In his Independence Day speech, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed India’s population surge. He referred to individuals who choose fewer families as patriots. He contended that the nation’s progress and prosperity begin only when all of its citizens are healthy and resourceful. He called for a public effort to minimise population on the ground. This statement comes against the backdrop of the UN Population Projections study, which predicted that India will be the world’s most populated country during the current century.
A population explosion is a rapid increase in population size. Kingsley Davis, an American sociologist, created this word. If the trend of rapid population increase continues, there will be various consequences such as unemployment, poverty, worse living standards, a wider gap between the affluent and the poor, less resources, higher exploitation of natural resources, and so on. India is now the world’s second-most populated country, after only China.
According to the United Nations study, World Population Prospects 2019: Highlights, India is expected to overtake China as the world’s most populated country by 2027. The Population Division of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs issued this study. According to this research, India would grow by 273 million people between now and 2050. India is expected to remain the most populated country till the end of the century.
This analysis also projected that the world’s population might grow by 2 billion people in the following thirty years, from 7.7 billion now to 9.7 billion in 2050. Previous UN assessments indicated that India will overtake China as the world’s most populous country. China has 1.43 billion inhabitants as of 2019, whereas India has 1.37 billion. In other words, as of 2019, China and India account for 19 and 18 percent of the global population, respectively.
This demonstrates that population growth is highest in the economically disadvantaged segments of Indian society. A population may be an asset if its youth have access to education, skill development, expanded work prospects, and so on. However, India today has an extremely high unemployment rate. Many Indians are uneducated and have little access to education. It is believed that India today produces 25 million job applicants but barely employs 7 million.
If this issue is not handled quickly, the Indian population may become a burden. The present government is shouldering the responsibility of providing clean drinking water, homes, cooking fuel, power, and healthcare to the whole Indian population, with the goal of creating a $5 trillion economy. Furthermore, India’s landmass is just 35-40% that of China’s. Due to its limited geographical area, India cannot continue its present rate of population increase.
If these issues are not handled immediately, India may face a variety of undesirable consequences such as poverty, pollution, a low level of living, and so on. Both India and China have tried strict population control techniques. China’s One-Child Policy raised the number of the elderly while decreasing the proportion of the young. During the Emergency, India took similar efforts to lower its population.
Many people in Indian society marry young for a variety of reasons, including societal pressures, customs, and so on. If late marriages become the norm, the birth rate will plummet. It is critical to raise public awareness about the harmful implications of overpopulation. This can be accomplished through education, public forums, the media, and other means. It is critical to reduce infant mortality rates. Because of high infant mortality rates, many people choose to have more children to compensate for the loss.
Women must be empowered via education, skill development, and financial inclusion so that they may become self-sufficient and free of societal conventions and constraints. People will have significantly fewer children if the government offers adequate security through enhanced support programmes for the elderly. India is a nation where male children are valued significantly more than female children. As a result, many families continue to have children until a male kid is born. To remedy this issue, government programmes must prioritise the promotion of female children. The BetiBachao, BetiPadhao initiative is a positive move.
India has 13% undesired fertility, which is the result of an unwanted or unexpected pregnancy, primarily owing to a lack of knowledge, awareness, family planning facilities, and so on. If this problem is solved, India will have 30 million fewer people by 2030. The government’s investment in the health sector must be increased. India now invests approximately 1.3% of its entire GDP in health, with only 4% committed to family planning. The government must handle the issue on the ground because the population growth rate varies across the country due to India’s social, cultural, and economic diversity.