India Population Growth - University of Canterbury

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Transcript India Population Growth - University of Canterbury

India was one of the first
countries in the world to try to do
something about reducing its
population growth rate.
In 1950 the total population was
approximately 360 million.
India’s birth rate was 41 per 1000 and its
population growth rate was 3 per cent per
In 1952 India set up a population control
programme which aimed to reduce the birth
rate by setting up clinics which provided free
contraceptives and family planning services.
Parents were encouraged
to use contraceptives in
order to limit the size of
their families.
Contraceptives were to
be made available to the
whole population – even
those living in the most
isolated areas of the
Progress was slow during the 1950s
and early 1960s, despite the
government increasing its family
planning education services and
promoting the wider use of
In 1967 the birth rate was still around 40 per 1000
and the total population had reached
approximately 520 million.
The fertility rate remained high at 5.7 – i.e. the
number of children per woman of child-bearing
The Minister of Family Planning
introduced several new measures
in order to achieve a much lower
birth rate, including:
 advertising the importance of birth control in
newspapers and on radio and television.
 legalising abortion.
 rewarding men who had a vasectomy.
Women accounted for 95 per cent
of all sterilisations at this time.
Male sterilisation became a more
favoured method of contraception
because it was both permanent and
Men were
to volunteer
In 1971, a district official in
Kerala organised a family
planning ‘fair’. During the month
the fair was on for, 60,000
vasectomies were performed.
After his 10 minute operation,
each man received gifts
including money, a week’s food,
a lottery ticket, an umbrella, and
a bright sari for his wife.
Between 1967 and
1973, 13 million
men were
However, by the mid-1970s
these policies were not having
the desired effect and India’s
population continued to grow at
an alarming rate.
There was widespread resistance to the
government’s population control programme.
Small families were
simply not part of
Indian culture.
In 1976 a desperate Indian
government turned to
compulsory measures.
 Government employees were
required to limit the size of their
families to three children.
 Enforced sterilisation resulted in 22 million
people – mostly males – being sterilised by 1977.
“Vasectomy flying squads” stopped groups of men
at random and, regardless of their age, sterilised
Widespread opposition led to this policy being
In 1984 Prime Minister Rajiv
Ghandi put the country on a “war
footing” to reduce the population
growth rate and achieve a two
child per family target by the year
The push for two-child families resulted in cases
of infanticide.
By 1993 the fertility rate had fallen to 3.4, but
the birth rate remained high at just under 30 per
1000 and the population had climbed to almost
870 million.
A survey of birth control methods in the same
year revealed that sterilisation – 76 per cent – was
the main method of contraception that people
used. (67 per cent female, 9 per cent male)
“The ideal family – two parents, two
An Indian family planning poster.
The red
is India’s
From the beginning, India’s
population control policies had
always been guided by the
perception that a growing
population is a major obstacle to
raising living standards.
In 1994 a “New Population Plan”
(NPP) was formulated.
Its aim was to reduce India’s fertility
rate to 2.1 by 2004.
In addition to ensuring universal access to
contraceptives and promoting a more intensive
programme of family planning education, the NPP
focused on:
 primary health care access for mothers and
their new-born children.
 improving female literacy.
New laws affecting the age of marriage and the
registration of marriages and births were also
Women were the main “target” of
the new population control policy.
Child Survival
were set up.
The minimum age of marriage was set at 18.
All marriages and births had to be registered.
A range of incentives were
included in the NPP to encourage
people to have smaller families:
 People would be more successful in applying for
jobs, or government loans, if they could produce a
certificate of sterilisation.
 Low interest loans would be made to authorities
in urban and rural areas which had been able to
reproductive health or increased their population’s
awareness of, and access to, contraceptives.
 Freezing the population-proportional quota for
each state in the Lok Sabha. If a state reduced its
population growth rate, it did not “lose” seats in
the Federal Parliament.
In 2002
reached one
India’s population growth rate is continuing to make
it difficult for the country to become more developed.
At current rates of growth
India’s population is expected
to reach 1.8 billion within the
next forty years.
growth falls to
level if the NPP
was to achieve
its objective.
A cartogram showing the countries of the world
according to their size of population.
The impact of
India’s recent
control policies
on the age
structure of the
Age Structure of India’s
Population 1997 and 2020