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Population Policies and Development:

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

1 2

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 countrys 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.

http://www.rdiland.org/OURWORK/OurWork_India.htmlt

Population Policies and Development:

A Case Study of India

1.2.2 - Research Questions

In doing the above, the following research questions shall be the guiding light.

1. What are the interlinkages between population and development? 2. What are the theoretical underpinnings of the NPP? 3. What are the causes for high fertility in India? 4. Does the NPP address the causes of high fertility in India? 5. Whether and how does the new policy take into account cultural, religious and economic differences within India? 6. What are the plausible effects of the NPP?

1.2.3 Research methods

To achieve the above mentioned objectives, this study shall employ qualitative and quantitative research methods. It shall review secondary qualitative data in the form of policy documents, writings and views expressed by experts in the field. Furthermore, to examine and establish the macro-micro links, it shall use the case study method, where a case study of India will be conducted. Use of descriptive statistics and maps shall be

Population Policies and Development:

A Case Study of India

made to gain a pragmatic grasp of Indias demographics. Thus, review and analysis of secondary data along with descriptive statistics shall form the principal research methods.

1.3 Framework for Policy Analysis

Parsons (1995) states that the analysis of policies has increasingly taken on a multidisciplinary character. The analysis of policy requires an understanding of political science, philosophy, economics, psychology, sociology as well as the historical, legal, anthropological and geographical contexts of public policy. Thus, policy analysis necessarily needs to maintain a multidisciplinary framework approach. Frameworks for policy analysis include analysis of policy, policy monitoring and evaluation and analysis for policy. Analysis of policy include - Policy determination which is concerned with how policy is made, why, when and for whom; Policy content which involves a description of a particular policy and how it developed in relation to other earlier policies, or it may be informed by a theoretical/ value framework which seeks to offer a critique of policy. Policy monitoring and evaluation examine how policies have performed against policy goals and what impact a policy may have had on a given problem. Analysis for policy include Policy advocacy which involves research and arguments which are intended to influence the policy agenda inside and outside government; information for policy which gives feedback into the policy-making activities (Parsons, 1995, Baldock, Manning and Vickerstaff 2003 and Hill, 2005).

Population Policies and Development:

A Case Study of India

This study shall carry a cross framework analysis. It will employ certain aspects of the different kinds of policy analysis. Some of the past policy archives will be dug up, reasons for high fertility in India will be discovered, theoretical underpinnings and key features of the New Population Policy will be examined, the possible impact of the policy will be investigated, inherent contradictions within the policy will be revealed, 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. Thus, macro-micro linkages will be drawn on the basis of a multi-disciplinary framework. Ultimately, conclusions will be drawn and possible future scenarios will be depicted.

1.4 Chapter Outline

Chapter 1 has laid out the context of the study. Chief objectives of the study have been established. Furthermore the research objectives, questions and methods have been specified. A framework for analysis has been drawn up. Chapter 2 shall examine the principal discourses prevalent in the filed. It shall establish the different interlinkages between population and development. Furthermore, changing paradigms and logics behind different population policies will be ascertained. The dominant views on the world stage as expressed through the international conferences on population and development shall be determined. Chapter 3 shall then proceed to set out the background for the case study of India. A brief background, followed by the administrative and political set up will introduce the reader to India. Development Planning and Population Planning in India will be examined to get an understanding of what guides policies in the

Population Policies and Development:

A Case Study of India

country. Past population policies will be outlined in brief. Spatial and temporal features that form Indias demographic profile will be sketched. Chapter 4 shall form the main analytical chapter. Reasons for high fertility in India shall be investigated. Key features of the NPP will be detailed in to provide a full understanding of the setting. Whether and how the NPP fits into Indias aims, policy and development setting and apparent needs according to the reasons uncovered will then be analysed. Finally, chapter 5 shall form the conclusion. Herein, lessons learnt from the different chapters will be noted. The main findings will be specified. Conclusions on the analysis will be drawn. Ultimately possible future policy options will be laid down.

Population Policies and Development:

A Case Study of India

Chapter 2 : Interlinkages between Population and Development

2.1 - Introduction:

Population growth at exponential rates has essentially been a topic of classical economics (Demeny and McNicoll 1998). However over time, it has acquired a variety of different shades. Environmental issues, issues of human rights, political and racial issues and recently issues of female empowerment and social development are seen through the prism of population (Furedi, 1997). 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. Thus, they straddle concerns in economics, ethics, human rights, environment and social development. Arguments as to whether population growth is a problem have raged on, while population policies of myriad natures in different countries have flourished. This chapter shall examine the different dominant themes prevalent linking population and development. It shall study the changing trends in academic and practitioners thought as to their understanding and position on population and development. Furthermore, it shall examine the changing rationales of population policies.

Population Policies and Development: 2.2 - 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. Subsequent authors may have modified and added to these two schools, but they still remain the principal themes running across most writings on population and development.

It was Malthus, an English pastor in the 1800s who first popularized the questions about population growth. His focus was population growth and the carrying capacity of the earth. He said, Population, when unchecked, increases in a geometric ratio; Subsistence increases only in an arithmetic ratio. (Malthus, 1998, p.14) Malthusian doomsday prophesies brought attention of the world and its people on the plausible effects of a growing population. He stated that the power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man. Furthermore, 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. For the Malthusians and Neo-Malthusians population growth is the root cause of poverty, hunger, environmental destruction, disease and social unrest. Further, 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.

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Writers such as Settles (2006) and Ehrlich (2006) are of Malthusian persuasion. 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. He continues by saying that this explosive exponential human growth will stop before such a point is reached. However, the main issue is whether the exponential growth is halted by relatively benign means or by increasing death rates due to starvation, disease, war, famine, infanticide, and environmental degradation. Settles (2006) argument runs along the same lines. He is of the view that population growth is not something which will stabilize itself but needs human effort. 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. It is time to realize that humankind is reaching the diminishing returns phase of human population growth. Furthermore, he comments that, if we do not impose sustainability constraints ourselves, then nature will do so for us. He concludes by saying that Malthus' analysis was not wrong, only his timing.

Boserups (1981, 1990) writings, on the other hand, focus on the interrelation between rapid growth in population and fast technological advancements. She observes that the effect of population increase can be either negative (as focused on by Malthusian theory) or positive. Population increase motivated and often facilitated technological change, and therefore its effects on development were positive. She goes on to stress the beneficial effects of an increasing population on infrastructural investment and technological levels. She is a strong advocate of promoting technological change

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Population Policies and Development:

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irrespective of its effects on population growth. She suggests creation of economic opportunities in rural areas as more important than fertility decline for development. 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.

For Simon (1981) low rates of fertility are a problem because of a tendency to narrow total demand in the market. This is the view of the underconsumptionist economics argument, the logic of which is the more people, the bigger the market, and the more growth. They appear to be mirror-images of the Malthusian viewpoint. He argues that the real problem is when population growth declines too fast. This would result in a fall in investment and a fall in income. 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. This is on the basis of a psychological postulate which says that people will resist a lowering in their standard of living. 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. He stresses the energizing effect of population pressure in inducing new developments and its direct positive influence leading to improved performance of the administrative, political and cultural processes. However, he realizes that the above situation could occur only if certain assumptions were to hold true. If population growth is slow and the consequent decline in living standards is also slow then the positive reaction may not be strong. Kogel and Prskawetx (2001) suggest a model in

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which fertility declines and economic growth accelerates. The driving force is the assumption that parents face a quality quantity trade off. Further, declining infant mortality rates leads to falling precautionary demand for children and to rising human capital accumulation. For that reason, population growth declines and human capital accumulation replaces population growth as the engine of economic growth.

Cain and McNicoll (1988) examine agrarian outcomes in the face of population growth. They are of the view that typical Malthusian and Boserupian views misstate the relations and ignore major determinates of agrarian outcomes. 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. Sheer informational activity, spreading knowledge of alternative systems and behaviour, technological change, minor structural change or radical structural change could be the ways forward.

Neurath (1994) looks at both sides of the argument. He examines the Malthusian and neo- Malthusian writers as well as the advancement of technology and innovation argument. He looks at what the pessimists and optimists have to say. However, he throws in his lot with the pessimists. He ends on a positive note, saying there is still a slight ray of hope as figures show decrease in population growth rates.

Critics and adherents of both schools have been numerous. The perceptions of the effects of rapid population increase on growth have changed over time.

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Furthermore, it has taken on different tones. This study shall now look at the changing perceptions and the development of schools of thought in different subject areas.

2.3 - 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, 1997, Simon, 1981, Johnson, 1995). 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. Several countries, particularly in Asia, actively promoted policies aimed at facilitating fertility reduction and lowering population growth rates. Indeed, by the end of 1969, the governments of about thirty less-developed countries, comprising almost two-thirds of the combined populations of the less-developed regions, had adopted national family planning programmes as integral parts of their development policies (Johnson, 1995). Demeny and McNicoll (1998) state that few would dispute that the size and rate of growth of population have profound effects on human societies, their governance and environment. If the outcomes are distinguished from development that is because development is construed narrowly only in terms of income. Thus, the logic of economic growth has pushed forward population policies.

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The Limits to Growth a report prepared by Meadows et. al. (1972) for The Club of Rome was an important influence in further strengthening the imminent needs of population planning. 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, unless mankind soon changed its ways of rapid growth of population, rapid depletion of resources, and rapid pollution of the environment. The report (through use of computations and other assumptions) came to the conclusion that if mankind kept growing at the then current level (1970s level) of 2 percent, and kept increasing its percapita consumption of irreplaceable goods at the then current rate of 1.5 percent per year, (on the assumed total available supplies), a general breakdown of the system could be expected within a century. 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. However the authors refrained from suggesting recommendations on how to achieve this slowing down. It was a strictly non-political report. They refrained from such ethical issues as who is to be allowed to have children who is not, and who is to produce and sell and who is to receive what materials and what products.

The World Bank conducted a study entitled Population Change and Economic Development in 1985. The study predicted that with luck, sudden famine, war, political or environmental collapse maybe avoided. However continued rapid growth of population in the poorer areas of the globe would mean more people who are poor, hungry, uneducated, lacking basic subsistence, housing and sanitation. Furthermore,

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investment in population quality becomes more difficult. Population growth threatens the precarious balance between natural resources and people. It becomes difficult to manage the adjustments that accompany and promote economic and social change. It talks about the costs of population growth stressing the costs of educating, feeding, housing and providing per person which would not be a wise investment. However, the study acknowledges that moderate rates of population growth can be beneficial as they stimulate demand, encourage technological innovation, reduce investment risks, cause continuous upgradation of the labour force through better education, and increase a countries political, economic and military power. Disadvantages of too scarce a population are also recognized such as failure to benefit from economies of scale in transport, communication, social services and production. Furthermore, 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. The scale of population growth is bigger, large scale migration (as to the Americas in the 1800s) is not possible, large tracts of uncultivated land are not available, human and physical capital are not adequately built up, income is still low and political as well as social institutions are less well established. The study accepts the Boserupian view that population growth itself helps bring technological change. However, 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. Thus, though the study is principally economic in nature, it inadvertently touches upon several social issues such as education, health, pensions, housing and urbanization.

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These and several other writings of the time (Chandrashekhar, S., 1967, Heer, D., 1968, Jayasurya, D.C., 1979, Repetto, R. 1979, Findlay and Findlay, 1987) urged developing countries through their findings to embark on large scale population programmes and adopt demographic targets and goals. They were determinative as to the goals of population policies in different developing countries. However, implementation of the resultant policies provided road blocks. 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. Most policies had adopted punitive measures, incentives and disincentives in their efforts at population control and stabilisation. However, the horrors of inhumane abortions in China and forced sterilizations in India began to surface. These are often told 4 (Neurath, 1994) even till date whenever population debates take place.

These relationships between population and development have been captured by different writers. Blanchet (1991) identifies three different relationships between population and development. Transition theory views industrialisation as a necessary condition for fertility decline. Orthodoxy theory views population growth as a cause of
4

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/htmlContent.jhtml?html=/archive/1998/06/14/wchi14.html, http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2006/mar/06032305.html, http://www.capmag.com/article.asp?ID=507, http://www.thenewamerican.com/tna/2000/12-04-2000/vo16no25_infanticide.htm, http://www.indianchild.com/indira_gandhi.htm http://extras.journalnow.com/againsttheirwill/background/storybody19.html http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/5262748.stm, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compulsory_sterilization#India_.26_China, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi? cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=11648679&dopt=Abstract, Wall Street Journal, 6 August 1999, (Eastern Edition) N.Y., Wall Street Journal, 29 August 2006, (Eastern Edition) N.Y.
Far Eastern Economic Review. Hong Kong: Oct 14, 2004. Vol. 167, Iss. 41

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Population Policies and Development:

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continued underdevelopment and therefore fertility decline must be induced by deliberate state intervention, if not by coercion. Revisionism theory holds that population growth is a neutral phenomenon with respect to economic development, or even beneficial to it. Thus, Population growth is to be encouraged as it provides stimuli to economic growth. However, this position is rarely held concerning developing countries, it is implicit behind most population statements concerning developed countries.

Furedi (1997) examines changes in the relations between population and development as well as the implementation of policies on a historical trajectory. He traces three stages of intellectual representation of this encounter. Initially after the world war, development was promoted as a panacea to the population problem. From the 1960s the relationship was reversed and population control was considered to be the prerequisite for development. Post 1975, the linkage between the two seems to be dissolving. The nexus between population and development is gradually eroding from the minds of the general public and the academics. Eight main views are considered. Table 2.1 provides a summarised explanation of each of these views. Furedi (1997) elucidates other interesting concepts on population such as Competitive fertility - fertility is linked to the considerations of power and rival communities view each other with suspicion, Eugenics the science of improving the human stock by promoting superior people and races over the less suitable ones. Social Darwinism people of the world are different and they exist at different levels of human evolution. Superiority was linked to the power to reproduce. High

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rates of fertility were not only seen as symptoms of racial vitality, but also as essential for the exercise of global power.

Perspective
Developmentalist

Understanding
Population growth as a major obstacle to development, as valuable resources are diverted from productive expenditure to the feeding of a growing population High fertility is cause and not effect of poverty. Poverty, lack of economic resources, low status of women, high mortality rates of children and other factors force people to have large families. Solution lies in changing the status of poor people, through education and reform. Synthesis between traditional Malthusian concern about natural limits and the preoccupation of contemporary environmentalism. Politicized limited resources view. Views people as polluters and population growth as a pathological problem which threatens not only limited resources but also a way of life. In the west it calls for reduced aid to developing countries and immigration control. Post world war two, high fertility, 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. Women and Human Subordination of women, 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. Does not recognize a greater population as a problem as people are looked at as problem solvers. More people mean better technology, economic growth and stimulation. Pro- The most vocal opponents to population policy. Population growth

Natalist is positive and is justified on religious grounds. Table 2.1 The nexus between population and development These can be called the political determinants of population as a problem. It is Furedis (1997) understanding that no real link exists between population and

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development and that they must part ways. However, he opines that it is these political considerations of power, 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, imperialism and coercion population control is packaged in the more acceptable terminology of environmental protection and womens empowerment. Thus, 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.

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. Once globabalization of health care lead to falling mortality rates, some checks would be required to bring about a commensurate change in birth rates. He opines that the demographic theory of the 1950s was a product of the demographic transition itself.

Duden (1992) traces the growth of discourses in population in a post-development light. She examines transition of the term population from being a verbal noun (Duden, 1992, p.147) through statistics to an aggregating device which reduces persons to bloodless entities that can be managed as characterless classes that reproduce, pollute, produce or consume, and for the common good, call for control. She criticises the call for

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birth control from 1950 onwards and especially during the 1970s. 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.

Thus, it appears that the relation between population and development is contested. Economists, human rights activists, developers, environmentalists and feminists have all had their say in this continuing and yet unresolved debate. On the world stage these paradigms have enjoyed the limelight at different times. This study shall now examine the changing logics and perceptions as to the rationale for population planning.

2.4 - Changing Paradigms and Logics of Population Policies and Programmes5

The raison detre behind population policies seems to be continuously shifting. New arguments promoting population stabilisation and control grip the world every decade. The sixties saw leading American officials initiate a crusade for population control. The argument deployed was simple: since population growth was a major obstacle to development, the control of fertility was the obvious solution to the problem. Funds spent on population programmes were considered to be better value for money than investments on development projects. 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. However, these earlier meetings were not gatherings of
5

This section is based on a reading, understanding and adaptation of the writings of Johnson (1995), Correa (1994), Pine, R. (1994), Hewitt and Smyth (2004) and the Programme of Action as adopted by the International Conference on Population and Development.

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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.

It was at Bucharest in 1974 that the World Population Plan of Action was adopted and an attempt made to define, amongst other policy and programme objectives, the goals and targets for reducing high rates of population growth and high levels of fertility. There was a clash of competing ideologies. The question, what came first, population stabilisation or development was in the centre of this battlefield. Family planning was established as a human right. The need to protect the environment, the need to empower women, the need to curb global migration and the need to defend international stability began playing a more central role than economic motives. However, other considerations such as north-south controversy about the distribution of resources overtook the conference and gave it a more political character. Third world countries argued that population problems were not causes but effects of underdevelopment and they called for a New International Order. The final resolution at the Bucharest Conference toned down the one-dimensional emphasis on population programmes. The slogan Development is the best Contraception was coined and widely accepted. PostBucharest, saw an acceptance of a more developmental vocabulary obscuring the singleminded pursuance of the early population programmes. Subsequently, 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. This recasting then attracted the earlier critics of the coercive policies of population control as it promoted the

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improvement in the quality of life and attacked inequalities. Some of the means of implementing the new redistributionist approach to population were raising rural incomes, educating parents, especially women, improving the status of women, reducing infant mortality and the provision of family planning services. However, the final Plan of Action merely suggested countries to consider adopting population policies, within the framework of socio-economic development

Post-Bucharest substantial differences remained in the approaches to population questions. August, 1984 saw the International Conference on Population in Mexico City. The United States threw a bombshell into the proceedings by arguing for market-based solutions to population and threatened to withdraw funding. No real consensus was produced on the question of population, however, the final Resolution called for major efforts to ensure that all couples and individuals can exercise the basic human right to decide freely, responsibly and without coercion, the number and spacing of their children and to have the information, education and means to do so. 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. The nineties saw an explosion of environmental consciousness in the West. However, the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992 did not take as vociferous a position as to the populationenvironment-development nexus as was expected. The UNCED tried and failed to say something definitive about population and its relationship to environment and development

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It was 1994, that saw the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) take place in Cairo. The message was clear as preparations for the ICPD advanced - by acting vigorously and effectively to turn back the tide of population growth and to reduce human fertility, mankind would in a very real sense be taking back or reasserting its duty and its ability to control its own destiny (Johnson, 1995, p.27). Different themes such as population and human rights; population and development; population, resources and the environment; population and urbanisation; population and peace all played a part in the process for building the consensus for action. However, it was population and women which took centre stage as far as the main theme of the Cairo conference went. A womens right to bear a child, one of the fundamental human rights, increasingly came to be linked to a womens right not to bear a child. She was to be control of her own body. Politically articulate women particularly those associated with feminist groupings were becoming especially aware that the population debate was taking place over their heads. Men, not women, were determining population policies, working out family planning targets and quotas, devising rewards and penalties for good or bad performance and yet, it was womens bodies which were, as it were, the delivery mechanisms of all population and family planning programmes. 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. 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. Furthermore, a womens alliance asked the International Womens Health

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Population Policies and Development:

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Coalition (IWHC), a US-based organisation to be the secretariat. They prepared the declaration which was to go on the table in Cairo. The Declaration asserted that sexual and reproductive health and rights were fundamental to all people. It spelt out a set of operating principles and programme strategies to ensure that these rights were exercised. The Brasilia Charter (a document which emerged as a result of the National Encounter on Women and Development - Our Rights in Cairo 94) brought together representatives from over 70 different womens organisations, experts and institutions specialising in development and demographics. It pressed for womens reproductive rights to be recognised. Equally significant, they campaigned for womens access to education, training and jobs, especially in fields where gender discrimination persisted, and in specialised areas. The Womens Environment and Development Organisation (another dominant womens organisation participating in the ICPD) main priorities were to ensure womens participation, addressing the rights and needs of women, and recognizing the central role of women in every issue related to population and development. Subsequent to all the preparations, the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) was held in Cairo, Egypt, from 5-13 September 1994. Delegations from 179 States took part in negotiations to finalise a Programme for Action in population and development for the next twenty years. 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. 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. The programme advocates making

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Population Policies and Development:

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family planning services available universally by 2015. Thus, the programme implies that policies and programmes should not focus only on population numbers and growth rates. It argues instead for an integrated approach linking population action to development, including human development, womens empowerment, gender equality and the needs of young people. It shifts the basis of population thinking away from a primarily macro focus to one grounded in the rights of people (Sen and Iyer, 2002). This is the theme which now runs in the minds of those working within the stream of population and development.

(Table 2.2 provides a condensed understanding of these changing rationales over time. Resolutions and focus of each conference along with the year and location of the conference are shown). Conference Year Prior to Bucharest 1954, Conference, Belgrade, ) (Rome, 1964 Resolution/Focus Rapid Population growth is an obstacle to economic growth; therefore, population control and stabilisation are essential for development. Establishment of population World Conference on 1974 Population, Bucharest policies and programmes is in the most Best developing countries. Redistributionist +

Development

Contraception, 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, make widely available contraception and information about family planning services. Establishment of the population environment development nexus. Control and stabilise population

International Conference Population, City United Conference on Mexico

1984

Nations 1992 on

26

Population Policies and Development: Environment Janeiro International Conference Population Development, 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. Population and women central theme criticism of the top down population policies and demographic targets which had resulted in insensitive and coercive programmes. Therefore, empowering women, expanding choice and making family planning services

Development, Rio de

available to all. Table 2.2 Changing Rationales for population policies and programmes 2.5 - Conclusion

The rationales, logics and professed aims of population policies have continually evolved. However, stabilising the population, curbing its rapid growth, 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. Having examined the principal schools of thought on population growth, the perceptions on interlinkages between population and development and having traced changing rationales for population policies on the world stage, this research shall now proceed to conduct a case study. In the aforesaid background, an analysis of the New Population Policy of India 2000 shall be carried out.

Chapter 3 India: A Case Study

27

Population Policies and Development: 3.1 - 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, this chapter and the next together, shall proceed with conducting a case study of India. The precise aim is to gain an understanding of the situation in India and how public policy has tried to shape demographics. Furthermore, answers are also sought to whether the changing policies are adequate and address the principal reasons for high fertility. But before that, it is essential to get an understanding of the country itself. Outlined below is a brief introduction to India, its geographical location, its administrative and political set up. Details about Indias development planning methods shall follow. Indias efforts in population planning shall then be laid out. Spatial and temporal characteristics of Indias population shall be examined.

3.2 - Facts about India

28

Population Policies and Development: 3.2.1 - Introduction and Geographical Location6

A Case Study of India

India, officially the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It is the seventhlargest country by geographical area, the second most populous country, and the largest liberal democracy in the world. Located on a vast tongue shaped promontory that juts southwards from the continent of Asia, India is well marked off from the rest of Asia by mountains and seas. The country is bounded by the snow-capped Himalayan mountain ranges in the north, and tapering southwards, by the Bay of Bengal on the south-east and the Arabian Sea on the south-west. It shares borders with Pakistan to the west, Nepal, the People's Republic of China and Bhutan to the north-east, and Bangladesh and Myanmar to the east. With an area of 1.2 million square miles (about the third of the area of the United States excluding Alaska), India stretches about 2,000 miles from Kashmir in the north to Cape Comorin in the south and about 1,850 miles from Assam in the east to Gujarat in the west. The country lies entirely in the Northern hemisphere and extends between latitudes 8 and 37 and longitudes 68 and 97. (Map 3.1 shows Indias location on the Atlas.)

Home to the Indus Valley Civilization, a centre of important trade routes and vast empires, India has long played a major role in human history. India has also been one of the cradles of Human Civilizations. Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism all have
6

This section is based on information collated from the following websites and books Websites - http://www.mapsofindia.com/maps/india/geological.htm, http://www.aneki.com/facts/India.html, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/India, Books Chandrashekhar, S (1967), Cassen, (1978), Dyson, Cassen and Visaria (2004)

29

Population Policies and Development:

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their origins in India, while Islam and Christianity enjoy a strong cultural heritage having arrived through trade even before foreign invasions. The Indus Valley civilization, one of the oldest in the world, dates back at least 5,000 years. The Gangetic plain has constituted Indias demographic heartland and continues to be so. Aryan tribes from the northwest invaded about 1500 B.C.; their merger with the earlier inhabitants created the classical Indian culture. Arab incursions started in the 8th century and Turkish in the 12th. These were followed by European traders, beginning in the late 15th century. By the 19th century, Britain had assumed political control of virtually all Indian lands. Nonviolent resistance to British colonialism under Mohandas Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru led to independence in 1947. The subcontinent was divided into the secular state of India and the smaller Muslim state of Pakistan. A third war between the two countries in 1971 resulted in East Pakistan becoming the separate nation of Bangladesh. Fundamental concerns in India include the ongoing dispute with Pakistan over Kashmir, massive overpopulation, environmental degradation, extensive poverty, and ethnic and religious strife, all this despite impressive gains in economic investment and output. Indias geography, topography, history and culture have all played their part in shaping her population.

3.2.2 - Administrative and Political Set-up7

This section is based upon the authors own previous study in Indian Law, Basu, D. (2001) and the official website of the Government of India http://goidirectory.nic.in/,

30

Population Policies and Development:

A Case Study of India

Upon gaining independence in 1947, India established herself as a SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC8 and resolved to secure to all its citizens: JUSTICE, social, economic and political; LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship; EQUALITY of status and of opportunity; and to promote among them all FRATERNITY thereby assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation. These ideals of socialism, secularism and freedom in thought, action and deed have been a bedrock of Indias policy decisions. India is a Union of twenty-eight States and seven centrally administered Union Territories. The States are Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal and West Bengal. The centrally administered territories are Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Daman & Diu, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Lakshadweep, Delhi and Pondicherry. Delhi has its own legislature and head of the government, but it is still not considered as a full-fledged state. Map 3.2 is a political map of India showing the different States and Union territories. Thus, diversity of the states is maintained through their independent governments, but unity of the country is maintained through the central/union government.

From Preamble to the Indian Constitution

31

Population Policies and Development:

A Case Study of India

Map 3.2 Political Map of India Source - http://www.mapsofindia.com/

32

Population Policies and Development:

A Case Study of India

India has a parliamentary form of government based on universal adult franchise. The executive authority is responsible to the elected representatives of the people in Parliament for all its decisions and actions. Sovereignty rests ultimately with the people.The President is the head of the executive branch of the government. However, it is the Prime minister along with the cabinet of ministers who form the actual executive and are responsible to the people. India has a bicameral legislature. The Rajya Sabha (the Council of States) and the Lok Sabha (the Peoples Assembly) form the two houses of parliament. 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. From this it can be inferred that the policy decisions would be bound by Benthams (1768) utilitarian principal of greatest good of the greatest number.

The Constitution of India represents the highest law of the country. Article 250 of the Indian Constitution lays down the subject matter of laws to be made by the central and the state governments. Issues of national importance fall into the Union List whereas matters of local import fall in the State list. However, the issue of population control and family planning falls in the Concurrent List. This means both the Centre and the State governments can make laws on this subject. The Concurrent List includes all those areas which are of importance in social and economic planning (includes other areas relating to crime, family affairs etc.). Furthermore, Article 243G establishes the power of the State government to devolve power upon the Panchayats (decentralized bodies of local governance). Thus, family planning and population control can be further decentralized

33

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.

3.2.3 Development Planning in India10 India launched its development initiative upon gaining independence in 1947. A National Planning process was embarked upon. Democratic Socialism formed the guiding principle then. The public sector was visualized as having a crucial role in guiding and directing the economy towards growth, modernization, self-reliance and social justice. A strategy of five year development plans was adopted with fifteen year rolling plans. Annual plans were to provide the operationalisation of the five year plans. 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, increasing production and offering opportunities to all for employment in the service of the community. The Planning Commission was charged with the responsibility of making assessment of all resources of the country, augmenting deficient resources, formulating plans for the most effective and balanced utilization of resources and determining priorities. The first Five-year Plan was launched in 1951 and two subsequent five-year plans were formulated till 1965, when there was a break because of the Indo-Pakistan Conflict. Two successive years of drought, devaluation of the currency,

From the authors previous studies in Indian Law and Basu, D. (2001). This section is based on a reading of the following - http://planningcommission.nic.in/, Kabra (1998), Yadav (2002)
10

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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, the fourth Five-year plan was started in 1969. 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. The Eighth Plan was finally launched in 1992 after the initiation of structural adjustment policies. 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. In June 1991, a confluence of growing external debt, high fiscal deficits, and dwindling foreign exchange reserves led India to the IMF and World Bank11. The banks structural adjustment loan has changed the way India is governed and the nature of its policies. With the launch of the Ninth Plan in 1997, the emphasis on the public sector has become less pronounced and the current thinking on planning in the country, in general, is that it should increasingly be of an indicative nature. The effects of this on population policy will be examined in brief in chapter 4.

11

http://www.worldbank.org/oed/trade/docs/appendix_d7.pdf

35

Population Policies and Development: 3.3 - Population Planning in India 3.3.1 A Brief History12

A Case Study of India

Discussion about instituting a population policy started in India prior to attainment of independence. A sub committee was established by the National Planning Committee in 1938 by the Interim Government. Subsequently, India was the first country to adopt Population planning after independence as part of its development efforts13 (Bawah; Akweongo; Simmons; Phillips, 1999). Way back in 1940, it was resolved by the National Planning Committee that in the interest of social economy, family happiness and national planning, family planning and a limitation of children are essential and the State should adopt a policy to encourage these14. 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. 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. In 1966, a separate Department of Family Planning was carved out in the Ministry of Health in order to strengthen the population control programme. A modified National Population Policy was announced in 1977 which viewed the policy as an integral part of education, health, maternal and child health etc. and stressed the voluntary nature of the family planning programme. The name of the programme
12

This section is based on information gathered from the official website of the population commission http://populationcommission.nic.in/hp.htm and readings from Chandrashekhar (1967), Donaldson (2002) and Dyson, Cassen and Visaria (2004), Aspalter (2002) 13 http://populationcommission.nic.in/hp.htm, http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/worldbalance/campaigns.html, 14 http://populationcommission.nic.in/hp.htm,

36

Population Policies and Development:

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was changed from Family Planning to Family Welfare (retained till date). The Government appointed a Working Group on Population Policy. Its report advocated a Net Reproduction Rate of one (NRR=1) by the year 2000, which meant a Birth rate of 21 and a Death Rate of 9 per thousand. This implied a population growth rate of 1.2 per cent per year. This was considered as the threshold level for population stabilization. The recommendation of the Working Group still remains the guiding number of the population programme. In 1983, 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. The 1986 version of India's Population Policy viewed family planning in a broader perspective of child survival, women's status and employment, literacy and antipoverty efforts. The policy called for increasing age at marriage, postponing the birth of the first child, increasing birth intervals and concentrating on child survival. In 1991, 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 Plan emphasized the need to improve the quality of services and to devise special area specific strategies. In 1993, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare appointed an expert Group under the Chairmanship of Dr. M.S. Swaminathan to draw up a Draft Population Policy for consideration by Parliament. The report of this Group was submitted to the Ministry in 1994. The Report related population growth to the basic needs, democratic

37

Population Policies and Development:

A Case Study of India

decentralization, gender issues and eco-system. These features were incorporated in the Statement on National Population Policy prepared by the Ministry in 1996-1997. This finally resulted in the New Population Policy which was launched in 2000. (Table 3.1 explains the milestones in Indias 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. The focus was the nexus between population growth, environmental sustainability and development An expert group under the leadership of Dr. Swaminathan asked to prepare a draft of a new population policy. Report was prepared and helped produce broad political consensus The 50th Independence anniversary saw then Prime Minister Mr. 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.

1993 1994 1997 1999

Table 3.1 Milestones in Population policy experiments

3.3.2 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), Visaria, P. (2002), Correa (1994), Neurath (1994),

38

Population Policies and Development:

A Case Study of India

2). Whether India has been a pioneer, follower or the policies have been a result of interaction is unclear. Furthermore, what the above account of Indias experiments in Population planning (from official records of the government of India) misses are the finer nuances of the different policies adopted. Apart from the global factors, implementation in the country gave rise to problems and resulted in changes. The principal issues that have come up through experience shall now be investigated. The first policies were a bit hesitant on the use of contraceptives. The rhythm method, abstinence and other traditional methods were encouraged. The family planning programme was first and foremost embraced by men, keen to contribute to Indias development with a personal and patriotic fervor by adopting a small family norm. Educated young men, post-independence, were highly motivated by leaders who believed that Indias progress lay in curtailing its population size. It was in 1966 that the extension approach took shape. This marked a shift from the earlier clinic based approach. Slippages and frustrations in the achievement of the goals then led to special drives and an added emphasize on sterilization. Furthermore, incentives and disincentives became the language of population programmes. Programmes were characterized by target setting and ground staff was expected to fulfill certain quotas. People lost their individuality and turned into numbers who could be sterilized. Emergency was instituted in the country by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Her son Sanjay Gandhi decided to have an iron hand in matters of fertility, family planning and population control. Horror stories of large scale forced sterilization camps have plagued population planning efforts in India since (Furedi, 1997, Neurath, 1994, Correa, 1994, Donaldson, 2002). This (amidst other high-handedness during the Emergency) ultimately led to the fall of the

39

Population Policies and Development:

A Case Study of India

government from power. The subsequent change in nomenclature from family planning to family welfare was deliberate. After the fall of the earlier government due to the exposure of its coercive practices in the family planning stream, future governments had to be careful of the soil beneath their feet. Massive human rights violations during vasectomies had marked the term family planning with a scandalous and negative connotation. After 25 years, family planning became family welfare, but it was like old wine in new bottle. The only difference being that women became the prime targets for Indias population control programme facilitated by the merging of maternal and child health with family welfare. Women who went for post-natal check ups or abortions, were arm-twisted into accepting methods like IUDs, pills or sterilization, depending on the number of children and surviving sons, by health workers, whose career and promotions depended on the number of cases they could mobilize for family planning. Target setting and fulfilling quotas the other bane of Indian population programmes continued in fashion. Thus womens right to birth control got hijacked by the states agenda of population control, now euphemistically called family welfare.

The ICPD to which India is a signatory, has once again steered the logics of Population Planning in India. The New Population Policy launched in 2000 though not a mere replication of the ICPD Programme of Action, adopts the human rights language and the focus is on reproductive rights and women. Prior to a look at this policy document, a brief understanding of Indias demography and reasons for high fertility is called for.

40

Population Policies and Development: 3.4 Indias Population

A Case Study of India

3.4.1 - Spatial and Temporal Characteristics of Indias Population

Indias population is roughly 1,102,530,000 and increasing. Every minute 29 children are born in India. After China, India is the most populous country in the world. It is estimated that soon India will be the most populous country in the world. India accounts for 2.4% of the worlds landmass but 16% of the worlds population. In the past Indias population grew slowly. It reached 211 million by the first decennial census in 1871. The next decades saw an alternative pattern of growth relatively fast during one decade, slow or negative during the next largely due to the huge famines in the 1870s and 1890s and the influenza epidemic of 1918. Despite these disasters the population reached approximately 251 million by 1921. In each subsequent intercensal decade the scale of the population addition rose, from about 28 million during 1921-31 to 180 million during 1991-2001. It has trebled since independence and seems inexorable headed towards a total of atleast 1.5 billion by the middle of the twenty-first century (Census of India, 2001, National Population Commission, Dyson, Cassen and Visaria, 2004). Chart 3.1 shows population growth in India from 1901 till 2001. It also shows the rate of growth. It can be seen that growth started increasing gradually after the major dip in 1921. It peaked somewhere in 1980 and since then a downward trend is beginning to be observed.

41

Population Policies and Development:

A Case Study of India

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. Chart 3.2 shows the interstate differences in population growth. The northern states of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh are experiencing a much higher

42

Population Policies and Development:

A Case Study of India

growth rate than the southern states of Kerela, Tamil Nadu and Goa. Reasons for the lower growth rate in these states have been analyzed by different demographers. Advanced stages of development, 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, 2001, Rahnam and Rao, 2004, Dyson, Cassen and Visaria, 2004). Map 3.3 shows the population density in the different states. Crude Birth Rate in the different states is shown in map 3.4. In both these the interstate diversities are evident.

43

Population Policies and Development:

A Case Study of India

Map 3.3 - Population density map showing interstate differences Source - http://www.mapsofindia.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

Population Policies and Development:

A Case Study of India

The urban and rural spread of population has been changing. Earlier the population was predominantly in the rural areas. However, 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, 50% of the population will be in urban areas (Census of India, 2001). Table 3.2 shows this increase in the urban areas. Associated impacts shall be subsequently examined in chapter 4.

Population, urban population, rural population and degree of urbanization, India 1901-2001 Census Population Total Year 1901 1911 1921 1931 1941 1951 1961 1971 1981 1991 2001 238,396,327 252,093,390 251,321,213 278,977,238 318,660,580 361,088,090 439,234,771 548,159,652 683,329,097 846,387,888 1,027,015,247 Degree of urbanization Percent urban Urban-rural ratio 10.8 10.3 11.2 12 13.9 17.3 18 19.9 23.3 25.7 27.8 12 12 13 14 16 21 22 25 30 35 39

Urban 25,851,873 25,941,633 28,086,167 33,455,989 44,153,297 62,443,934 78,936,603 109,113,977 159,462,547 217,551,812 285,354,954

Rural 212,544,454 226,151,757 223,235,046 245,521,249 274,507,283 298,644,156 360,298,168 439,045,675 523,866,550 628,836,076 741,660,293

Table 3.2 Rural: Urban Population and Distribution Source: 2001 Census of India

Charts 3.3, 3.4 and 3.5 show composition of the Indian population on the basis of age and sex in 2000, 2025 and 2050 respectively. The issue of concern here is the low male: female ratio. Reasons for this shall be examined in chapter 4. The changes in the

46

Population Policies and Development:

A Case Study of India

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)

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Population Policies and Development:

A Case Study of India

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

48

Population Policies and Development:

A Case Study of India

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

49

Population Policies and Development:

A Case Study of India

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

50

Population Policies and Development:

A Case Study of India

observed and noted below. Map 3.6 shows these differences. Chart 3.6 shows the impact of female education on infant mortality and fertility.

Map 3.6 Female literacy Source National Commission on Population

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Population Policies and Development:

A Case Study of India

Chart 3.6 Womens 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. It can be seen that the large north Indian states of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Orissa will account for the bulk of growth.

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Population Policies and Development:

A Case Study of India

Chart 3.7 Projected growth between 1996 and 2016 according to states Source - National Population Commission 3.5 - Conclusion The above charts, maps and tables give a visual explanation of the spatial and temporal characteristics of Indias population. Several other aspects such as crude death rate, infant mortality, literacy, etc could have been included here. However, that would make this document bulky without reason. The focus of the analysis shall be on the features mentioned above rural: urban distribution, interstate distribution, distribution by religion and finally upon the poor. Having gained an insight into the nature of Indias administrative and political systems, its development and specifically population planning and Indias demographic profile, this study shall now proceed to examine some

53

Population Policies and Development:

A Case Study of India

of the chief reasons associated with high fertility in India, the New Population Policy and its suitability or otherwise.

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Population Policies and Development:

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Chapter 4 Analysis of Indias Population Policy

4.1 Introduction

This chapter shall carry out an analysis of Indias Population Policy in the aforesaid background. The relationship between Population growth and development remains unestablished. The questions - Does slowing down of population growth leads to economic growth? Is population growth an obstacle to growth? Does uncontrolled population growth lead to poverty, resource scarcity, environmental degradation and unrest? still remain contested. In the face of this debate, Indian policymakers and development planners have sought to slow down and arrest population growth. 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. (Furedi, 1997, p.50). The theoretical underpinnings of the policies may have changed over time, but belief in the need to stabilize the population has remained central. The search for a rational and humane solution to the population problem lies at the heart of population policies and politics. A point to be noted here is that the controversy between direct and indirect means of fertility control, blocks out the fundamental agreement between the two camps that population control is essential for development (Furedi, 1997). Indias political and administrative set-up, past policies and spatial and temporal characteristics provide a clue as to the ways forward for its population policy. This

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Population Policies and Development:

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chapter shall examine the reasons for high fertility in India. It will look at key features of the New Population Policy. Issues arising out of implementation shall be discussed. Emerging matters will be analyzed.

4.2 Factors responsible for high Fertility

Reasons for high fertility in India will be examined in this section. The nature of these reasons vary from being economic, socio-cultural and religious. They are interlinked and work to reinforce each other. Blake (1972) explains that in a general sense, 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. 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. It should be noted here that the reasons for high fertility given below are all contested by different authors. However, lack of discursive space prohibits giving a deeper insight into the different relations between each specific reason and its impact on high fertility.

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Population Policies and Development: 4.2.1 - Economic Reasons

A Case Study of India

Empirical studies have drawn links between rural settings, children working as laborers from early ages and thereby contributing to family income and high fertility rates (Mamdani, 1972). Thus, children have meant more hands to work on the land. Children provide security to parents in old age (Davis, 1955, Mamdani, 1972, World Bank, 1985, Satia et. al. 1993, Misra, Roy and Retheford, 2004)). However, this proposition is not accepted by all. Dharmalinga (1994) opines that though old age security has played a role in determining fertility, social and economic changes have resulted in sons not always supporting their parents. Furthermore, 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.

4.2.2 - High Infant Mortality

One of the reasons for high birth rate is the high infant mortality rate. When probability of child survival is low, parents may not be motivated by the small family norm. As an insurance to have atleast some children surviving parents have more children (World Bank, 1985, Aarsen, 2005). Nutritional deficiency and lack of immunization are pinned down as the reasons of high infant mortality (World Bank, 1985, Mohanty, 2003.)

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Population Policies and Development: 4.2.3 - 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, (2002), Visaria, (2002) and W.B. (1985). Indias fertility rate has fallen from almost 6 in 1950 to 2.9 in 2001. This drop is significant. However, Indias population will continue to grow as more and more people who were born earlier now enter into the reproductive age group. (This can also be observed from charts 3.3, 3.4 and 3.5 in chapter 3) Further increasing life expectancy also adds to the growing population as more people live longer. Table 4.1 shows certain important demographic indicators for India.

Demographic Indicators

200

2025 17 5 1.2 1.2 77.8 10 2.2

5 Births per 1,000 population 24 Deaths per 1,000 population 7 Rate of natural increase (percent) 1.7 Annual rate of growth (percent) 1.7 Life expectancy at birth (years) 67.2 Infant deaths per 1,000 live birth 40 Total fertility rate (per woman) 2.9 Table 4.1 - Demographic Indicators Source- U.S. Census (IDB)

4.2.4 - Availability and Knowledge of Family Planning Methods

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Population Policies and Development:

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Chart 4.1 - Effective Couple Protection rate and Birth Rate Source National Commission on Population

Chart 4.2 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. However, unmet need 59

Population Policies and Development:

A Case Study of India

for contraception is still existent, especially in the four northern states of high population growth and high fertility. Total unmet needs for contraception are approximately 16.1% of which 8.3% is for reversible means and 7.8% is for permanent methods (Singh, Verma and Roy, 2004).

4.2.5 - Socio-Cultural and Religious Reasons

Several authors have examined the relation between fertility patterns and sociocultural factors. Generally, a more traditional society such as India is associated with high fertility. 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, leads to consequences which are conducive to abundant reproduction. The economic cost of childrearing is lowered, child care does not impinge as much on the parents time, grooms are not required to be financially independent and brides are generally in the late teens or early twenties thus increasing ultimate fertility, marriage is viewed as a religious and moral obligation, young wives are motivated to have offsprings early as to rise in status in the family. Illiteracy and poverty characteristics are also linked to fertility rates. (Caldwell, 1980, W.B. 1985, Aspalter, 2002, Mazumdar, 2005, Bhattacharya, 2006 )

In India, fertility differentials by religion are strong (Mistry, 1999, Mukherjee, 2002, McQuillan 2004). Fertility among Muslims as well as growth rates are much higher

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A Case Study of India

than as compared to Hindus and especially other minority groups. In the use of contraceptives a higher prevalence rates (43%) is observed in the minority groups of (Jains, Buddhists, Sikhs and Christians) and the lowest use (28%) is found among the Muslims. (Adlakha, A., 1997). Widespread son preference is evident in Indian society. Child sex ratios show a large difference between Hindus and Muslims. Strong son preference is more dominant among Hindus. A number of economic, social, and religious reasons, including financial support, old age security, property inheritance dowry, family lineage, prestige and power, birth and death rituals, and beliefs about religious duties and salvations account for this. Son preference has been associated with sex selective abortions and even female infanticide16 (Vlassoff, C. 1991, Bhagat and Praharaj, 2002, Misra, Roy and Retheford, 2004). Another marked difference is the choice of contraception. Muslims prefer the use of spacing and temporary methods17.

4.2.6 - Status of Female

16

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1939982.cms - This article dated 30th August 2006, from The Times of India is about a man dieing upon hearing that he had borne a bay girl. $ articles relating to bias against women were reported on the same day.
17

http://www.religiousconsultation.org/islam_contraception_abortion_in_SacredChoices.htm

http://www.islamonline.com/cgi-bin/news_service/spot_full_story.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. Research was based on the above websites and discussions with friends of the Islamic faith.
a. Permanent contraception (sterilization) is prohibited in Islam as it is synonymous to castration which is prohibited by Allah. b. Temporary contraception is acceptable as azl is permissible c. 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 wifes wellbeing d. Further, permanent contraception in the face of disease is acceptable. e. Prolific behavior (producing more children) is considered to be a recommended (mandub) act. 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)

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The extent of female individuality, labor force participation, educational level, decision making and bargaining power in the family, control over income, availability of easy transport and communication facilities all go towards determining female status (Bhattacharya, 2006, Visaria and Ramachandran, 2002, Klasen, 2002). Gender stratification appears to influence the relative say of the husbands say whether or not contraception should be used (Oppenheim, 2000). The sex based abortions mentioned earlier are telling as to the bias against females in the Indian society. Having explored some of the different reasons which account for high fertility in India, this study shall now examine the key features of the NPP 2000.

4.3 - 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. The principal themes of the ICPD Plan of Action can be seen in the NPP. Female empowerment and Reproductive rights form the cornerstones of the policy. Furthermore, the new liberal, 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.

4.3.1 - Objective and aims

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Population Policies and Development:

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The NPP states its objective as follows:

The immediate objective of the NPP 2000 is to address the unmet needs for contraception, health care infrastructure, and health personnel, and to provide integrated service delivery for basic and reproductive and child health care. The medium term objective is to bring the TFR to replacement levels by 2010, through vigorous implementation of inter-sectoral operational strategies. The long-term objective is to achieve a stable population by 2045, at a level consistent with the requirements of sustainable economic growth, social development and environmental protection.

It lays down the themes which are central to its understanding. 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, make school education upto age 14 free and compulsory, reduce infant mortality rate to below 30 per 1000, promote delayed age of marriage for girls achieve universal access to information/counseling, and services for fertility, 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, it becomes obvious that the focus continues to be on fertility reduction. Inspite of past tragedies experienced in target oriented policies, the NPP continues to set an overarching target. Though explicit targets are not mentioned, the long

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A Case Study of India

term target setting is telling. Quadeer (2002) finds that thought the preamble to the NPP says it is target free, the policy is riddled as it states the aim of attaining replacement fertility level by 2010 and a stable population by 2045. The policy emanates from the central government and sub policies are set at the state level. The state policies can be tempted to set targets and nothing will be learnt from the past experiences. Already, policies in some states are going down that path (Baxi, 2002). 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. States conjure their own policies either based on the NPP or independent from it.

4.3.2 - Reasons for high fertility as recognized by the NPP and strategies

The NPP recognizes the following as reasons for high fertility in India 1. Population Momentum 2. Unmet needs for contraception 3. High wanted fertility due to high infant mortality 4. 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. However, high infant mortality, poverty and economic concerns of old persons are noted implicitly elsewhere within the policy.

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For attaining its stated objectives, the NPP lays down 12 strategic themes 1. Decentralisated Planning and Programme Implementation 2. Convergence of Service Delivery at Village Levels 3. Empowering women for Improved Health and Nutrition 4. Child Health and Survival 5. Meeting the Unmet Needs for Family Welfare Services 6. Underserved Populations a. Urban slums b. Tribal communities, hill area populations and displaced and migrant populations c. Adolescents d. Increased participation of men in planned parenthood 7. Diverse Health Care Providers 8. Collaboration with and commitments from Non-Government organizations and Private Sector 9. Mainstreaming Indian Systems of Medicine and Homeopathy 10. Contraceptive Technology and Research on Reproductive and Child health 11. Providing for the Older Population 12. Information, Education and Communication On a precursory glance the strategies adopted by the policy give a holistic picture. Issues of child health, old age security, reproductive heath, decentralization, womens empowerment, collaboration with NGOs and meeting unmeet contraceptive demand all lead back to the stated aim of population stabilization.

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In the Conclusion the policy states, in the new millennia, 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. Furthermore, this is symptomatic of the chances that the policy is a faade for the world audience while the situation on the ground continues unchanged or worsens.

4.3.3 - 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. 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, late marriage, higher female literacy and better status of women, and safe abortions as well as safe deliveries are incorporated in the policy document. When state finances are already overstretched, one does not really know about the scope for supplementing the central allocations for population stabilization.

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, 1985). It provides an opportunity for local level participation which often leads to empowerment at the local level. However, it potentially is a tool for neglecting responsibility. Often times

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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. Decentralisation is often times linked with corruption and elite capture at local level (Fisman and Gatti, 2000, Oedorongo, 2003, Ahmad, Khemami and Shah, 2005).

From a policy perspective, provision of contraceptives is the most direct form of intervention. Therefore, it continues to warrant continuous study. 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. The influence of four dimensions of family planning effort on contraceptive use are assessed: mass media exposure (i.e. promoting family planning measures through print and radio messages), increasing contraceptive choice, improving the accessibility of contraceptive services, and improving quality of services. Results indicated that all four efforts contributed to the use of contraceptives, though their relative influence varied substantially across different segments of the population. The analysis strongly suggests that mass media messages have a powerful effect on modern contraceptive use (influencing womens motivation to limit fertility and increase their knowledge abut the availability of supplies). However, Donaldson (2002) points out that inclusion of measures such as incentives for poor women who marry after the age of 18, health insurance for those who get sterilizes after the second child, and cash incentives for female children (to reduce female infanticide) has promoted the question as to resurgence of the target based approach (Donaldson, 2002). Singh, Verma and Roy (2004) examine the barriers to and opportunities for informed choice and categorize the

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A Case Study of India

factors to include a range of methods, access to methods and access to information about the methods. They consider the growth of the media in India as a powerful vehicle for social change. In the state of Maharashtra they found, lack of adequate manpower, poor attendance of staff, lack of cleanliness, space, infrastructure, unhygienic equipment, lack of and poor quality of supplies, inadequacy of counselors knowledge, inefficient logistics and supply mechanisms, insufficient in service training were some of the problems in implementation. It can be used to effectively initiate and sustain behavior change required to enhance contraceptive use. Therefore the scope of service provision is good, and meeting the unmet needs is a vital and direct way of stabilizing population. However, Indias past policies provide a learning ground for this. Coercion and target setting have resulted in callousness and backlash from the society. Every effort needs to be made to ensure that service provision is of good quality, for the benefit of the users and not coercive. The media can play a determining role in raising the use of contraception. This along with service delivery can be powerful tool for reducing fertility levels.

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. In the formulation and implementation of population policies, both on national and local levels, women are entitled to dignity, autonomy, and access to competent health care. These may collectively be termed reproductive rights, and reproductive rights are human rights, too. However, international dialogue on population policy has generally failed to address adequately the rights and

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needs of individual women. To make population policies fully supportive of women's rights, countries must modify restrictive national laws, enforce laws that ensure women's rights, and reassess policies of non-ratification of international treaties that bear on women and reproductive rights. (Pine, R., 1994). In India, Sarkar and Ramanathan (2002) have questioned different laws meant to empower women but having a paradoxical effect such as the Maternity Benefit Act, the Child Marriage Restraint Act, the Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques Act. 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. The pragmatism of population control has permitted the reprioritizing of many of laws concerns. The burden rests inordinately on women, in particular the impoverished to whom distributive justice could make a positive difference. The deprioritized concerns of the health and safety of laboring women or of their participation in political power, for instance, have had to move over and make place for (dis)incentive regimes in law, revealing a disjunction between the original purpose of legislation and the import of its altered text. Furthermore, 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, divorce, maintenance and other family matters. However, 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. This shows that laws in India, though on paper appear to conform to international conventions, are not conducive or supportive of womens reproductive and hum rights. 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

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Population Policies and Development:

A Case Study of India

most pronounced of any regularly measured health-related development indicators. Poor and rural populations are least likely to give birth under safe conditions, to translate their preferences to delay or avoid pregnancies into safe and effective action, more likely to give birth at very early and late ages when risks are higher, and more susceptible to sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted or transactional sex.

The issues of reproductive and sexual rights which stem from human rights have assumed a central role in population debated since the Cairo conference. This author would like to make a point on this. Human rights and reproductive right emphasize the rights of women and the rights of couples. However what is generally absent from the human rights dialogue is concern for human rights of the yet-to-be born child/ren. Where parents are poor and unable to raise their children in an environment suitable to the childs development, where children starve, sleep in the streets, work till they can no more, where education is not available due to financial constraints and where childhood is not an option, in such situations it the human rights of the future child that are being violated. More than anything these rights need to be restored. This has almost been given a negative connotation by the concept popularly known as responsible parenthood.

4.4 - What the New Population Policy is lacking?

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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. Demographics in examined in chapter 3 show that population stabilization in the different states is progressing at different paces. Furthermore, religion plays an important role in determining fertility outcomes. Also, growing population has resulted in increased rural to urban migration. This has caused certain strains in the urban areas. The NPP misses out on these issues. An inherent problem is found within the administrative and political set up. These issues will now be investigated briefly.

4.4.1 - Focus on females need to involve males

The past ghosts of policies on men and the horrors of forced sterilizations in 1970s seem not to leave Indian population policy. Since that time, the government policy has exclusively targeted women. Policy after policy, the focus has turned to women and they are the ones with the onus of managing fertility Furthermore, inspite of huge investments, the programme fails to meet womens needs for family planning (Correa, 1994). Dr. 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, or in public health terms, the epidemiological basis of this understanding. Patterns of use of contraceptives reveal that female sterilization is the predominant method of contraception. Involvement of men in awareness of population issues as well shifting of some of the onus for family

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planning is an urgent need of the day if womens empowerment movements are to have any visible effect.

4.4.2 - Regional disparities

A Population policy is generally conceived at the national level. However, in a large country like India with conspicuous spatial variations, a case has often been made for region or state specific policies and some state governments have recently announced population policies. But there are other dimensions of diversity, especially ethnicity, religion and caste. On account of social, cultural and historical factors, the aspirations of groups, and hence immediate objectives, may differ, if not the ultimate goals. Besides, strategies appropriate for one group may not be so for another, even when the objectives are the same. Population stabilization in India depends largely on population stabilization in the four states of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh (known in Indian demographic circles as the BIMARU states - BIMARU also means ill in Hindi) (Mohanty, 2003). It was observed in chapter 3 that large differences occur in the different states. It appears that different states are on different stages of the fertility transition (Mistry, 1999). While a national policy for a country as large as India may provide problems of managing, decentralization has its own set of flaws. Comprehensives state policies within the National framework maybe the best option. In the present case, the state policies are working almost independently of the national framework. The National

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Commission on Population could have an important role as co-coordinator and regulator of state efforts.

4.4.3 - Religious Groups

Religion has a significant relevance in the demographic study of socio-economic groups. Religion prescribes a code of life, refers to a system of beliefs, attitudes and practices which individuals share in groups, and through this orientation towards life and death, religion is supposed to affect one's fertility behavior. As observed earlier, religion plays a significant role in India. Religion as a factor does not find place in the NPP 2000 document. Recognition of religious differentials in a policy document is presumably considered politically incorrect. The relatively high fertility among Muslims has been a touchy issue for some time. An important issue that has emerged out of different studies the high unmet need for contraception among Muslims. Possibly, there are reservations about specific methods, particularly sterilization; the prevalence of reversible methods is not lower among Muslims compared to the general population. If the basket of choice was widened as promised in the NPP, the contraceptive needs of Muslims could also be met to a larger extent. . A strong need of information, education and communication program is felt (Mukherjee, 2002, Bhagat and Praharaj 2002, Mistry, 1999).

However, meeting the needs of a religious group is often debated as it is loaded politically. The Indian demographic Census had the Census of Britain as its genesis.

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However, while economic divisions formed the central themes in Britain, its Indian counterpart contained divisions on the basis of religions. This is considered by some as a propagation of the famous divide and rule strategy of Imperialist Britain. Underlying communal tension has been a feature in India since the partition of the country on religious grounds. Though Bhagat and Praharj (2005), accept that religion plays a role in determining fertility; they are of the view that socio-economic factors have a more significant impact. Studies on Hindu-Muslim differentials ignore socio-economic, political and historical contexts and focus on the character of Muslim religion. Wide variations exist inter- country as well as between countries. 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. Muslim countries of Iran, and Bangladesh have a lower fertility than Hindus. All this goes to prove that not only religion but other socio-economic factors play a dominant role in determining fertility. 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. Mistry (1999) also argues in the same vein for overall socio-economic development of Muslims.

Sex selective abortions have taken a deep root in 1990s. It is recognized to be a social problem linked to technological change. This tendency is largely linked to the Hindus. Efforts are made in the direction of reducing its incurrence. Tribal and other minor communities are also addressed in the policy.

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Therefore, this author questions the reluctance to address the specific needs on the basis of religion. Though India is a declared secular nation (as observed in chapter 3), meeting the needs of different religions is part of article 14. Therefore, meeting the needs of the Muslim community through information, communication, education, making services which are suitable to their needs available and overall socioeconomic upliftment should be taken up. Furthermore, the issue of sex selective abortion by the Hindu community also needs to be addressed.

4.4.4 - 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. Nowhere does the NPP state who, and in what manner, and to what social effect, are to be held responsible, in politics and administration, for non-performance or malfeascence. No enforceable obligations whatsoever attach to the top echelon policy as well as administrative actors. In contrast, lesser levels of governance, the panchayti raj institutions (decentralized bodies at the local level), remain subject to depletion of meager resources for failure to implement the targets (Baxi, 2001).

Aspalter assigns Indias relative backward level of social development to not only social and economic factors but highlights the impact of the political system. He states that, this was always and still is, the key issue that needs to be addressed in Indian 75

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. (Aspalter, 2002, p. 59). He describes the distribution of powers between the state and central government as being too complex and essentially problematic. Financial and man/womanpower capabilities of the governmental institutions, 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, or read a universal script, who often fight religious and political battles. The presence of 1000s of political parties and no single ideology running the country further aggravates this situation.

Singh, Verma and Roys (2004) examination of the population policy in the state of Maharashtra shows that the NPP which is the broader guiding light, is target free, the policy at the state level is heavily focused on targets and furthermore on incentives and disincentives. The focus remains almost exclusively on permanent methods and spacing and temporary methods do not receive their due attention. Emphasis on education and literacy is inadequate and the focus is on raising the age of marriage for women. A dismal picture is painted of rural women as being illiterate, getting married early, having limited access to media and having very little decision making power. Their findings showed that neither any mechanisms nor any specific structures existed to ensure expanded and informed choice the information, education and communication strategy has not received

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sufficient budget, motivation or other infrastructural support. Thus, the holistic picture that the NPP aims at does not seem to be working at the state level.

4.4.5 - Urbanization and other Management Problems In chapter 3, it was noted that population growth has resulted in increased and unprecedented proliferation makeshift migration of solution to the urban which a complex areas. are, housing This in has a problem. led to the a is

slums, to

way, 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, half of which is urban and around 70 per cent of that belongs to the low-income segment. With the population set to cross 1.3 billion by 2020 and the urban population set to grow by 85 million over the next 10 years. An ASSOCHAM paper on real estate development has estimated that the demand for dwelling units will grow to 90 million by 2020, which would require a minimum investment of $890 billion (Parekh, 2006). Accelerated rapid urbanization and managing the megacities that result will strain the resources. This trend of urbanization will change the labour supply and demand for certain infrastructure and services (Bhagat, 2002). However, old cities do not have to be overpopulated before new cities come up. 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. These new cities can develop without planning efforts through indigenous growth and creation of specialized centers of servicing, industry etc. Thus high population

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growth, 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. 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, proliferation of squatter settlements and slums inadequate basic amenities including potable water, sanitation and waste disposal (Mohanty, 2003, Boadi, Kuitunen, Raheem and Hanninen, 2005, Alexandratos, 2005, Owens and Sarte, 2004). Thus, rapid urban growth has caused serious administrative and management difficulties. Urban life requires a complicated set of services housing, traffic, sewerage, water and so on that cannot be scaled up as quickly as population growth. Challenges include providing for housing, roads, sewers, schools and the myriad requirements of a population spilling into formerly rural areas. Incumbent residents complain that growth leads to more congestion.

4.5 - Conclusion This chapter examined the reasons associated with high fertility in India. Economic, religious, socio cultural and other reasons were explained. Thereafter an examination of the NPP policy document revealed the chief objectives, strategic themes of the NPP. An insight of the logics of the NPP was gained through an exploration of its key features and themes. Furthermore, emergent issues of addressing regional disparity, religious groups, rapid urbanization and inherent problems of the political structure were analysed.

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Chapter 5 - Conclusion and Discussion


Population policies have played a central role in development. The population of the world is estimated to reach 9 billion by 2050. Discourses in Population have been plentiful. 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. The case of India is especially interesting due to projections of it becoming the most populous nation in the near future - this inspite of population planning efforts spanning over six decades now. Thus the objectives of this study were established to understand population and its interlinkages with development. Further an understanding of Indias population policies was sought. This was to be achieved through a cross framework analysis, essentially by maintaining a multi sectoral approach.

Chapter 2 examined the different discourses in development and population. No clear link was found between population growth and development. However, views that population growth hindering economic growth abounded from the 1950s. Different nexus between population, development, environment and womens empowerment were established at different times in the past century. The rationales, logics and professed aims of population policies are found to be continually evolving. However, curbing the rapid population growth, stabilising it, 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. This is inspite of no established link between population and development.

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Chapter 3 set out the background to the case study of India. It explored Indias administrative and political set up. The administrative division of the country into states and union territories was found to have an effect on the way policies were implemented. The Indian Constitution is the guiding light on Indian laws and policies. On its basis it was established that people form the central component of Indias development planning. Planning initiatives in India have played a very strong role in determining her policies. Qualities of secularity and sovereignty are enshrined in the Constitution. Policy archives within the sphere of population planning were dug up to discover setbacks and failures from the past. It was found that population stabilisation has been considered central to Indias progress by her development planners. Strong government involvement with a focus of targets has been a characteristic of Indian family planning efforts. This proving ineffective, the NPP has shifted to a holistic approach. The study then went on to examine Indias demographic features. Vast inter state differences were noted. Further, a growing pace of urbanisation was observed. Age and Sex trends were established. The gross domestic output in different states was examined. Finally womens literacy figures were examined.

Chapter 4 revealed the chief reasons for high fertility in India. Economic reasons, socio cultural reasons, female status, high infant mortality and population momentum were some of the reasons that were explored. The objectives and strategies adopted by the NPP were scrutinized. The policy was found to be a holistic one however, some of the reasons associated with high fertility were found to be ignored. Issues emerging out of

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population growth such as regional disparity and urbanisation are not recognised or addressed. The policy does not take into account differences on religious grounds. Furthermore, differences in states could be linked to the political and administrative system. All in all, though the NPP appears to have laudable motives and well thought out strategic themes, it lacks focus on important emerging issues. Success will depend on effective implementation. The mechanisms of the state, their drive and capacity will play a central role. There remains scope within the policy to include important issues.

The issues that come up for discussion from the preceding analysis can be summed up as follows. Decentralization though a positive aspect of the NPP, it can have potentially negative effects of elite capture, neglect of responsibility, inefficiency and corruption. Issues of implementation have remained largely unresolved. The use of media to raise contraceptive use combined with efficient service delivery (be it by the state or the market, or a mix of both to meet different demands) can be a powerful tool for reducing fertility levels. The state policies need to be made within the National framework and not independent of it. At present the NPP is almost defunct except as an image builder. Stress needs to be on the four highly populous states of the north (which lie in the Gangetic plain the origin of Indian civilization). Female empowerment legislations enacted with altruistic motives need to serve their true purposes and not be hijacked by the aims of population control. 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. There is an urgent need for the onus of family planning to be shared by men if female empowerment movements are to be effective. Meeting the

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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. Studies of the Muslim population revealed an overall lower socioeconomic progress. This too needs to be addressed. The lack of coordination and the essentially complex and problematic distribution of powers and functions between the central and state governments needs urgent rectification. 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. All of these issues need to be recognised, discussed and addressed.

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 Indias progress. It is the issues of how to stabilise population growth that have plagued their minds. 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. The NPP has emerged as a result of the past policies and world paradigm as reflected by the ICPD Plan of Action. 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. The policy is clear in what it wants to achieve. The debate essentially is how? In this situation the alternatives appear many and varied but are seen to be interlinked.

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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. What remains vital is commitment to the objectives and implementation of the policy in its true spirit.

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Population Policies and Development:

A Case Study of India

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