Two-child policy: Expectations, controversies and more
New Delhi, July 11: Man is the creator of all the wealth, said Karl Marx advocating that increases in the population should lead to greater wealth, not hunger and misery. In contrast, the population explosion, has become a major economic hurdle in India, the second, biggest populated country in the world.
Be it health or infrastructure, rising population brings a lot of problems along with it. The resources on our planet are limited and if the population keeps increasing at the current rate, we are bound to face a scarcity of resources.
What is two-child policy?
In a bid to curb population explosion, state governments have mooted legislation that bars people from availing of government subsidies and other government benefits if they have more than two children is known as a two-child policy.
In fact, India does not have a national child policy but it has focussed on various family planning programmes to reduce population.
Uttar Pradesh two-child policy proposal
According to the Uttar Pradesh Population (Control, Stabilization and Welfare) Bill, 2021, the benefits of state government-sponsored welfare schemes will be limited to only those with two children or less.
"The State Law Commission, UP is working on control, stabilisation and welfare of the population of the state and has prepared a draft bill," says the UP-State Law Commission (UPSLC) website.
"Public servants who adopt the two-child norm will get two additional increments during the entire service, maternity or as the case may be, paternity leave of 12 months, with full salary and allowances and three per cent increase in the employer's contribution fund under national pension scheme," it added.
Assam two-child policy proposal
On June 18, the Assam CM proposed the implementation of a two-child policy for availing benefits under specific schemes funded by the state. The scheme will not apply to central government schemes, but will be gradually introduced to every state government scheme.
Officials must abide by two-child policy for availing of government benefits, including loan waivers and other government schemes. However, members of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe communities and tea garden workers will be exempt from this norm.
When will the law be implemented?
The Assam and Uttar Pradesh governments will first invite public suggestions which will be reviewed by the law commission. If any changes are made it will again be put in the public domain. The new law will come into force after one year from the date of publication in the Gazette.
Status in other states
Multiple states in India have adopted a limited two-child policy which means that it is not imposed or enforced, but tries to encourage people towards it by giving incentives. Some governments have gone a step further by creating disincentives. Like depriving those with more than two children from certain government benefits.
Controversy surrounding two child policy
The opposition parties have termed the law as a conspiracy against Muslims. "It is actually an attack on Muslims in the garb of population control," said Samajwadi Party MLA from Sambhal Iqbal Mehmood.
The law will also have an impact on the remarriage for widowed or separated women, as it may impact their socio-economic status and the possibility of remarriage.
How population grew to alarming levels?
In 1900, India's population was roughly 238 million. In 1950-51, India's population was 361 million. According to 2001 census it was 1,027 million. The population started soaring in the 1950s and saw the highest decadal growth of 24.8 per cent in the 1960s and 24.7 per cent in the 1970s. Since the 1980s, decadal growth has been falling and the 1990s saw a significant fall. According to the 2011 Census Report, the total population of India was around 1210 million (121.0 crore) as against 1028 million (102.8 crore) persons in 2001.
PM Modi's take on population in India
On his 73rd Independence Day speech, PM Modi had also thrown light on the rapidly increasing population in India.
Dear countrymen, I would like to highlight the issue of population explosion in one Country from the aegis of the Red Fort today. This rapidly increasing population poses various new challenges for us and our future generations.
"In our society, there is a section which is very well aware of the consequences of the uncontrolled population growth. They all deserve accolades and respect. This is also their expression for their love for the nation. Before having a baby, they take a well-considered decision whether they will be able to take care of the child's needs and fulfil his/her dreams by playing the role of a responsible parent," PM Modi had said.
"Keeping these parameters in mind, this small section of responsible citizens is self-motivated to keep their family small. Not only do they contribute to the welfare of their family but also to the good of the nation," he had said.
"We should learn from them. Before a child arrives into our family we should think - have I prepared myself to fulfil the needs of the child? Or will I leave it dependent on the society? Will I leave the child un-nurtured? No parents can continue to give birth to children who are forced to live this type of life and therefore a social awareness is needed, he added.
What should be done
In 21st century India, the ability to fulfil dreams starts with a person, starts with a family.Governments also have to come forward through different schemes. Be it the State Government or the Central Government - everyone has to walk together to shoulder this responsibility. We cannot think of an unhealthy society, we cannot think of an uneducated society. In 21st century India, the ability to fulfil dreams starts with a person, starts with a family.