Many women are getting surgical contraception after having two children (or after having a son). Like past population control policies, they’re targeted at Muslim and lower-caste families, and illustrate a broader Hindu nationalist agenda with anti-democratic tendencies. Like past population control policies, they’re targeted at Muslim and lower-caste families, and illustrate a broader Hindu nationalist agenda with anti-democratic tendencies. As in China, in some states in India, women’s education and their aspirations for their children have contributed to lower birth rates. Recently, the Rajya Sabha introduced a private member’s bill on enacting a two-child policy in India. Principally, this bill strives to amend the Indian constitution to incentivize families of two children by providing tax rebates, concession in school, and incentives in taxation.

Upadhyay is one among a growing circle of politicians and experts who have been making demands for population control in recent years. In July last year, Rakesh Sinha, another BJP MP, introduced the Population Regulation Bill, which suggested that people with more than two children should be disqualified from being able to run in elections. Union Minister Ramdas Athawale said on Saturday that there should be a one child norm in the country as a measure to control population growth. Nutrition is also vital, said Reddy of the Public Health Foundation of India, citing the troubling rates of anaemia among young people that the survey revealed – an indicator of both poor nutrition and poor health. “The survey reveals that 67 per cent of children under five and 59 per cent of girls aged were anaemic.

Uttar Pradesh’s proposed new approach to managing its population will span the next decade. Titled the “New Population Policy,” the proposed measures would reward those who stick to having two kids, and punish those who have more than two. As the 2022 UN report itself notes, no drastic intervention from the state is required. The worry here is that the coming population milestone will push India to adopt knee-jerk policies.

Local Two-Child Policies

The whole world knows and talks about the “one-child” phenomenon in China. Most of this discussion is tied to analyses of the one-child policy instituted by the Chinese government in 1979 and to the positive and (mostly) negative ramifications of that policy (Vallin 2016; Jiang, Li and Sánchez-Barricarte 2016). The worry here is that the coming population milestone will push India to adopt knee-jerk population policies. In both India and China, these population policies had unintended consequences. In the predominant patriarchal culture, when individuals can have just two kids, the stress on women to deliver male kids will grow. There is no proof to indicate that such a regulation will assist in reducing the fertility rate.

  • “I can’t see any moral reasons and ethical reasons why the Communist Party would hesitate for a minute to do that.”
  • Both countries are struggling with the legacy of harsh population policies, and stricter population controls in India could have disastrous consequences for women and minority communities.
  • They also fill the “parent-as friend” role more strongly, given the absence of siblings.
  • When barely 50 per cent of enrolled children are able to read (Pratham 2005), it is not surprising that parents seek alternatives to government schools.

Beginning in 2016, the Chinese government allowed all families to have two children, and in 2021 all married couples were permitted to have as many as three children. China’s one-child policy was controversial because it was a radical intervention by government in the reproductive lives of citizens, because of how it was enforced, and because of some of its consequences. Although some of the government’s enforcement methods were comparatively mild, such as providing contraceptives, millions of Chinese had to endure methods such as forced sterilizations and forced abortions. Long-term consequences of the policy included a substantially greater number of males than females in China and a shrinking workforce.

thoughts on “The Pros of a Child Limit in India”

Millions of undocumented children were also born to parents who already had one child. These problems could come to India with the implementation of a two-child policy. In 2020, National Volunteer Organization (RSS) leader Mohan Bhagwat declared that a two-child policy would be one of the organization’s primary goals. Some have criticized the proposal as an attempt to limit the growth of India’s Muslim population. “I can’t see any moral reasons and ethical reasons why the Communist Party would hesitate for a minute to do that.” In the 1990s, he says, family planning officials ambushed him in his home at night and beat him with sticks in an effort to convince his wife to abort their third son.

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But in a country where lifestyles are being transformed by capitalism and aspiration, change is brewing. A significant sliver of the middle class — urban, well educated, well-paid — is choosing to have just one child, even when that one is a girl (unusual in a country with a strong bias for male children). Several Indian states are considering implementing a controversial two-child policy and incentivising sterilisation as a means of population control. Like past population-control policies, they are targeted at Muslim and lower-caste families, and illustrate a broader Hindu nationalist agenda with anti-democratic tendencies. Urban middle-class couples face mounting financial pressure, including the cost of raising children and of caring for the elderly. Factual evidence has shown that a child limit greatly reduces the fertility rate, the unemployment rate, and is healthy for the planet.

From the one-child policy, China avoided around 300 million births, meaning she has averted 1.3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2005 based on average world per capita emissions of 4.2 tonnes (Doyle). From controlling population growth, this can help suppress the increasing carbon emission in India. As a result, would help slow down the exacerbating global warming and the consequences that come with it. China began promoting the use of birth control and family planning with the establishment of the People’s Republic in 1949, though such efforts remained sporadic and voluntary until after the death of Mao Zedong in 1976. By the late 1970s China’s population was rapidly approaching the one-billion mark, and the country’s new pragmatic leadership headed by Deng Xiaoping was beginning to give serious consideration to curbing what had become a rapid population growth rate. A voluntary program was announced in late 1978 that encouraged families to have no more than two children, one child being preferable.

Any coercive action is likely to exacerbate the prejudice against the girl child. Below are some challenges in adopting a two-child policy in our country. Here are some proposed provisions in the two-child policy bill adopted by the state of Assam and Uttar Pradesh. People are quick to point out that India is a country with a booming technology industry, one that relies on young people. There is a fear that restrictions on having children will produce a shortage of the educated young people needed to carry on India’s technological revolution.

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Taking measures in this direction ahead, the state of Uttar Pradesh has adopted a two-child policy aimed to limit the growing population in the state. According to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, population of India is 1.32 billion, hitting the 1-billion mark. One place behind the world’s most populous city, China with 1.38 billion (The United Nations). Although the population has been a problem acknowledged by the government, it has been growing continuously, non-stop.

According to United Nations, after the Chinese government introduced the one-child policy, the fertility rate dropped. It dropped from around 4.6 births per woman in 1979 to 1.5 births per woman in 2010. The rate seems very low, but the data was stretched by the low rate in South India. The fact is that in North India, the fertility rate is way over 5 births per woman, which is as high as the mean the African countries with the highest fertility (Roser).

If the policy is implemented, it can readily control the fertility rates and suppress the aggravated problem of overpopulation. The one-child policy was a program in China that limited most Chinese families to one child each. It was implemented nationwide by the Chinese government in 1980, and it ended in 2016.

Requiring a child limit is usually successful in lowering the fertility rate but is also controversial and hard to mandate (especially when other strategies to lower the population exist). Despite the obstacles, one can conclude that a child limit is necessary in eliminating the issue of overpopulation in India. A more effective way to restrict family size, Mishra said, would be to impart quality education, empower women, and remove social evils such as child marriage. India has the most child brides in the world, with over 27 per cent of girls married off before their 18th birthdays, according to Unicef. In 2018, 125 MPs urged the president to enforce a two-child policy in India through an executive action. In 2016, Prahlad Singh Patel, another BJP leader, presented a private member bill on population control.

Women with longer years of education and more wealth often want to have fewer than two,” she says. A report by the National Family Health Survey in 2020 found that that the Total Fertility Rate – the number of children born per woman – has decreased in 14 out of 17 States and is now at 2.1 or fewer children. The bill was put forward by the Uttar Pradesh state government, controlled by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), who also rule the central government. The state’s chief minister Yogi Adityanath is considered one of the most hardline nationalist figures in the party, and will be up for re-election in the state elections next year.

One way to meet these expenses is to reduce the number of children who need such investments. At other times, the single-child family is a subject of interest for countries with very low fertility. But for countries like India, in which fertility has been high until recently, there is little interest in families that might imitate the very low fertility behavior of China and Eastern Europe (for an exception, see Pradhan and Sekher 2014). India will surpass China as the country with the world’s largest population in 2023, according to the United Nations World Population Prospects 2022 report. The idea the country should adopt something like China’s former “one-child policy” has been moving from the fringe to the political mainstream.

Promotion of Two-Child Norm Bill, 2015, therefore, seeks to provide for the two-child norm in a family and promote small family norms in the future generation. Bill provides for certain incentives like free education, employment, etc. to the children of such couples who adopt a small family norm. The Bill, therefore, if enacted, would involve expenditure from the Consolidated Fund of India. There have been cases where women with many children try and run for political office, only to be turned away because of laws they didn’t know about. There are already well-documented problems with China’s one-child policy. Worst of all, there is a gender imbalance resulting from a strong preference for boys.