). Therefore. Cohen (2000) using micro-level data attempts to link socioeconomic characteristics of women accepting contraception with various aspects of family planning programmes in a country in subSaharan Africa. 2002). However. Singh. Donaldson (2002) points out that inclusion of measures such as incentives for poor women who marry after the age of 18. Khemami and Shah. 2005). Results indicated that all four efforts contributed to the use of contraceptives. From a policy perspective.Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India decentralisation of implementation without adequate discretionary decision making powers or financial devolution occur which lead to inefficiency and worsen situations. Verma and Roy (2004) examine the barriers to and opportunities for informed choice and categorize the 67 . and cash incentives for female children (to reduce female infanticide) has promoted the question as to resurgence of the target based approach (Donaldson. provision of contraceptives is the most direct form of intervention. improving the accessibility of contraceptive services. promoting family planning measures through print and radio messages). and improving quality of services.e. it continues to warrant continuous study. Ahmad. increasing contraceptive choice. 2000. 2003. Decentralisation is often times linked with corruption and elite capture at local level (Fisman and Gatti. though their relative influence varied substantially across different segments of the population.
lack of adequate manpower. insufficient in service training were some of the problems in implementation. The media can play a determining role in raising the use of contraception. for the benefit of the users and not coercive. However. In the formulation and implementation of population policies. inefficient logistics and supply mechanisms. space. These may collectively be termed reproductive rights. However. In the state of Maharashtra they found. too. international dialogue on population policy has generally failed to address adequately the rights and 68 . This along with service delivery can be powerful tool for reducing fertility levels. women are entitled to dignity.Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India factors to include a range of methods. inadequacy of counselors’ knowledge. Every effort needs to be made to ensure that service provision is of good quality. India’s past policies provide a learning ground for this. and access to competent health care. access to methods and access to information about the methods. lack of and poor quality of supplies. The advent of the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo prompted the international community to focus on the role of women's human rights in the context of population policy. Coercion and target setting have resulted in callousness and backlash from the society. and meeting the unmet needs is a vital and direct way of stabilizing population. unhygienic equipment. It can be used to effectively initiate and sustain behavior change required to enhance contraceptive use. Therefore the scope of service provision is good. both on national and local levels. They consider the growth of the media in India as a powerful vehicle for social change. lack of cleanliness. and reproductive rights are human rights. poor attendance of staff. infrastructure. autonomy.
Bernstein (2005) observes that differentials in the exercise of rights to sexual and reproductive health based on income and residence are among the 18 From the authors previous study in India Law 69 . However. enforce laws that ensure women's rights. for instance. have had to move over and make place for (dis)incentive regimes in law. Article 44 of the Constitution has mandated the formation of a Uniform Civil Code which would guarantee all women the same rights across different religions with respect to marriage. The deprioritized concerns of the health and safety of laboring women or of their participation in political power. countries must modify restrictive national laws. (Pine. To make population policies fully supportive of women's rights. 1994). These laws though enacted with the altruistic aims of empowerment of women have assumed distorted natures and are serving effectively as population control strategies with an onus on women. maintenance and other family matters. and reassess policies of non-ratification of international treaties that bear on women and reproductive rights. the Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques Act. divorce. The burden rests inordinately on women. In India. R.Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India needs of individual women. in particular the impoverished to whom distributive justice could make a positive difference. the past sixty years has still not seen the formation of such a code and women have varied and unequal rights in different religions in India18. Sarkar and Ramanathan (2002) have questioned different laws meant to empower women but having a paradoxical effect such as the Maternity Benefit Act. Furthermore. the Child Marriage Restraint Act. are not conducive or supportive of women’s reproductive and hum rights. This shows that laws in India. revealing a disjunction between the original purpose of legislation and the import of its altered text. though on paper appear to conform to international conventions. The pragmatism of population control has permitted the reprioritizing of many of law’s concerns..
This author would like to make a point on this. More than anything these rights need to be restored.What the New Population Policy is lacking? 70 . where education is not available due to financial constraints and where childhood is not an option. The issues of reproductive and sexual rights which stem from human rights have assumed a central role in population debated since the Cairo conference. in such situations it the human rights of the future child that are being violated. where children starve. sleep in the streets. However what is generally absent from the human rights dialogue is concern for human rights of the yet-to-be born child/ren. work till they can no more. Poor and rural populations are least likely to give birth under safe conditions. Human rights and reproductive right emphasize the rights of women and the rights of couples. to translate their preferences to delay or avoid pregnancies into safe and effective action.Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India most pronounced of any regularly measured health-related development indicators. Where parents are poor and unable to raise their children in an environment suitable to the child’s development. and more susceptible to sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted or transactional sex. more likely to give birth at very early and late ages when risks are higher. 4.4 . This has almost been given a negative connotation by the concept popularly known as responsible parenthood.
Demographics in examined in chapter 3 show that population stabilization in the different states is progressing at different paces.4. Patterns of use of contraceptives reveal that female sterilization is the predominant method of contraception. These issues will now be investigated briefly.Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India The study of the different concerns and matters involved have shown an interlinkage of different issues. The focus of the policies has remained almost exclusively on females. or in public health terms.Focus on females – need to involve males The past ghosts of policies on men and the horrors of forced sterilizations in 1970’s seem not to leave Indian population policy. Dr.1 . the epidemiological basis of this understanding. The NPP misses out on these issues. 1994). Policy after policy. Since that time. the focus has turned to women and they are the ones with the onus of managing fertility Furthermore. religion plays an important role in determining fertility outcomes. Furthermore. Mohan Rao (1997) attempts through his discussion on the issue of quinaerine sterilization to throw light on the web of factors which congeal into a certain kind of intervention into women's lives and question the scientific. Involvement of men in awareness of population issues as well shifting of some of the onus for family 71 . inspite of huge investments. An inherent problem is found within the administrative and political set up. 4. This has caused certain strains in the urban areas. the government policy has exclusively targeted women. growing population has resulted in increased rural to urban migration. the programme fails to meet women’s needs for family planning (Correa. Also.
Madhya Pradesh. 1999). In the present case. 4. cultural and historical factors. It appears that different states are on different stages of the fertility transition (Mistry. and hence immediate objectives. especially ethnicity. 2003). the aspirations of groups. The National 72 . decentralization has its own set of flaws. if not the ultimate goals. Population stabilization in India depends largely on population stabilization in the four states of Bihar. even when the objectives are the same.2 . a case has often been made for region or state specific policies and some state governments have recently announced population policies. Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh (known in Indian demographic circles as the BIMARU states . religion and caste. Besides. strategies appropriate for one group may not be so for another. However. may differ.Regional disparities A Population policy is generally conceived at the national level. It was observed in chapter 3 that large differences occur in the different states. in a large country like India with conspicuous spatial variations.Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India planning is an urgent need of the day if women’s empowerment movements are to have any visible effect. But there are other dimensions of diversity.4. Comprehensives state policies within the National framework maybe the best option. While a national policy for a country as large as India may provide problems of managing.BIMARU also means ill in Hindi) (Mohanty. the state policies are working almost independently of the national framework. On account of social.
1999). 73 . A strong need of information. meeting the needs of a religious group is often debated as it is loaded politically. religion plays a significant role in India.3 . education and communication program is felt (Mukherjee. However.Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India Commission on Population could have an important role as co-coordinator and regulator of state efforts. Recognition of religious differentials in a policy document is presumably considered politically incorrect. there are reservations about specific methods. refers to a system of beliefs. Religion prescribes a code of life.4. attitudes and practices which individuals share in groups. the contraceptive needs of Muslims could also be met to a larger extent. Religion as a factor does not find place in the NPP 2000 document. If the basket of choice was widened as promised in the NPP. and through this orientation towards life and death. 2002. An important issue that has emerged out of different studies the high unmet need for contraception among Muslims. the prevalence of reversible methods is not lower among Muslims compared to the general population. The relatively high fertility among Muslims has been a touchy issue for some time. Bhagat and Praharaj 2002. . particularly sterilization. religion is supposed to affect one's fertility behavior. The Indian demographic Census had the Census of Britain as its genesis. 4. As observed earlier. Mistry.Religious Groups Religion has a significant relevance in the demographic study of socio-economic groups. Possibly.
and Bangladesh have a lower fertility than Hindus. its Indian counterpart contained divisions on the basis of religions. Sex selective abortions have taken a deep root in 1990’s. accept that religion plays a role in determining fertility. It is recognized to be a social problem linked to technological change. This is considered by some as a propagation of the famous ‘divide and rule’ strategy of Imperialist Britain. Muslims in the more developed states of Kerela and Karnataka show a lower fertility rate than their counter parts in the less developed states of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. Iyer (2002) argues that religious differentials in fertility could be the result of discrimination of access to healthcare and family planning services between different religious groups. Studies on Hindu-Muslim differentials ignore socio-economic. while economic divisions formed the central themes in Britain.country as well as between countries. political and historical contexts and focus on the character of Muslim religion. Underlying communal tension has been a feature in India since the partition of the country on religious grounds. they are of the view that socio-economic factors have a more significant impact. Mistry (1999) also argues in the same vein for overall socio-economic development of Muslims. Muslim countries of Iran. All this goes to prove that not only religion but other socio-economic factors play a dominant role in determining fertility. 74 .Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India However. This tendency is largely linked to the Hindus. Wide variations exist inter. Tribal and other minor communities are also addressed in the policy. Though Bhagat and Praharj (2005). Efforts are made in the direction of reducing its incurrence.
and to what social effect. ‘ …this was always and still is. ‘lesser’ levels of governance. education. the panchayti raj institutions (decentralized bodies at the local level).Inherent Problem with the Political set – up leading to implementation problems This issue deals with the political and administrative set up as well as role of the state policies. and in what manner. meeting the needs of different religions is part of article 14. Aspalter assigns India’s relative backward level of social development to not only social and economic factors but highlights the impact of the political system. No enforceable obligations whatsoever attach to the top echelon policy as well as administrative actors. the key issue that needs to be addressed in Indian 75 . are to be held responsible. meeting the needs of the Muslim community through information. making services which are suitable to their needs available and overall socioeconomic upliftment should be taken up.4. remain subject to depletion of meager resources for failure to implement the targets (Baxi. Though India is a declared secular nation (as observed in chapter 3). this author questions the reluctance to address the specific needs on the basis of religion. He states that. communication. for non-performance or malfeascence. Nowhere does the NPP state who.4 . in politics and administration.Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India Therefore. 2001). 4. In contrast. the issue of sex selective abortion by the Hindu community also needs to be addressed. Therefore. Furthermore.
Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India politics – the duality between central policy formulation at national government level and the often absent or limited support of state policymakers and administrators. 2002. education and communication strategy has not received 76 . Verma and Roy’s (2004) examination of the population policy in the state of Maharashtra shows that the NPP which is the broader guiding light. 59)’. Financial and man/womanpower capabilities of the governmental institutions. p. A dismal picture is painted of rural women as being illiterate. He describes the distribution of powers between the state and central government as being too complex and essentially problematic. is target free. getting married early. the policy at the state level is heavily focused on targets and furthermore on incentives and disincentives. who often fight religious and political battles. having limited access to media and having very little decision making power. (Aspalter. Their findings showed that neither any mechanisms nor any specific structures existed to ensure expanded and informed choice the information. or read a universal script. The presence of 1000’s of political parties and no single ideology running the country further aggravates this situation. Emphasis on education and literacy is inadequate and the focus is on raising the age of marriage for women. The focus remains almost exclusively on permanent methods and spacing and temporary methods do not receive their due attention. Singh. as well as their morals are insufficient to complete the task of changing the reproductive habit of a highly illiterate population which for the most part is living in the countryside does not speak a universal language.
This trend of urbanization will change the labour supply and demand for certain infrastructure and services (Bhagat. Accelerated rapid urbanization and managing the megacities that result will strain the resources. However. motivation or other infrastructural support.5 . it was noted that population growth has resulted in increased and unprecedented proliferation makeshift migration of solution to the urban which a complex areas.3 billion by 2020 and the urban population set to grow by 85 million over the next 10 years. Thus high population 77 . Thus. to way. housing This in has a problem.4. half of which is urban and around 70 per cent of that belongs to the low-income segment. old cities do not have to be overpopulated before new cities come up.Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India sufficient budget. 2002). An ASSOCHAM paper on real estate development has estimated that the demand for dwelling units will grow to 90 million by 2020. the holistic picture that the NPP aims at does not seem to be working at the state level. which would require a minimum investment of $890 billion (Parekh. With the population set to cross 1. led to the a is slums.Urbanization and other Management Problems In chapter 3. 2006). industry etc. 4. Anas and Xiong (2005) show how the development of cities on the fringes of old cities without overpopulation and the consequent problems occurring in the old cities can be brought about. are. These new cities can develop without planning efforts through indigenous growth and creation of specialized centers of servicing. India witnessing an ever-increasing pressure on urban infrastructure and services. Studies reveal that currently there exists a housing shortage of approximately 20 million units.
proliferation of squatter settlements and slums inadequate basic amenities including potable water. traffic. Kuitunen. 2005.Conclusion This chapter examined the reasons associated with high fertility in India. An insight of the logics of the NPP was gained through an exploration of its key features and themes. large rural to urban migration and inadequate infrastructure in urban areas exert pressures on the environment threatening the health and well being of the residents. schools and the myriad requirements of a population spilling into formerly rural areas. Owens and Sarte. Thus. sanitation and waste disposal (Mohanty.Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India growth. religious. emergent issues of addressing regional disparity. strategic themes of the NPP. water and so on – that cannot be scaled up as quickly as population growth. Furthermore. 2003. Alexandratos. rapid urban growth has caused serious administrative and management difficulties. 2004). sewers. rapid urbanization and inherent problems of the political structure were analysed. Boadi. Urban life requires a complicated set of services – housing. socio cultural and other reasons were explained. roads. Incumbent residents complain that growth leads to more congestion. 4. Economic. 2005. Thereafter an examination of the NPP policy document revealed the chief objectives. Challenges include providing for housing.5 . Inadequate provision of infrastructure and services to meet the growth to meet the need urban populations has resulted in inefficient spatial development of urban centers. 78 . Raheem and Hanninen. religious groups. sewerage.
Thus the objectives of this study were established to understand population and its interlinkages with development. Different nexus between population. However. environment and women’s empowerment were established at different times in the past century. development.Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India Chapter 5 . This is inspite of no established link between population and development. 79 . They continue maintaining their central position due to their importance in determining the well-being of their people and especially for planning efforts of governments. This was to be achieved through a cross framework analysis. Further an understanding of India’s population policies was sought. providing family planning services and educating the masses about its effects have remained the underlying themes running through the fabric of population programmes and policies. The rationales. However.this inspite of population planning efforts spanning over six decades now. curbing the rapid population growth. essentially by maintaining a multi sectoral approach. Chapter 2 examined the different discourses in development and population. The population of the world is estimated to reach 9 billion by 2050. The case of India is especially interesting due to projections of it becoming the most populous nation in the near future .Conclusion and Discussion Population policies have played a central role in development. stabilising it. logics and professed aims of population policies are found to be continually evolving. views that population growth hindering economic growth abounded from the 1950’s. No clear link was found between population growth and development. Discourses in Population have been plentiful.
Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India Chapter 3 set out the background to the case study of India. The Indian Constitution is the guiding light on Indian laws and policies. This proving ineffective. Chapter 4 revealed the chief reasons for high fertility in India. The administrative division of the country into states and union territories was found to have an effect on the way policies were implemented. Finally women’s literacy figures were examined. Vast inter state differences were noted. Strong government involvement with a focus of targets has been a characteristic of Indian family planning efforts. On its basis it was established that people form the central component of India’s development planning. female status. It explored India’s administrative and political set up. Issues emerging out of 80 . The gross domestic output in different states was examined. some of the reasons associated with high fertility were found to be ignored. Qualities of secularity and sovereignty are enshrined in the Constitution. It was found that population stabilisation has been considered central to India’s progress by her development planners. socio cultural reasons. the NPP has shifted to a holistic approach. The study then went on to examine India’s demographic features. Policy archives within the sphere of population planning were dug up to discover setbacks and failures from the past. The objectives and strategies adopted by the NPP were scrutinized. The policy was found to be a holistic one however. high infant mortality and population momentum were some of the reasons that were explored. Age and Sex trends were established. Planning initiatives in India have played a very strong role in determining her policies. Further. Economic reasons. a growing pace of urbanisation was observed.
The issues that come up for discussion from the preceding analysis can be summed up as follows. There remains scope within the policy to include important issues. Meeting the 81 .Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India population growth such as regional disparity and urbanisation are not recognised or addressed. The policy does not take into account differences on religious grounds. There is an urgent need for the onus of family planning to be shared by men if female empowerment movements are to be effective. it lacks focus on important emerging issues. Stress needs to be on the four highly populous states of the north (which lie in the Gangetic plain – the origin of Indian civilization). All in all. Furthermore. though the sexual and reproductive rights of human beings are essential. recognition of the rights of the still to be born children should be made. Issues of implementation have remained largely unresolved. Success will depend on effective implementation. At present the NPP is almost defunct except as an image builder. neglect of responsibility. Female empowerment legislations enacted with altruistic motives need to serve their true purposes and not be hijacked by the aims of population control. though the NPP appears to have laudable motives and well thought out strategic themes. The use of media to raise contraceptive use combined with efficient service delivery (be it by the state or the market. Furthermore. their drive and capacity will play a central role. it can have potentially negative effects of elite capture. The state policies need to be made within the National framework and not independent of it. differences in states could be linked to the political and administrative system. Decentralization though a positive aspect of the NPP. The mechanisms of the state. inefficiency and corruption. or a mix of both to meet different demands) can be a powerful tool for reducing fertility levels.
The policy is clear in what it wants to achieve. Adoption of the neo liberal agenda by the Indian government has also led to a shift in strategy from a largely public sector driven policy to one which is more holistic and driven by different socioeconomic and cultural factors.Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India needs of different religious groups can be done through widening the basket of choice of contraceptives and awareness of idiosyncrasies of different religious groups. The significant growth in population accompanied by huge rural to urban migration and insufficient infrastructure in urban areas has aggravated housing and service delivery in urban areas. This too needs to be addressed. It is the issues of how to stabilise population growth that have plagued their minds. discussed and addressed. 82 . The debate essentially is how? In this situation the alternatives appear many and varied but are seen to be interlinked. The NPP has emerged as a result of the past policies and world paradigm as reflected by the ICPD Plan of Action. The lack of coordination and the essentially complex and problematic distribution of powers and functions between the central and state governments needs urgent rectification. Questions about direct and indirect means of achieving this ultimate goal of population stabilisation at the national level has lead to the ignorance of the fundamental debate about population and its interlinkages to development. Different policies have been experimented through its history. Studies of the Muslim population revealed an overall lower socioeconomic progress. All of these issues need to be recognised. A birds eye view of the situation shows that inspite of debates about the links between population and development Indian development policymakers have considered it central to India’s progress.
What remains vital is commitment to the objectives and implementation of the policy in its true spirit.Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India The NPP like the past policies draws upon different schools of thought and understanding about what will bring the desired results. 83 .
Population Policies and Development: A Case Study of India 84 .
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