Charting a path for the population committee

Syllabus: GS-I

Subject: Society and Social Justice

Topic: Population and associated issues

Issue: Emography of India

Context: The announcement in the interim Budget of a “high-powered committee to extensively consider the challenges arising from rapid population growth and demographic changes”.

India’s demographic landscape presents both opportunities and challenges for the country’s socio-economic development.

Tasks in front of the Committee:

  • addressing issues such as family planning, maternal and child health, education, employment, and socio-economic development.

Past, present and future of India’s demography:

  • increase in economic growth because of its demographic advantage comprising of:
    • decreasing Total Fertility Rate (TFR)
    • increasing working age population
    • steady rise of elderly population
    • decrease in the dependency ratio (increase in life expectancy
  • Health, education, employment challenges:
    • Public spending on health has remained around 1% of GDP
    • investments in education and skill development are crucial
    • The disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have amplified these challenges in health, education and skill gaps
  • Challenges to policy making in India – Data driven approach:
    • the non-availability of current and reliable data on the population for evidence-based policymaking.
    • regular and comprehensive national censuses and surveys are crucial for collecting demographic data.
    • Independent audits, data validation exercises, and peer review processes can help identify and rectify data errors and inconsistencies.
Data Point:

1.      According to UNICEF, nearly 47% of Indian youth may lack the necessary education and skills for employment by 2030.

2.     India’s TFR projected to touch 1.73 in 2031-35 from 2.5 in 2009-11


Prelims Connect:

Total Fertility Rate (TFR): the average number of children that a woman would have over her childbearing years (i.e. age 15-49), based on current birth trends.

Dependency Ratio: the ratio between working (14 to 65 yrs old) and non-working population (0-14 yrs old and over 65yrs old).

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