Q) Recently the government of Uttar Pradesh announced a population policy for 2021-20. Critically examine its importance in the context of governance in the state. (250 Words)
GS: 1: Society - Population and associated issues.
Introduction: The State of Uttar Pradesh(UP) has in the past suffered from unemployment, poverty, lack of resources and social disharmony, which has often seen as a bi-production of one of the highest population growth in the country. For this reason it is considered as one of the BIMARU states in India. In contrast, the states of South India and West Bengal which have successfully stabilized their population have better growth outcomes. In this context the new population control policy is announced.
Salient features of the UP Population Policy 2021-2030:
5 Key targets:
• Awareness and extensive programs would be held among those communities and cadres and geographical areas that have high fertility rate. Care of elders.
• UP population (Control, Stabilisation and Welfare) Bill, 2021: being proposed to implement two child norms on the basis of which Various welfare schemes would be limited.
1. Population stabilization: So that the growth of population is controlled.
2. Addressing Nutrition issue for women: If there is no gap between the birth of two children, then naturally it will affect their nutrition.
3. Social Harmony: It is aimed at bringing harmony amongst communities which fear demographic change in the region. Further, changed sex ratio is also said to bring disharmony in the population which is being addressed in the policy.
4. Disincentivizing Population growth: There is a risk of benefits of the welfare programs incentivising greater population growth
5. Controlling stress over resources: Increased population puts additional stress on resources, such as water, electricity, public institutions ect, which is needed to be controlled.
6. Social Outcomes: Poor literacy and poverty can be linked to greater population growth.
7. Environment: Greater the population greater is the consumption of fossil fuels and energy, and greater is the pollution.
8. Controlling vector transmission of diseases: It has been shown that areas with denser population are at higher risk of vector borne diseases due to inability to maintain hygiene.
9. Focused governance: This might led to better governance and lower crime rates.
10. Controlling proleferation of Slums: Which are the direct result of government's inability to provide adequate number of houses.
Conclusion: The policy is a grand comprehensive step in the right direction. However, removing misconceptions about the policy would be the need of the hour. Further, incentivizing only a single child might fuel the prevalence girl infanticide or feticide prevalence due to 'Son meta-preference', a concept brought forward by Economic survey of 2017. For families with single boy child or only boys must be disincentivised.