Q. Population growth is both a blessing and a curse. Elaborate it with suitable Indian examples.
Answer: According to the World population Prospects Report 2022, India will become the world’s
most populous country in 2023 with a population reaching up to 1.429 billion next year,
surpassing China’s 1.426 billion. India currently has 17.5% of the world’s population, which is
four times the population India had at the time of Independence in 1947 (34 crore). Just like the
two sides of a coin, population growth is productive as well as detrimental to a nation’s health.
Population Growth would depress living standards.
IS POPULATION GROWTH A BLESSING OR A CURSE?
|Economy|| Market Expansion: As the|
population grows, demand
for a variety of necessities
and luxury goods will rise. It
will encourage producers to
establish more industries,
which will promote economic
Greater Capital Formation
and Investments: The
population will generate a
wider market. Consequently,
it will entice investors to
invest in these goods. This
will result in a net increase in the nation’s capital stock.
Growth and equilibrium: As
a result of population growth,
the nation has a young
average age. Young
populations necessitate the
construction of new housing,
healthcare, and educational facilities.
India will have one of the
largest workforces in the
world. Globally, one in every
5 working age group people
will live in India in the next 25
years. This results in the
cheap availability of the workforce.
Increase in the labour force
also enhances the
productivity of a nation.
| Low Per Capita Income and|
Low Standard of Living:
Increase in population results in
a low per capita income as there
is more competition for the
available limited resources. For
example, Bihar is the third most
populous state and has the
lowest per capita income in
Inflation: The rise in population
leads to a competition for
products that results in price rise
and in turn inflation.
Burden on Government funds:
Government expenditure will
increase considerably and the
government will not be able to
concentrate more on economic
development. Also, poor people
will get a smaller share of the
funds and civic amenities.
Unemployment: There will be
many people entering the labour
market as a result of the
population’s rapid rise who may
be impossible to employ.
As per the NSSO Periodic
Labour Force Survey 2017-18,
India’s labour force participation
rate for the age-group 15-59
years is around 53%, that is,
around half of the working-age
population is jobless
|Health|| Fertility rate: India’s fertility|
rate has fallen below
replacement level, at 2.1
births for every woman. The
nations with the lowest
incomes per capita also tend
to have the highest fertility
Mortality rate: The UN
reports that a declining
mortality rate initially caused
a spectacular increase in
population. As fewer children
were born from generation to
generation, growth began to
slow. However, the
population will become
younger in the opposite
| Shortage of Food Grains: The|
inability of our country’s
agriculture to be mechanised
makes it more difficult to
adequately feed everyone as the
population rises. Additionally, the
expanding population will strain
the land more, resulting in more
India’s health -care
infrastructure is also highly
inadequate and inefficient.
Additionally, India’s public health financing
is low, varying between 1% and 1.5% of GDP, which is
among the lowest percentages in
Female health: In India, a third
of children under five have
stunted growth, and every other
woman of reproductive age is anaemic. Lessattention is paid
to the health of the women and
increased population will further
escalate this behaviour where
more and more preference will
be given to male children.
In 2011, the sex ratio was 943
females per 1,000 males and by
2022, it is expected to be
approximately 950 females per
|Environment|| Environmental Problems:|
Increased population directly
results in increased carbon
footprint. harms the environment.
India being a developing country,
people in rural areas still use
traditional ways of cooking such
as using cow dung cakes and
tree branches that pollute the
Population density: An
increase in population puts a
direct strain on land use and
agriculture as more people are
required to be fed with the same
set of available natural
For example, Bihar is the most
dense state in the country and
also the poorest as more than 50
percent of its population is poor.
|Society|| Increased opportunities:|
The growing population will
help in increasing the
national output of the country
and we can have the
benefits of new talented
minds of the younger
Religious equality: The
population of minorities is
also increasing which will
result in Religious equality
| Hunger: Increased population|
means more mouths to feed
which in turn creates pressure
upon the available stock of food.
India has ranked 107th on the
Global Hunger Index (GHI),
2022, out of 121 countries.
Crime: Due to excessive
population there is a scarcity of
resources. It mostly affects the
poor people who due to lack of
education and facilities are
unable to earn their livelihood.
This may result in such people
engaging in illegal crime and
activities to feed themselves and
|Resources|| Efficient utilisation of|
resources: A major portion
of our country’s resources
are idle or underutilised. We
need more manpower to
utilise them effectively so
that there is no wastage.
| Lesser Availability of|
Resources: Increase in
population puts a strain on the
natural resources. For example,
to build houses for such large
populations, forests are cleared
to make way for agricultural
lands, rivers are diverted to feed
these lands and people.
| New Ideas and innovation:|
the essence of the emotion
of the 125 crore Indians
wanting to come together
and create a magnificent
India. 125 crore Indians
nurture a hope, a zeal, a
resolve, a desire
To educate the public and raise awareness of the need for population control, the government is
implementing a number of actions. The following are some of the significant initiatives:
360-degree media campaign—The first portion of the campaign was introduced in 2016;
the second part of the campaign, which includes TV commercials, posters and hoardings, a
year-long radio show, and a specific website on family planning, was launched in 2017.
World Population Day, Vasectomy Fortnight, and other awareness-raising events are
recognised annually to create awareness.
Promotional activities: In order to raise awareness in high fertility Mission Parivar Vikas
districts, promotional activities like Saas bahu sammelans, Nayi Pehel Kits, Mobile publicity
vans, and advocacy meetings are conducted.
The government is putting in place a number of programmes to increase access to high-quality
family planning services, like
Mission Parivar Vikas: The government has started a programme called Mission
Parivar Vikas to significantly increase access to family planning services and
contraception in 146 high fertility districts with Total Fertility Rates (TFR) of 3 and above
in seven high priority states. These states, which together account for 44% of the
nation’s population, include Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh,
Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, and Assam.
New Contraceptive Options: Injectable Contraceptives and Centchroman have been
added to the list of available contraceptives.
Post-partum IUCD (PPIUCD), a new technique for inserting IUCDs right away after
delivery, has been introduced.
Clinical Outreach Teams (COT) Scheme: In 146 Mission Parivar Vikas districts, the
Clinical Outreach Teams (COT) Scheme has been introduced to provide family planning services through mobile teams from recognised organisations in remote, underserved,
and challenging-to-reach areas.
National Family Planning Indemnity Scheme (NFPIS): Clients are covered by the
National Family Planning Indemnity Scheme (NFPIS) in the event of death,
complications, or failure following sterilisation.
Establishing Quality Assurance Committees in all states and districts to ensure the
standard of care for family planning services
The focus should not be on population control, instead, an augmentation of the quality of life
should be the priority. The focus of action should be on extensive investment in human capital.
We should be prepared with suitable infrastructure, conducive social welfare schemes, and
massive investment in quality education and health so that we will convert the human population
into a human resource that can contribute to the making of New India.