Developing countries are mostly following the policy to restrict the growth of population. In fact, during the last four decades, many countries have adopted such policy.
Economic incentives for small families in the Republic of South Korea and the Philippines, financial rewards for sterilization in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka, the preferential treatment for mothers of small family in government hospitals in Singapore, free abortion facilities on demand in Tunisia, Cuba, China, India, Indonesia and Singapore, legalization of abortion on medical grounds in most of less developed countries are some of the examples of policies aimed at discouraging the rapid growth of population.
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In most of the developing countries, the techniques for promoting family planning and birth control vary from supplying contraceptives and information in some nations to much more direct involvement in others. Invariably, the promotion involves the communication of new ideas.
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It is encouraging to note that an overwhelming majority of the population in developing countries prefer a decline in the rate of natural increase in population. In most of the less developed countries, the governments have come out with a variety of policies for mortality control, fertility control, family and individual well-being.
It is widely believed that the rate of natural increase can be reduced only if all these measures are combined a and the standard of living improves. It is interesting to note that most’ of the developing countries have fixed the time-bound targets of reducing the rate of natural increase by 2020 A.D.
The Indonesian government, with the help of the United Nations, the World Bank and the World Health Organization, built more than 3,000 clinics in Java and Bali.
Mass media such as radio, television and newspapers were, and still are used to promote the acceptance of the small family norms and to draw people to the clinics.
In Java and Bali, the first acceptors were older worn en with many children, but later, as the idea diffused, younger women who wanted to restrict their pregnancies were also drawn into the programme. At present, the growth of population in Indonesia is 1.2 per cent per annum.
In some countries, the government’s efforts to reduce the birth rate have moved beyond voluntary) family planning to various forms of coercion.
In Singapore, for example, where space is extremely limited, there have been heavy financial penalties for parents who have had more than two children Parents have been fined to the equivalent of $100 for the third child, with the size of fine being doubled, tripled and quadruplet for the fourth, fifth and sixth child.
On the other hand, parents who have been sterilized after the birth of the second child have been rewarded with guaranteed education and employment for their children.
As a result of this policy, in combination with a rapid d economic development, the total fertility rate in Singapore fell from 4.9 in 1961 to just 1 per cent in 2011.
In fact, because the country’s fertility rate is well below the replacement level, the Singapore government is now encouraging the better educated women to have more children.
In India, a voluntary family planning policy has hen adopted right from the beginning of 1960s, but a tough sterilization policy adopted in 1976-77 under the administration of Indira Gandhi could not bring the desired results.
The rigid policy was resisted by the misses. Because India has a democratic form of government and public feelings can be expressed through elections, objections to the tough policy became evident after it was implemented.
Most of the political analysts believe that the incumbent party (Congress) lost the 1977 election mainly because of the widespread belief, particularly on the part of Muslim and Catholic minorities, that people were being sterilized against their will. Subsequently, Indian government returned to less coercive methods of encouraging family planning.
The new methods include placing health experts in all villages with more than 1,000 people, publishing the merits of small families, and offering financial rewards to parents who accept sterilization after having two children.
Many Indian couple; especially those who are educated from the middle income group, have planned families. The family planning organization provides a variety of contraceptives and other services to them.
During the last four decades, there have been some dramatic decreases in birth rate in different parts of India, but fertility rates differ from region to region, occupation to occupation ?id from one income group to another.
For the country, as a whole, the rate of population increase is still over 1.76 per cent. If these rates continue and China’s rate continues to fall, India could become the most populous country in the world by the middle of the 21st century.
Here, it is important to examine demographic characteristics and the population policy of China as about 23 per cent of the world population lives in this country (2011) Moreover, one of the greatest reductions in fertility rates through governmental policy has occurred in China within the last decade, so it provides an example of the role of government policy in affecting birth rate.