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.