Essay on the National Population Policy of India – It is an undeniable fact that India is over-populated. How to face this problem of over-population? India must make planned efforts to control the growing population for which she should have a well- thought out population policy. A more positive and more effective policy of population control is the need of the hour.
Population policy in general refers to the policy intended to decrease the birth rate or the growth rate. Statement of goals, objectives and targets are inherent in the population policy.
India formed its first “National Population Policy” in April 1976. It called for an increase
in the legal minimum age of marriage from 15 to 18 for females and from 18 to 21 years for males. The policy was, however, modified in 1977. The new policy statement emphasised the importance of the small family norm without compulsion and changed the programme title to- “Family Welfare Programme.”
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National Population Policy 2000 [NPP-2000] – is the latest in the series, it was announced on Feb – 15th 2000 A.D. It reaffirms the commitment of the government towards target free approach in administering family planning services.
The NPP-2000 is not just a matter of fertility and mortality rates. It deals with women education; empowering women for improved health and nutrition; child survival and health; the unmet needs for family welfare services; healthcare for the under-served population groups like urban slums, tribal community, hill area population and displaced and migrant population; adolescent’s health and education; increased participation of men in planned parenthood; and collaboration with non-governmental organisations.
The object of NPP-2000 is to bring the total fertility rate [TFR] to replacement levels by 2010.
The long term objective is to achieve requirements of suitable economic growth, social development and environment protection. It contains the goals and the target to be achieved by 2010. They can be briefed here.
1. Giving rewards to panchayats and Zilla Parishads for promoting small family norm.
2. Reduce infant mortality rate to below 30 per 100 live births.
3. Reduce maternal mortality ratio to below 100 per 1 lakh live births.
4. Achieve universal immunisation of children against all preventable diseases.
5. Achieve 80% institutional deliveries and 100% deliveries by trained persons.
6. Achieve 100% registration of births, deaths, marriage and pregnancy.
7. Prevent and control communicable diseases.
8. Promote vigorously the small family norm to achieve TFR.
9. Contain the spread of AIDS [Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome].
10. Address the unmet needs for basic reproductive and child health services, supplies and infrastructure. Strict enforcement of ‘Child Marriage Restraint Act’.
11. Make school education up to age 14 free and compulsory, and reduce drop-outs at primary and secondary school levels to below 20% to both boys and girls.
12. Health insurance covers of Rs. 5000 for couples below the poverty line with two living children, who undergo sterilisation.
13. Achieve universal access to information / counselling and services for fertility regulation and contraception.
14. To take appropriate steps to make family welfare programme a people-centred programme.
15. Setting up of a National Commission on Population, headed by the Prime Minister.
The planning of the population must also include the improvement of quality of population, Further; life expectation has to be increased. If the NPP-2000 is fully implemented, it is anticipated that in the year 2010 the population will be 1,107 million instead of 1,162 million projected by the Technical Group of Population Projections.
Similarly, the anticipated crude birth rate will be 21 per thousand population, infant mortality rate 30 per thousand live births and total fertility rate 2.1. The NPP-2000 is to be largely implemented and managed at panchayat and nagarapalika levels in coordination with the concerned State / Union Territory administration.
Ninth Five Year Plan Objectives:
The planning commission observed that given the present demographic situation in the country, the achievements are lagging behind the proposed goals for the year 2002. Against this background fresh targets were formulated to be achieved by the end of the Ninth Five Year Plan. The goals are revised to slightly lower levels.