Population and Associated Issues

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Mar 16, 2022, 6:03

Uttar Pradesh and Assam, two Indian state governments, have recently called for harsh population control methods. This proposal is about pursuing a two-child policy for state government benefits eligibility. This action has been taken to curb population and associated issues.

On current trends, India will surpass China as the world's most populous country by 2025, if not sooner. The massive population pressure puts a strain on resources such as hospitals, food grains, housing, and employment.

However, population control, based on traditional economic assumptions, has proven to be a two-edged sword. It has both benefits and drawbacks. There are several population and associated issues and then need to be addressed soon.

Status of the Population in India and the World

  • According to United Nations (UN) figures, population growth is dropping under replacement rates in more than half of countries. The global population growth rate is forecast to be zero by the end of the century, possibly for the first time.
  • According to a recent Bloomberg article, the Covid-19 pandemic may have accelerated the approaching peak of a global population drop by at least a decade.
  • Experts predict that the pandemic has slowed already-slowing worldwide birth rates, from the United States to China.
  • Between 2021 and 2031, India's population is expected to increase by a factor of 1.09, according to UN forecasts.
  • India's population will decline from 2060 onwards when the fertility rate falls below replacement levels.

Population Control Issues in India

While these theories advanced our knowledge of population economics, many of them were ultimately discovered to be flawed. This is reflected in the arguments that follow.

  • Economically, a large population isn't always a bad thing: A large population is not always detrimental to the economy. There will not be enough individuals to work for the economy due to population control policies.
    • There is a significant unproductive ageing population to maintain, and the Government may not have sufficient money to fund pensions.
    • De-industrialization would prevail as a result of this.
  • Population Distributional Aspects: In 1937, John Maynard Keynes delivered a presentation titled "Some Economic Consequences of a Declining Population."
    • His main concern was a lack of investment demand in areas where the population of consumers is dwindling.
  • China's Model: In the 1980s, China imposed a one-child policy, but as the population became older (due to the one-child policy), China abandoned the policy and encouraged couples to have more children.
  • The Religious Factor in India: The religious polarisation in India makes population management an even more difficult task.
    • In India, the bogey of population expansion is frequently utilised (directly or indirectly) to target a specific minority. The population control measure will impact social harmony.
  • The Poor: Total fertility rates (TFR) are greater among the poor, decreasing as income rises.
    • As a result, population control policies based on entitlements will disproportionately harm the poor, who require the most assistance.
  • Patriarchy: The patriarchy's preference for a male kid is significant in higher fertility rates.
    • The two-child policy is thought to have harmed the population's sex ratio due to behaviours such as female foeticide.

population and associated issues in India are quite serious and you need to control them at the right time. Each associated problem related to the population needs to be addressed effectively so that the population does not start affecting the economy adversely.

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FAQs on Population and Associated Issues

Q.1) What is the primary step that the Government can take to control the population and associated issues?

Educating women and making them capable of making decisions is the first step of controlling the population. The Government can also introduce different policies to bring the population under control.

Q.2) What is Malthusian theory?

The Malthusian theory claimed that while the population grows exponentially (geometric expansion), the food supply grows at a slower arithmetic rate.

Q.3) How was Malthusian theory proved wrong?

Malthus was eventually proven wrong when improvements in agricultural technology resulted in countries like India having a net food surplus.