India began to consider reducing the rate of population growth. On World Population Day on July 11, India proposed limiting a maximum of two children in one family.
Quoted from insiders, the plan was announced in two states, Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state with a population of more than 240 million people, and Assam, in India’s northeast.
The proposed policy in Uttar Pradesh is contained in the draft “New Population Policy” bill. In it, among others, there are points of proposals to award residents who have two children and punish those who have more than two children.
The most striking thing in the bill is that couples with two children then voluntarily sterilize will get incentives. If one member of the couple undergoes a voluntary sterilization, the family can get a variety of benefits including tax breaks, subsidies for home purchases, and receiving cash back on their utility and utility bills.
Another point is that those with more than two children are prohibited from receiving government subsidies, applying for jobs in local government, and running for political office in local elections.
“Population increase is the root of problems, including inequality that occurs in society. Population control is the main condition for the formation of a developed society,” Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath wrote on Twitter on July 11.
“Let us on World Population Day pledge to make ourselves and society aware of the problems arising from population growth,” he added.
The bill on population control in Uttar Pradesh is open for public consultation until 19 July. Later, the bill will be transferred to the Uttar Pradesh legislative assembly to be read and debated before being passed into law.
Meanwhile, in Assam, with a population of 36 million people, the state’s chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma announced he was developing a “population stabilization” map.
Sarma hinted that he would introduce a plan to make having two children the norm, withholding subsidies and other benefits for those who choose to have more than two children. Assam in 2016 recorded a fertility rate of 2.3 children per family, per statistics from the Indian government.
“The population explosion in parts of Assam has become a real threat to the state’s development,” Sarma said.
India is listed as the country with the most population in the world, only behind China. According to a UNICEF report in 2019, with high population growth, India is expected to overtake China as the most populous country in the world by 2027.
UNICEF estimates that around 25 million children are born each year in India, accounting for one-fifth of the world’s annual births. Much of this rapid population growth is occurring in Uttar Pradesh, which–if considered a country–would be the fifth largest country in the world, just behind the US and Indonesia.
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