Since the world population has reached 8 billion. India’s contribution is considered important in this. But the projected numbers for India outweigh the looming challenges of depleting the country’s youth without any preparation against it. India is the second most populous country with over 1.35 billion people. India’s population is expected to increase by 25% in terms of 2011 to 1.52 billion by 2036.
India’s population growth rate in the decade 2011-2021 is expected to be the lowest since independence. This figure is expected to have a decadal growth rate of 12.5%. According to current United Nations projections, India’s population will only start declining in 2063, by which time it will be less than 1.7 billion, with the world population expected to grow by 2086.
China’s population has started to decline, while India’s population is expected to grow for the next 40 years. Indians constitute about 17.85% of the world’s population, which means that 1 out of every 6 people on earth lives in India.
Is India’s population really increasing?
Yes, India’s population is increasing according to the world. However, uneven development within nations is also an issue. India’s population is expected to increase for the next 40 years. The United Nations estimates that India’s population will start declining in 2063.
The overall growth rate of India’s population will remain stable in the coming decades. They can also be understood on the basis of the following arguments-
Today, most states in India have achieved a replacement fertility rate of 2.1. Along with these, emerging health challenges and pandemics will also be responsible for the decline in population. Along with this, awareness and family planning techniques, gender-equal norms and social changes together will be helpful in reducing the population. Due to the difficulty in raising a large number of children, most of the middle income families will have only one or two calves.
If the reasons for population growth are understood, then the main reason for this is the decline in death rate. In fact, the fold of overpopulation is the difference between the overall birth rate and the death rate in the total population.
Apart from this, agricultural progress has also contributed to food security. Agricultural advances in the 20th century have allowed humans to increase food production by using fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides to obtain further yields.
Better medical facilities have also contributed to increase in population. The diseases which had killed thousands of people till now were curable due to the invention of vaccines. The combination of increased food supply with reduced means of mortality upset the balance and became the starting point of overpopulation.
India should also pay attention to population control policies. However, more than population control policies, the government needs to be prepared for less population challenges as seen in most of the developed countries like Europe, America and Japan.
A depopulating future presents at least three unique challenges for India. First, the skewed sex ratio remains a threat. Another challenge is the huge gap between northern and southern states in terms of basic literacy as well as enrollment in higher education, including technical areas. Along with this, the third challenge is related to seeing the population through communal prism.
( DIRECTOR – OJAANK IAS )