India

Amid Population Control Bills Row, Centre Last Year Said No “Coercion”


New Delhi:

India is “unequivocally against coercion in family planning” and knowledge exhibits “couples, on average, do not want more than two children”, the centre advised the Supreme Court in a December 2020 affidavit signed by an Under Secretary within the Union Health Ministry’s Family Planning division.

The affidavit – filed in response to a PIL looking for re-introduction of the obligatory two-child norm or the framing of an equal new regulation – emerges as two BJP-ruled states – Uttar Pradesh and Assam – and a number of other social gathering MPs have proposed controversial inhabitants management legal guidelines, which embody blocking entry to authorities advantages for {couples} with greater than two kids.

“Family Welfare Programme in India is voluntary in nature, which enables couples to decide size of their family and adopt family planning methods… without any compulsion,” the affidavit said.

It additionally factors out India is a signatory to the International Conference on Population and Development in 1994, below which it’s “is unequivocally against coercion in family planning”.

“In fact, international experience shows that any coercion to have a certain number of children is counter-productive and leads to demographic distortions,” the affidavit said.

The doc additionally laid out a tranche of information to spotlight a “constant decline in Total Fertility Rate (TFR)” and provides that 25 of 36 state/UTs had already achieved the goal TFR of two.1.

“Furthermore, as per census, 2001-2011 is the first decade in the last 100 years which has not only added lesser population as compared to the previous… but also registered sharpest decline in decadal growth rate from 21.54 per cent in 1991-2001 to 17.64 per cent in 2001-2011,” it mentioned.

On Sunday – World Population Day – UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath triggered a row with the discharge of a brand new inhabitants coverage for the state.

The invoice – a draft model of which has been shared with the general public for suggestions – proposes that folks with greater than two kids will likely be debarred from contesting native polls, making use of for presidency jobs or receiving any subsidy. It additionally bars authorities workers from promotions.

This was days after Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma made comparable bulletins; Mr Sarma, the truth is, indicated the coverage was meant to test the expansion of the Muslim inhabitants.

“… when we lift the veil off the statistics, it is found the Muslim population is growing at a rate of 29 per cent (decadal), whereas Hindus are growing at 10 per cent,” he was quoted by PTI.

This week sources mentioned a lot of BJP MPs would look to push for a nationwide inhabitants management regulation by personal members’ Bills within the monsoon session of parliament that begins subsequent week.

BJP MPs like Rakesh Sinha and Anil Aggarwal are amongst those that have put in notices.

The proposed legal guidelines have triggered outrage from sections of civil society and the opposition.

Congress chief Salman Khurshid took a sly dig on the UP authorities: “Politicians should declare how many children they have. I will also declare how many I have and then it should be discussed.”

The proposed legal guidelines have additionally been shot down by the BJP’s ally in Bihar, the place Chief Minister Nitish Kumar mentioned: “I clearly believe that it is not possible to ensure population control with a law.”

“When women are aware and educated, that is how population will reduce,” he added.

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