india population news: india population latest news today tfr nfhs-5 news : What is the meaning of NFHS-5 report

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india population news: india population latest news today tfr nfhs-5 news : What is the meaning of NFHS-5 report

The latest report of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) has revealed an important fact that the total fertility rate in India has come down from 2.2 to 2.0. The average fertility rate per woman of 2.1 is known as the replacement mark. That is, the population at this average remains more or less constant. This is the first time that the country’s national fertility rate has dropped below the replacement mark. Keep in mind, this has not happened by chance or under any dramatic event. A declining trend in the average fertility rate was visible for a long time. In such a situation, it would not be wrong to assume that this gradual change is to a large extent sustainable. There is no possibility of it taking a sudden upward trend in the near future.

This means that we also need to bring a change in our attitude towards the population of the country. Since independence, we are used to seeing population growth as a problem. During the Emergency, programs like forced sterilization were also run by the government. Due to the notoriety of the then government, subsequent governments did not resume such a strict program, but efforts were made to curb population growth at different levels. The current Prime Minister Narendra Modi has tried to explain that population is not our problem by running a discussion of demographic dividend instead of ‘population explosion’. If it is used properly then it can prove to be the biggest boon for us. But no significant effect of this discussion could be seen on the ground.

Some Hindutva organizations still see population growth as a major problem in the country and blame communities that have relatively high birth rates. Not only this, some BJP-ruled states have recently also talked about bringing stringent laws to curb population growth. In states like UP, Assam, Karnataka, Gujarat etc. the Chief Minister or the cabinet members themselves have expressed their intention to bring such a law. BJP MPs Rakesh Sinha and Anil Agarwal have also given notice of such a private bill in Parliament. It is important to understand that such a discussion on population is not only obsolete now, but in the changed situation, the steps inspired by it will prove to be harmful. If the latest trend continues, in no time our population will start decreasing and the nature of the challenges will change completely. That is why it is necessary that instead of becoming stereotyped and chanting the old melody, we should prepare ourselves for the new challenges to come.

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