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India’s population explosion and its repercussions

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A new analysis published in The Lancet has projected that the world population will peak much earlier than previously estimated. It projects the peak at 9.73 billion in 2064, which is 36 years earlier than the 11 billion peak projected for 2100 by last year’s UN report World Population Prospects. For 2100, the new report projects a decline to 8.79 billion from the 2064 peak. For India, the report projects a peak population of 1.6 billion in 2048, up from 1.38 billion in 2017. By 2100, the population is projected to decline by 32% to 1.09 billion.

Concern over uncontrolled population growth already existed in ancient times when scholarly discussion of population issues and evidence of efforts to control family size were recorded in Greece, China and some other areas. The advocacy for population control has grown notably since the eighteenth century, when population growth began accelerating in many parts of the world.

Why we need to control population explosion?

Population explosion is one of the hazards and serious problem, which creates a great obstacle in the way of national development. It has direct effect upon the society and development of nation. The consequences of population explosion are:

  • Pressure on food, clothing & housing: A country with fast growing population has to face a serious problem of scarcity of necessary food, minimum clothing & proper housing facilities, which are basic needs of human life. Thus, it affects the life style and results slum areas, starvation etc.
  • Unemployment: The overpopulation aggravates the unemployment & disguised unemployment problem. The vacancy rate is negligible as compared to wants of employment, which ultimately results into low income groups and large families depending upon single earning person (earner).
  • Standard of living: The overpopulation creates or give rise to large families with low income reducing the standard of persons living therein. The slum areas, starvation and frequently epidemics are the results affecting health and standard of persons within such nation.
  • Decrease of forest area: The basic made of the growing population is of residence and shelter. To construct houses and place of shelter, man is greatly cutting and reducing forest to make a place to live.
  • Environmental pollution: Over populated passion creates a large affect on the environment by exhausting a large proportion of waste. On the other hand reducing forest which results the growth of pollution.
  • Education: The low income of large family dose not afford to provide education to their children. Which results into creating a problem of illiteracy and again none awareness among the class.
  • Energy crisis: Population explosion accompanied with rapid industrialization and urbanization has led to greater demand for already deficient energy (fuel wood, fossil fuel and electricity).
  • Hygienic condition: More people in a small area breed unhygienic condition which has ill effects on human health.
  • Eco-degradation: Overpopulation leads to eco-degradation by increasing air, water, soil and noise pollution, unhygienic condition, deforestation leading to flood and soil erosion. So rapid human population growth is creating increased pressure on the infrastructure, economy, environment, availability of primary health care and nutrition.

What needs to be done to tackle this problem

Solution can be broadly divided into three categories i.e. social measures, economic measures, other measures.

Social measures: population explosion is a social problem and it is deeply rooted in the society. So efforts must be done to remove the social evils in the country. As fertility depends on the age of marriage. So the minimum age of marriage should be raised. In India minimum age for marriage is 21 years for men and 18 years for women have been fixed by law. This law should be firmly implemented and people should also be made aware of this through publicity. There is still discrimination to the women. They are confined to four walls of house. They are still confined to rearing and bearing of children. So, women should be given opportunities to develop socially and economically. Free education should be given to them. The spread of education changes the outlook of people. The educated men prefer to delay marriage and adopt small family norms. Educated women are health conscious and avoid frequent pregnancies and thus help in lowering birth rate. Some parents do not have any child, despite costly medical treatment. It is advisable that they should adopt orphan children. It will be beneficial to orphan children and children couples. Social outlook of the people should undergo a change. Marriage should no longer be considered a social binding. More and more people should be covered under-social security schemes. So that they do not depend upon others in the event of old age, sickness, unemployment etc. with these facilities they will have no desire for more children.

Economic measures: the first and foremost measure is to raise, the employment avenues in rural as well as urban areas. Generally in rural areas there is disguised unemployment. So efforts should be made to migrate unemployed persons from rural side to urban side. This step can check the population growth. If agriculture and industry are properly developed, large number of people will get employment. When their income is increased they would improve their standard of living and adopt small family norms. Improved standard of living acts as a deterrent to large family norm. In order to maintain their higher standard of living people prefer to have a small family. According to A.K. Das Gupta those who earn less than Rs. 100 per month have on the average a reproduction rate of 3.4 children and those who earn more than Rs. 300 per month have a reproduction rate of 2.8 children. It is on record that people in urban areas have low birth rate than those living in rural areas. Urbanisation should therefore be encouraged.

Other measures: The communication media like T.V., radio and newspaper are the good means to propagate the benefits of the planned family to the uneducated and illiterate persons especially in the rural and backward areas of country. The govt. can give various types of incentives to the people to adopt birth control measures. Monetary incentives and other facilities like leave and promotion can be extended to the working class which adopts small family norms. Another method to check the population is to provide employment to women. Women should be given incentive to give services in different fields. Women are taking active part in competitive examinations. As a result their number in teaching, medical and banking etc. is increasing rapidly. In brief by taking, all there measures we can control the growth of population.

Rapid population growth is detrimental to achieving economic and social progress and to sustainable management of the natural resource base. But there remains a sizable gap between the private and social interest in fertility reduction, and this gap needs to be narrowed. Policies and programs that influence health, education, the status of women, and the economic value of children in turn influence attitudes toward childbearing, family planning, and people’s ability to control family size. Efforts to reduce fertility through explicit population policies, therefore, should be integrated with policies to improve health, education, and the status of women.

Broad-based improvement in human resource development requires reorienting policies and financial resources to focus on delivery systems that respond to the critical needs of the majority of the population, including the poor. This calls for far greater emphasis on primary education and basic health cure. It also requires financial resources and, hence, substantial and sustained economic growth to generate sufficient resources to invest in human resource development (the significant potential and need for improving cost effectiveness notwithstanding). Without substantially improved agricultural growth performance, this will not be attainable.

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