POPULATION POLICY AND FAMILY PLANNING
POPULATION POLICY AND FAMILY PLANNING
its narrower sense, according to the UNEP is “an effort to affect the size structure and distribution or characteristics of population”. In its broader range, it includes “efforts to regulate economic and social conditions which are likely to have demographic consequences”. Population Policy Aims at:
Decreasing birth rate,
Limiting the number of children in family or two,
Creating awareness among the masses regarding the consequences of galloping population,
Procuring necessary contraceptives,
Enacting laws like legalizing abortion,
Giving incentives as well as disincentives,
Checking concentration of people in congested areas,
Providing necessary public services for effective settlement in new areas and
Relocation of offices to less populated areas.
Since India’s population policy needs to aim at ‘enhancing the quality of life’ and increasing individual happiness’, it has to act as a means to attaining a broader objective of achieving individual fulfilment and social progress. Initially, the policy was ad hoc in nature, flexible and based on a trial and error approach. Gradually, it was replaced by more scientific planning.
The sub-committee on population appointed in 1940 under the chairmanship of Radha Kamal Mukherjee by the National Planning Committee (appointed by Indian National Congress in 1938) laid emphasis on self-control, spreading knowledge of cheap and safe methods of birth control and establishing birth control clinics. It also recommended raising the marriage age, discouragement of polygamy and a eugenic programme of sterilizing persons suffering from transmissible diseases. criticized self-control
The Bhore Committee of 1943 appointed by the government approach and advocated ‘deliberate limitation of families’. After independence, a Population Policy Committee was created in 1952 and a Family Planning Research and Programmes Committee in 1953. A Central Family Planning Board was created in 1956 which emphasized sterilization. During the 1960s, a more J vigorous family planning programme was advocated for stabilizing the growth of population over a reasonable period.
While earlier, it was assumed by the government that the family planning programme had created enough motivation among the people and the government was only to provide facilities for contraception, it was later realized that people needed motivation and masses had to be educated.
In April 1976, the Minister of Health and Family Planning, Karan Singh, presented before the Parliament the National Population Policy:
Raising the statutory age of marriage,
Introducing fiscal incentives to states which perform well in the field of family planning,
Paying special attention to improving female literacy,
Public education through all available media (radio, television, press, films), Introducing direct monetary incentives for adoption of ‘tubectomy and vasectomy’ operation and a new thrust towards research in reproductive health.
It was planned at a time when the Emergency was in operation. There were so many excesses in the sterilization campaign under the leadership of Sanjay Gandhi, that it came to be regarded with hostility by people. The programme was so overzealously implemented in some of the North Indian states that during the election in 1977 after the Emergency, these excesses became an important election issue and the Congress lost the elections at the Centre.
in 1980, Indira Gandhi returned to power, she became extremely cautious and unenthusiastic about reviving her commitment to the family planning programme. Since then the policy of almost all governments in the states and at the centre has been so lopsided that the growth rate of population which was expected to have fallen below the 2 per cent mark, is still around 2.35 per cent.
Address the unmet needs for basic reproductive and child health services, supplies infrastructure
Make school education up to age 14 free and compulsory and reduce dropouts at primary and secondary school levels to below 20 per cent for both boys and girls.
Reduce infant mortality rate to below 30 per 1000 live births.
Reduce maternal mortality ratio to below 100 per 100,000 live births..
Achieve universal immunization of children against all vaccine preventable diseases.
Promote delayed marriage of girls, not earlier than age 18 and preferably after 20 years of age.
Achieve 80 per cent institutional deliveries and 100 per cent deliveries by trained persons.
Achieve universal access information/counselling and services for fertility regulation and contraception with a wide basket of choices. and pregnancy.
Achieve 100 per cent registration of births, deaths, marriage (AIDS) and
Contain the spread of Acquired Immuno-Deficiency Syndrome promote greater integration between the management of Reproductive Tract Infections (RTI) and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) and the National Aids Control Organization.
Prevent and control communicable diseases.
Integrate Indian System of Medicine (ISM) in the provision of reproductive and child health services and in reaching out to households.
promote vigorously the small family norm to achieve replacement levels of TFR.
Bring about convergence in implementation of related social sector programmes so that family welfare becomes a people centred programme
But National Population Policy-2000 has been major concems regarding NPP-2000 are:
NPP-2000 provides cash-based incentives for are concerned that this does not help as monetary incentives do not change habits and behaviours based on social norms.
That children are gifts of God and one should never stop children from coming this world is widespread social value in our society. Monetary incentives cannot change this basic social value, alternative strategies need to be devised. There is need for social transformation and no innovative strategy on line with this thought has been included in NPP-2000.
Highlighting the bottom up approach to implementing small family norm NPP2000 has emphasized on role of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs). However, it is not mentioned what their role is going to be.
NPP-2000 unequivocally rejects all forms of coercion. Yet, many state governments have announced population policies that violate this commitment of NPP. Coercion is used by states in the form of disincentives. For example, Rajasthan and Maharashtra make adherence to two child norm, a service condition for state government employment. Many states provide funds for rural development schemes subject to adherence of population largest by Panchayats.
Similarly, Population Research Institutes have not been given any clear responsibilities.
Disincentives imposed by state governments are often anti-poor and anti-women. The poor (tribals, dalits etc.) have more fertility rate than the rich.