Health Sector – UHC, National Health Policy, Family Planning, Health Insurance, etc.

No need for a Two-Child Policy


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Not Much

Mains level: India's population boom

The latest data from the National Family Health Survey-5 (NFHS-5) proves that the country’s population is stabilizing and fears over a “population explosion” and calls for a “two-child policy” is misguided.

Try this PYQ:

Q.Economic growth in country X will necessarily have to occur if

(a) There is technical progress in the world economy

(b) There is population growth in X

(c) There is capital formation in X

(d) The volume of trade grows in the world economy

Two-Child Policy

  • The two-child policy is a state-imposed limit of two children allowed per family or the payment of government subsidies only to the first two children.
  • A two-child policy has previously been used in several countries including Iran, Singapore, and Vietnam.
  • In British Hong Kong in the 1970s, citizens were also highly encouraged to have two children as a limit (although it was not mandated by law), and it was used as part of the region’s family planning strategies.
  • Since 2016, it has been re-implemented in China replacing the country’s previous one-child policy.

Present status in India

  • There is no national policy mandating two children per family.
  • A parliamentarian had tabled a Bill in the Rajya Sabha in 2019 on the matter, proposing incentives for smaller families.
  • PM in 2019 had appealed to the country that population control was a form of patriotism.
  • Months later, the NITI Aayog called various stakeholders for a national-level consultation on the issue, which was subsequently cancelled following media glare on it.
  • In 2020, the PM spoke about a likely decision on revising the age of marriage for women, which many stakeholders view as an indirect attempt at controlling the population size.

Why doesn’t India need it?

  • The survey provides evidence of uptake in the use of modern contraceptives in rural and urban areas.
  • It gives an improvement in family planning demands being met and a decline in the average number of children borne by a woman.
  • The report stated that most States have attained replacement level fertility, i.e., the average number of children born per woman at whom a population exactly replaces itself from one generation to the next.

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