In view of demographic changes in recent decades, do you think India needs a two-child policy? Discuss in light of various strands of the debate surrounding this issue.

According to NFHS – 5, India’s total fertility rate is 1.9. Further, as per the Lancet journal, India is set to reach the peak of demographic dividend in 2041.

India needs a two-child policy:

  • Rising population – Although TFR is declining, the overall population is increasing and set to surpass china by 2027.
  • Standard of living – More children means a lower standard of living and less productive development.
  • Many states are not showing behavioral changes and continue to have high TFR. E.g – Bihar’s TFR is more than 3.
  • Better human development by focussing on a lesser number of children.

India doesn’t need a two-child policy:

  • International experience from china shows that such policies can distort demographic balance, leading to an aging population.
  • Already declining TFR, set to decline even further.
  • Men often desert wives if more than 2 children are produced.
  • Can lead to female foeticide and infanticide.
  • Deprives the marginalized communities further.

Thus, instead of a two-child policy, India needs to increase access to healthcare and education.

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