NATIONAL POPULATION POLICY
Context: National Population Policy has reaffirmed the Government’s commitment towards voluntary and informed choice, target free approach and achievement of replacement level of fertility by simultaneously addressing the issues of contraception, maternal health and child survival.
BACKGROUND OF NATIONAL POPULATION POLICY The idea of development of a National Population Policy dates back to the period of months before the attainment of independence in 1946, when the Bhore Committee submitted its Report. This submission of report was followed by the launch of the Family Planning Programme in 1952, which coincided with the launch of the nationwide Community Development Programme. First statement regarding the National Population Policy was issued by the government after careful review of the demographic trends and of the Family Planning Programme, in 1976. This was followed by the 1977 Policy Statement on the Family Welfare Programme. It was in 1983 that the government adopted the National Health Policy, which emphasized the need for ‘securing the small family norm through voluntary efforts and moving towards the goal of population stabilization’. The Parliament underscored the need for a separate National Population Policy while adopting the Health Policy. Accordingly, the National Development Council (NDC) appointed a Committee on Population in 1991 under the chairmanship of Karunakaran, which submitted its report in 1993, recommending the formulation of a National Population Policy. Subsequently, an Expert Group headed by M.S. Swaminathan was appointed to prepare the draft of a national population policy. The National Population Policy (NPP) finally came into force in 2000. The Policy states that the “immediate objective of the NPP 2000 is to address the unmet needs for contraception, healthcare infrastructure, and health personnel, and to provide integrated service delivery for basic reproductive and child healthcare.” Medium-Term Objective: To bring the Total Fertility Rate (TFR) to replacement levels by the year 2010, through vigorous implementation of inter-sectoral operational strategies. Long-Term Objective: To achieve a stable population by 2045, at a level consistent with the requirements of sustainable economic growth, social development, and environmental protection. As a result of the Government’s efforts, the successes achieved are enumerated below:
- The Total Fertility Rate (TFR) has declined from 2.9 in 2005 to 2.2 in 2017 (SRS).
- 25 out of 37 States/UTs have already achieved replacement level fertility of 2.1 or less.
- The Decadal growth rate has declined from 21.54% in 1999-2000 to 17.64 % during 2001-11.
- The Crude Birth Rate (CBR) has declined from 23.8 to 20.2 from 2005 to 2017 (SRS).
- The Teenage birth rate has halved from 16 % (NFHS III) to 8 % (NFHS IV).
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