Population explosion is the main obstacle to the smooth development of the Indian economy. Since this problem is getting intense day by day, it is obvious to take appropriate measures to keep it under control by lowering the birth rate.
1.Rise in Per-capita Income:
Demographic history of various advanced countries shows that there is an inverse relationship between per-capita income and a country’s birth rate. When per-capita income increases, people don’t desire more children in order supplement their income. In other words, with increase in per-capita income, people feel more secure and do not want to depend on their children. Dumont, a noted demographer has developed the “Social Capillarity Thesis” to explain this relationship between birthrate and per-capita income. Therefore, rapid economic development is very much essential to control the already high birth rate. However, this increase in per-capita income will have its positive impact on birth rate after a period after a period of time.
2. Urbanization and Industrialization
In the Indian society we have joint family system which encourages a high birth rate. Hence this joint family has to be replaced by nucleus family. A nucleus family is generally found in an urbanized and industrialized economy. Hence our efforts should be to industrialize and urbanize our economy to reduce the high birth rate.
3. Late Marriage
In India girls marry at an early age and a longer span of time to reduce children. Hence we have to raise the minimum age to marriage in our country in order to control the birth rate. A UN report has pointed out, there would be a significant decline of birth of seven per thousand, if the average age of marriage of females were to rise from 16 to 20years.
4. Lowering Infant Mortality Rate
In India, infant mortality rate is very high and stands at 72 per thousand. Poor people, in order to ensure that some children do survive, reproduce more. Therefore, widespread vaccination and proper child and maternity care should be undertaken to reduce the infant mortality rate.
5. Spread of Education
In India, 48 percent of total population are illiterate. They regard children as the gift of God and are not conscious about the evils of population growth. To move illiteracy and blind belief, spread of education is very much essential. An educated man can rightly understand the benefit of a small family norm.
6. Women education and employment
In India, only 32.92 percent of women are literate and much less are employed. The Government, therefore, should take effective steps to spread women education and create employment opportunities for them so that they can understand the evils of population growth and control it by themselves.
7. Family Planning Facilities
In India, family planning facilities are available only in the urban centres and semi-urban areas. So poor people of rural areas don’t get these facilities easily. Therefore, family planning centres with trained personnel should be set up in rural areas to prove this facility at their doorstep. This can very much help in lowering the birth rate.
The Government should provide both monetary and real incentives to people for adopting family planning measures. The funds for the purpose should be properly utilised.
The massage of family planning should reach the people of rural areas. For this there should be widespread publicity in the new paper, radio and T.V. people should be convinced that no birth control device is harmful and small family is a happy family.
Family planning is a voluntary measure. However, Government should enact laws for directly lowering the birth rate. The Government can make laws in this field of raising the minimum age of marriage, compulsory education up to high school level, termination of pregnancy and abolition of child labour. In fact, the Govt. of India has already enacted laws in these regards.