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Population : Background & Perspective

 By Sandhya Srinivasan

The world has a population of 6 billion. India alone has a population of 1 billion. Despite the fact that India was the first country in the world to have a population policy. But is this mammoth population really cause for alarm? It could be more important to understand the factors that led to this population explosion and the complex links between population growth rates and levels of development. And to acknowledge that India is in the midst of a demographic transition, with fertility rates definitely declining, though not as fast as was expected.


53 million-plus cities vs 355 million-plus districts

As long as the fixation with high economic growth rates continues, the focus in India will be on urban growth, at the expense of rural resilience, writes Rahul Goswami in this analysis of important data on rural India thrown up by Census 2011


"The two-child norm only leads to female foeticide"

By Madhu Gurung

Commenting on the serious decline in the 0-6 sex ratio in India, leading demographer Ashish Bose states that the government's policies are all wrong. The two-child policy has got mixed up with female foeticide. Government slogans like 'Beti ya beta, dono ek hain' make little sense. And financial sops for couples having a girl-child can make no dent in the traditional preference for sons in India


Two-child norm puts panchayats under pressure

By Rashme Sehgal

The mandatory two-child norm for panchayat members, that exists in many Indian states, is proving to be more divisive than productive, with many women being forced to step down from their posts despite having little say in the number of children they have


Delhi's skewed sex ratio: "24,000 girls go missing every year"

By Rashme Sehgal

Delhi's sex ratio has become more and more skewed over the years. One study of families which already have one or more daughters shows just 219 girls being born for every 1,000 boys


The rot in Orissa's reproductive health services

By Manipadma Jena

At a recent public hearing in Orissa's Jagatsinghpur district, both men and women told harrowing tales of negligence, bungling and lack of facilities in the state's public healthcare system


UP's population policy ignores the ground realities

By Rashme Sehgal

Public health NGOs claim that the Uttar Pradesh Population Policy downplays abortion as a means of family planning, even though 10,000 women in the state die as a result of unsafe abortions every year. Why is this happening? Especially in a state which records 40,000 maternal mortality deaths every year?


Why 40,000 pregnant women die in UP every year

By Rashme Sehgal

Uttar Pradesh has a maternal mortality rate of 707 per 100,000. Activists believe that the poor quality of reproductive health services offered by state primary health centres, and the continuing target-based approach to family planning are responsible for this. Our correspondent discovered a trail of botched sterilisations, unsafe abortions, antiquated surgical techniques and hasty cover-ups


The sinister targets of Indian health camps

By Sreelatha Menon

At Usayini in Uttar Pradesh, some 'health camps' funded by USAIDS are really places where local midwives are pushed to bring women in for sterilisation. There is absolutely no attempt to provide all-round reproductive health care. This approach flies in the face of India's official policy of target-free family planning


Emergency without an Emergency? The two-child norm for panchayat members

By Mohan Rao

Laws to empower dalits, adivasis, OBCs and other sections of the poor through local self-government institutions are being circumvented by anti-democratic population policies. Indeed, if today fertility is to be a marker for citizenship, can the day be far behind when religion is?


No kidding: Apex court enforces two-child norm

By Laxmi Murthy

Since the mid-' 90s, the Indian government has attempted to make a shift from the target-oriented approach to family planning to one of advocacy, quality of care and individual choice. Now, with the Supreme Court upholding the two-child norm for contesting panchayat elections and with some states formulating anti-people population policies, there seems to be a return to coercive methods


Sex selection: Getting down to business

By Laxmi Murthy

An estimated 20 million females in this country have been eliminated following sex-determination tests. But not a single doctor has been convicted. It is the providers of this technology who have to be held ethically as well as legally accountable. Will the recent amendment to the PNDT Act change anything?


Adverse sex ratio results in no brides in Rohtak

By Rashme Arora

Decades of female foeticide and infanticide have finally caught up with the people of Haryana. With the sex ratio in Rohtak district down to 796 females per 1000 males and the rest of the state faring not much better, young men are desperate to get married but cannot find themselves brides


Two may not be enough

By M P Basheer

After having consistently followed the 'We Two, Our Two' family planning model, Keralites are now beginning to feel that, 20 years from now, when there are too many elderly, two will be too few. By 2022, around 33 per cent of Kerala's population is expected to be aged over 49, leaving a gap in the support system



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