Overpopulation
Thoughts

Is Overpopulation in India has any Solution?

In any discussion of problems in India, people remark overpopulation as the main reason for Each Problem. General people and even Politicians blame the “Growing” population for poverty to climate change. Some sources claim India will exceed China’s total population even before 2027. India covers only 2.4% of the land, where the population is 17.7% of the world population. Because of this, the pressure on land and resources is increasing. But is Overpopulation in India a total bane, or what experts say? So in this article, we will discuss what factors cause overpopulation and how it’s impacting the nation. 

Is overpopulation a curse?

The resources don’t increase at a rate at which the human population increases. It leads to scarcity, inequality and poverty. Thomas Malthus described it in his book “An essay on the principle of population. He stated overpopulation causes a shortage of food, water or employment and prevents the economy from growing.  This concept is simple.

But in modern times, some research shows that sometimes economic growth impacts population growth. And in some other economies, the population determines the financial condition. Again, Taiwan shows a very different picture when its economy has grown with overpopulation. 

Problems due to overpopulation:

Poverty: 

With the increasing population, the pressure on the existing resources increases. In a family, they divide the inherited property to the children. Most children can’t afford education either. It leads to a vicious cycle of poverty

Healthcare: 

If an economy or nation faces an overpopulation, it can not provide enough health support to its citizens.

Employment Crisis:

If not planned, overpopulation creates an employment crisis. The number of unskilled humans also increases. Those who are skilled also find it tough to find a living if employment doesn’t increase proportionately. 

Quality life Crisis: 

Poor education, health and employability together put down the overall quality of life. People don’t get sufficient amounts of resources and need to adjust to this. 

Pressure on Resources:

Climate change, infertile land, pollution, income inequality, etcetera rise with overpopulation. More pressure on natural resources destroys the ecosystem. 

Human civilization realised it already. So what are the steps taken previously?

Overpopulation Solutions took in History:

Overpopulation is a concern for India. In 1976, during the emergency period, Sanjay Gandhi led a Forced sterilisation operation. Though it sterilised 10 million people, there was no noticeable effect on the population. 

Most people prescribe China’s one-child policy as a solution for Indian’s overpopulation. Many politicians, social workers and general people think the population control act or two-child policy is the ultimate solution to control the population. But, China’s policy was not a success at all. It created a skewed sex ratio, fewer working-age people compared to old age person etc. 

In India, Rajasthan implemented a two-child policy for Panchayat in 1992. But some reports stated that it leads to the killing of the girl fetus. Again some elite families find out some way to escape from the policy, like adoption. 

Yes, population control laws can control population growth to some extent. But it can not yield a good result alone. People will always find loopholes to bypass the law. Only changing attitudes of the people to the problem and working on the root causes to solve the issue. 

India’s scenario in overpopulation

Though India is facing population growth, the pace is slow. The rate at which the population is growing declined to 17. 7 in 2001-11. The Total Fertility rate of India is also decreasing, and the recent TFR is 2.2. It means in 2050-60, India may witness a population fall. So, what are the factors that are improving the population, and how can we boost it more?

Before discussing it, we also need to know how this population is growing. Studies shows, the growth rate is decreasing in rich people. It is not growing evenly. Another point to note is the proportion of Working-age people. 

Yes, India is improving its population problem with growing Socio-Economic growth. But, to make this consistent Indian Society and administration need to work on the main reasons. So, before moving to the solutions, we will see the primary causes of overpopulation in India. 

Graph showing Indian Population Growth Per Year
Population Growth In India: 1971-2011

Why is India Overpopulated?

India’s large population is a result of various factors. It has economic as well as social roots. 

The gap between Death and Birth Rate:

Though the fertility rate of women is decreasing, India still has a higher fertility rate than many countries. Again with medical technologies, life expectancy is also higher. So the gap is increasing

Poverty and Illiteracy:

Poverty is another reason for overpopulation. Many couples think the solution to poverty is to produce more children. Because more children will bring more income opportunities. But this leads to overpopulation and scarcity of resources-again poverty. An unskilled human cannot contribute to the economy much. In an agriculture-based economy, the farmer needs more labour. So, this practice is common in Indian Rural areas. 

Illiteracy is closely related to poverty. Due to a lack of resources, economically weaker families could not upgrade skills and quality of life. People from lower-income levels are also not aware of contraceptives. 

Gender Inequality: 

No one can deny that Indian Society is still biased towards a male heir. Gender inequality is also increasing the population in many ways. Some families produce more children in the hope of giving birth to a male child. Also, more sons feel more social security for many couples. 

In most cases, those unwilling born girls are assumed to be liabilities. Early age marriages, lack of education for a girl rises there. Due to this, women get less social status. Many times, women can’t participate in family planning as well. Educated and earning women have more chances to plan their pregnancy.

Education and Sex knowledge:

Some religious beliefs and lack of knowledge is another reason for overpopulation. Most people don’t want to use contraceptives and family planning due to religious beliefs. 

So, what should be a solution?

How to control overpopulation:

No matter what we name it, population control or family planning, the original aim is to balance the population with the resources available. So, we need to change the attitude of people and policymakers towards the problem. 

Overpopulation can be an asset:

Overpopulation is a burden when people are just consumers. But, a human can increase resources with skills and technology. If India can use its people as assets, it will improve the overall quality of life. For this, we need to train the young generation for valued skills. Population Development is the fundamental way to solve the issue. Investing in the education and skill development sector is a way for this. 

Again, the government needs to plan more employment opportunities for working-age people. 

Women Empowerment: 

Women empowerment can bring a positive change very quickly in the overpopulation problem. Increasing literacy rate in women and opening opportunities for economic participation decreases the fertility rate. 

Creating Sustainable Resources: 

With population increase, pressure on natural resources increased. It leads to climate changes and other environmental issues. So, policymakers should pay attention to creating sustainable development models. 

Changing People Attitude:

The main reason for the increasing population is people’s mind. No policy can change the situation when people will not change their traditional beliefs.

When people realise the importance of a quality life, people will be concerned about fewer children. Furthermore, altering perspectives about a girl child, future security etc. lead to population control.  

Conclusion:

It’s essential to plan the economy for population control. In the upcoming 20 years, 

the number of working-age people will increase. After that, the population will have a higher proportion of old age people. So India needs a policy for the future. 

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