From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Not much
Mains level : Paper 2- Increasing the age of marriage for girls
The article analyses the issues with objectives of increasing the age of marriage for girls.
Poverty of mother: Important factor
- Raising the age of marriage is the could be the way to improve the health and nutritional status of mothers and their infants.
- An article published in the journal The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health analyses data on stunting in children and thinness in mothers in the latest round of the National Family Health Survey 4 (2015-16).
- The authors examine the strength of the association between many different causal factors.
- As it turns out, the poverty of the mother plays the greatest role of all by far.
- Instead of early pregnancy causing malnourishment, they may both be the consequences of poverty.
- The best way to go about breaking such a cycle would be to pick the factors perpetuating it, it would be the poverty of the mother in this case.
Declining fertility rate in India
- India’s fertility rates have been declining to well below replacement levels in many States, including those with higher levels of child marriage.
- This could be the reason for the shift from fuelling fears about booming populations to expressing concern for the undernourishment of children.
- So, the problem of “populations explosion” is not the real problem as the demographic data suggests.
- The change in the marriage age will leave the vast majority of Indian women who marry before they are 21 without the legal protections.
The proposal and the objective to be achieved through raising the age of marriage needs reconsideration for the reasons cited above.