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Need of Two Child Policy in India

India was one of the first countries to launch official family planning scheme in 1952 at the time of Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru. And it is the second most populated country in India. Its population increased from 361 million in 1951 to 1210 million in 2011 (around 3.5 times). Isn't it an irony?

In 1974, during the time of Sanjay Gandhi time, the government launched sterilisation program. It was a kind of forceful sterilisation which government tried to do at that time and millions of poor men were sterilized. 6.2 million people were sterilized just in a year.

Then in 1992 at the time of P. V. Narasimha Rao, 79th Constitutional Amendment Bill was brought in Rajya Sabha and it also talked to two child policy. It wasn't discussed as the then health minister Makhan Lal Fotedar resigned. It talked of two child norms all Govt. employees, MP, MLA.

Till now more than 35 private member bills have been introduced in the parliament from independence for the object of pollution control.

In the present condition also many states are having two child norm. In Rajasthan, for government jobs, candidates who have more than two children are not eligible for appointment. Few years back, two additional district judges of Madhya Pradesh were terminated from their job for violation of two child norm. Later they went to High Court and they were reinstated only because there was no option to fill details of number of child in earlier form and HC held that their application should have cancelled at that time.

Overview of Population Control Bill, 2019
Population Control Bill, 2019 was introduced in the Rajya Sabha as private members Bill by Member of Parliament Sri Rakesh Sinha.

The object of the act states the goal of stabilization of population commensurate with the emerging social, economic, health, nutritional, epidemiological, environmental and other developmental needs of the national economy, to recognize the implications of population momentum on the prospects of national progress in the long run and providing equal opportunities of all irrespective of their caste, creed etc. and to achieve development potential to the fullest.

Section 3 of the act states that the provisions of the present Act are in order to the achieve the polices laid down in Article 39 (1) and (2) of the Indian Constitution.

Section 4 of the act provides for comprehensive Revision in National Population Policy especially for the purpose of implementing two child norm. It further provides that without causing damage to the Revision as provided in 4(1), central government should make provisions for improvement of reproductive health care services, strengthen education system, drinking, housing, sanitation and livelihood opportunities (particularly for women).

Section 5 of the act provides for benefits to an employee under Central Government or Public Sector enterprise under Central Government. The incentives provided are one additional increment during the period of service, subsidy in purchasing land plot, house site or built house, loans at a nominal interest rate for purchasing land plot, house site or built house, rebate on income tax, subsidy for travel, rebate on utilities like water, electricity, telephone, vehicle registration etc. and any further benefits so prescribed.

It further talks of providing paid paternity leaves up to 12 weeks, free health care facilities and insurance to parents, free healthcare to single child up to 25 years of age, preference in admission in all educational institution. For a single girl child, it talks of free education up to graduation and scholarships for further education.

Section 7 talks of disadvantages of person violating the two child norm. It provides for reduction in subsidies, reduced benefits of PDS, higher rate of interest for taking loan, lower interest on saving and investments and not be entitled for any further benefits so prescribed.

Section 8 provides that no maternity or paternity benefits provided to persons having more than two child but they undergo sterilisation after the birth of third child, he/ she will be entitled for maternity or paternity benefits thereon.

Section 9 provides that a person will be disqualified as candidate in election of MP/ MLA/ any other local body if he has more than two child after the commencement of the Act. If further provides for an undertaking to be submitted by employee of central government that he will not have more than two children.

Section 11 talks of various provisions for the purpose of implementing two child norm like distribute contraceptive pills, condoms, IUDs through Healthcare Centres and Non-Governmental Organizations, spread awareness about family planning methods through community health workers such as auxiliary nurse midwife or accredited social health activist etc.

Need of Two Child Norm
Then during 1980s, "Hum Do Hamare Do" (We Two Ours Two) was popularized through mass campaign. Population of India has increased from 361 million in 1951 to 1210 million in 2011. It is a growing concern. Resource and the total land area of the country are limited and the population is increasing at a rapid rate. We are the second most populated country in the world. It also causes a big problem for providing benefits and subsidies by the government.

The population of India is growing and will continue to grow for the next couple of decades. The reason for the fact is the higher proportion of people in the marriageable age group who will produce children. Population explosion will cause many problems for our future generations. Natural resources like air, water, land woods etc. are subjected to over exploitation because of over population. Today, there is a greater need to keep a strong check on the increase of our population.

Criticism of Two Child Norm
There are many social consequences associated with two child norm. Few of them are as follows:

Sex-Selective Abortions:
A legal restriction to two children could force couples to go for sex-selective abortions as there are only two ‘attempts'.

Unsafe Abortions:
A significant proportion of rural women especially those from lower socio-economic strata, would be forced to go for unsafe abortions because of issues of access and affordability.

Gender Imbalances:
Enforcement of such policies will create gender imbalances and also can create mental subordination towards women.

Negative Population Growth:
By interfering with the birth rate, India faces a future with severe negative population growth, a serious problem that most developed countries are trying to reverse.

Written By:
  1. Prasoon Shekhar, student at The ICFAI University, Dehradun and
  2. Shwetank Singh, student at The ICFAI University, Dehradun.

 

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