From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Nothing much
Mains level : Sex ratio as a major population issue
Prime Minister called “population explosion” a challenge in his Independence Day speech.
- India’s headcount is over 1.3 billion. It is headed even higher.
- The number might stabilize in a few years ahead. From data between 2013 to 2016, the country’s total fertility rate has fallen to an estimated 2.2. This figure is only marginally higher than 2.1, the replacement rate of the existing population.
- Failure to arrest and reverse a trend in population: the gender gap. India has approximately 930 females per 1,000 males.
- The ratio is even worse if we look at new births. The country’s sex ratio at birth declined from 900 females per 1,000 males in 2013-15 to 896 in 2015-17.
- Male preference among parents is not unique to India. Of the 201 countries listed on the United Nations Human Sex Ratio chart for 2018, India is at No. 191. There exist worse performers.
We are heading for a gender crisis if a balance is not restored.