In this article, we have provided an Essay on Population Problem in India, Causes, Control and how it affects economic development.
The second-largest populated country in the world with the total population estimated at present is more than 130 crores in India. Whereas China, with about 20 percent of the world’s population, has about 7 percent of the land areas, India has got only 2.4 percent of the total land areas to feed about 16 percent of the total population of the world.
Demographers of the planet have suggested different measures to arrest the expansion of the population. Among these measures, economic development is considered an efficient method of social control. “Development is that the best contraceptive” was the slogan raised by the planet Population Conference held in 1974 in Bucharest.
Many European countries have contained the expansion of their population through economic development. In India, however, things are different. The European model of economic growth to regulate the population can’t employ in India.
It can’t be a practical and efficient way of social control. While within the western countries, the population increased at a slow pace without disturbing the equilibrium between the natural resources and population; in India, it’s registered a high rate of growth and. Thus, retarded the method of the economic process.
Similarly, the western countries took an undue while to bring the death rate to a coffee level; in India, there has been a sharp decline within the death rate. High birth rate and rapid fall within the death rate have led to a sudden population explosion and, thus, retarded economic development.
According to an International Bank for Reconstruction and Development Study, “Developing countries are like long-distance runners. In their race against the clock to eliminate poverty, the rapid increase is a further burden, which, no matter their inherent strengths, slows them down.” In India, the primary and foremost problem is the way to achieve economic development before formulating a technique for social control.
Population in India and Economic Development
Economists, demographers, and scientists hold different viewpoints as regards the connection between population and economic process. While a number of the thinkers hold the view that population is an engine of economic development and it promotes economic growth, others opine that population retards it.
The protagonists of the expansion economics believe that the population is a crucial determinant of the industrial process. They treat the population as ‘human capital’ which helps within the proper exploitation of natural resources, and thus raises the assembly potential of a rustic.
A large population, if it gets suitable job opportunities, can increase the extent of domestic output. The population also creates demand for goods and services, which successively determines the dimensions of the market level of investment, production, and employment.
Prof. Nurkse believes that albeit with country suffers from the matter of disguised unemployment, it shouldn’t be an explanation for anxiety because the hidden labor force has concealed saving potential. By shifting the hidden labor force to some construction activity, the concealed potential saving might be converted into real saving. Thus, the population stimulates the extent of capital formation, which may be a pre-condition to the economic process.
However, in the case of India, the situation is quite different.
Instead of promoting economic development, the population has retarded it as would be clear from the subsequent discussion:
The rising population has mostly offset the increase in the production of both industrial goods and agricultural goods; as a result, the per capita income is rising at a slow pace. While the value during the last 45 years has increased at a mean annual rate of 4.2 percent, the per capita income has risen at the speed of two percent once a year.
I am a rising population result in a rise in consumption expenditure. An outsized part of the general public expenditure has got allocated for providing basic amenities of life and, therefore, minimal resources remain available for development projects.
As a consequence of the growing population, the pressure of population ashore is increasing. There has been a pointy decline within the landman ratio. The per capita availability of the cultivable land, which was 0.89 hectares in 1950, came right down to 0.34 hectares in 1994-95. The dimensions of agricultural holdings have also decreased, and it’s adversely affected farm productivity.
The per capita availability of food decreases with the increase in the population. As against the minimum intake of food grains of 850-900 grams per individual per day, the supply of per capita food grains in India in 1997 was about 495 grams per day. In India, nearly 1 million children fall victim to malnutrition.
The rising population in India is the result of overcrowding, growth of slums, frequent traffic jams, and sanitary problems. A high rate of increase disturbs the ecological balance and thus adversely affects the environment. Consistent with an estimate, by the top of this century, the country will need about 400 lakh new houses and repairs to about 190 lakh houses. The density of the population is predicted to rise from 274 per sq. Km in 1991 to 418 per sq. Km by 2,000 A.D.
The rising population worsens the unemployment problem. The mixture labor force in India predicted to rise from 213 million in 1921 to 1,000 million in 2000 A.D. it might be tough for the country to make employment opportunities for such an outsized force.
The amount of unemployed persons has gone up from 40 lakhs in 1951 to about 198 lakhs in January 1997. Increase, through increased consumption of energy resources, aggravates the energy crisis. If each family has got to use 40-watt electric bulbs, we shall need to put up new 259 MW power stations every three months.
As a consequence of the growing population, public services concerning health, education, transport, etc., are always under pressure; imbalanced distribution of population often causes political and social conflicts aside from riots. A rapid increase in population during the post-Independence period accounted for by the above growth rates of the population.
Causes of Rapid Population Growth in India
India features a hot climate in which the girls get matured at an early age. Their re-productivity period starts typically from 14 years, leading to a more significant re-productivity span.
Marriage may be a universal phenomenon in India. Child marriage in rural India may be a rule instead of an exception. Marriage at an early age lengthens the reproductive period of girls; the amount of girls within the reproductive age is considerable.
The amount of youngsters born per couple tends to extend when the couple is desirous of male progeny, which is taken into account a requirement consistent with customs. The joint family system also provides a spurt to increase. In such an order, children aren’t the responsibility of the couple alone but the entire family.
India is a country of many faiths and cultures. Some religions do not prefer and preach family planning. For example, according to Christianity, termination of pregnancy is a sin. Even Mahatma Gandhi, who influenced the political scene of India for about four decades, did not agree to the idea of family planning. He considered it as an immoral act.
Measures adopted for population control in India
Urbanization is typically related to low fertility. Urbanization changes the worth of life and, therefore, the outlook of the people. People living in crowded towns can quickly realize the norms and necessity of a small size family.
Expanding Basic Education
The enlightenment of girls is essential to lower the birthrate. Primary education makes it possible for both men and ladies and the acquisition of data of birth control. It increases their exposure to mass media and printed material and enables them to find out about modern contraceptives and their use.
Incentives and Disincentives
Incentives within the sort of cash payments, promotions, housing, and other facilities might be offered to the acceptors of birth control programs; similarly, penalties often imposed on the oldsters having many children.
To sum up, social control is essential for accelerating the pace of economic development. The Western thinking that ‘development is that the best contraceptive’ is irrelevant in Indian conditions. It’s only through propagation, adoption, and persuasion that we will check the expansion of India’s population.