Political Observers In Agra Give A Thumbs Up To Yogi's 'Population Policy'
Agra, July 14 (TNA) The new Population Policy brought out in public space by the Yogi Adityanath government a few days back may have raised the hackles of many across the country who are alleging this to be directed against some castes and a specific community, politics observers in the Taj City of Agra have welcomed it widely.
"A proactive policy initiative to encourage people to opt for smaller families should have the much desired effects on the quality of life in general and usher in much needed socio-economic reforms" said a political observer. Parents with one or two children should be suitably rewarded in a number of ways,, say social activists, he added.
While enlightened public opinion favours the proposed strategy, rumblings of concern are being articulated by the representatives of the minority community and the opposition parties in the state. But most experts and academics agree that the population pressure in Uttar Pradesh has to be defused if any meaningful headway is to be made to impart momentum to developmental activities. India, with a current population size of 1.37 billion, has the second largest population in the world.
By 2027, we are expected to overtake China to become the most populous country. Investments in the future of youth population is critical because caste dynamics and social mores inhibit the opportunities to access education, health, nutrition, employment, and empowerment, especially for women and girls.
States like Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh have successfully proved the importance of investing in education and improving access to quality healthcare in order to achieve population stabilisation.
The Hindutva outfits have voiced some concern, as they feel the new policy could further reduce Hindu population, but may not have so much affect on the population of the minority community.
Some say that coercive population control measures are not the solution and could instead lead to a potential increase in sex selection practices. This could have a negative impact on the Child Sex Ratio, affecting Central Government campaigns such as the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao programme.
China recently rescinded its stringent population policy, having found itself in the midst of a population crisis. On the other hand, neighbouring Sri Lanka successfully stabilized fertility rates by simply increasing the age at marriage, a move that was made more effective by ensuring girls were educated, says political commentator Paras Nath Choudhary.
Strategists say that increased access to education, economic and other development opportunities, lead to fertility decline. For the country’s youth population, family planning and access to contraceptives is a critical element of the primary care component, given its crucial role in delaying first births, ensuring spacing between births, lowering maternal and child mortality, and preventing unsafe abortions, says social activist Mukta Gupta.
Population dynamics experts suggest stabilisation of population is a better idea than population control in the longer run. Big states like UP however have little choice but to go ahead with appropriate legislative measures to discourage families from opting for more than two children, says Rajiv Gupta of Lok Swar. Any delay in implementing a new population policy, will prove detrimental, Gupta adds.