POPULATION CONTROL BILL: PROS AND CONS

                                                    

 Reading time : 8 minutes                                                                                   

INTRODUCTION

On July 11, 2021 Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath officially announced about the Uttar Pradesh Control, Stabilization and welfare Bill, 2021. The Uttar Pradesh state commission has prepared the draft bill and claimed that the policy is not forced upon anyone and will be voluntary. The draft has been released on the Uttar Pradesh State Law Commission (UPSLC ) official website. Yogi Adityanath while announcing about the bill stated that everyone is welcome to give suggestions till 19 of July, 2021 in the Uttar Pradesh State Law Commission official website. Almost 8,500 suggestions and objections were received on this bill as of July 19, 2021. The total fertility rate among women is 2.7 as of 2021 and the aim of the bill is to reduce the total fertility rate among women to 2.1 by 2026 and to 1.9 by 2030 and said that this helps in providing a better Education, Health facilities and Nutrition of adolescents (1).

In the current covid-19 situation there are people who lost their lives due to the shortage of Medical facilities like lack of oxygen cylinders, Beds, Medicines and virus test kits. The pandemic has not only affected the Health Care System but also Education, Food systems, National and International business, Jobs, Manufacturing of essential goods and many more. Due to Economic and Social disruption in the pandemic there is a possibility that millions of people fall at the risk of extreme poverty, all this is because of Lack of social Protection and Loss of Quality Health care for the population in a country

ABOUT THE BILL:

This bill seeks to revitalize the efforts and supply for the measures to regulate, stabilize and supply welfare to the population of the state by implementing and promoting the two child norm (2). The main aim of the draft bill is to regulate the population and supply everybody with the essential resources they need like quality education, safe drinking water, health facilities, and decent living and sustenance opportunities.

Some of the provisions of the bill are (3):

Section 1 of the bill states that this act can be called as the Uttar Pradesh population control, stabilization and welfare act, 2021 and it is applicable to the whole of Uttar Pradesh.

Section 2 of the bill provides that this act is only applicable for the eligible married couples which mean a boy who is 21 years of age or above and a girl who is 18 years of age and above.

Section 4 of the bill confers incentives for the public servants who follow the two child norm and undergo voluntary sterilization upon himself or spouse. The incentives given are two additional increments during the entire service, Subsidy towards the purchase of house site or plot or built house from the housing board or development authority, grant towards a soft loan for construction or buying a house on nominal rates of interest, Maternity or paternity leave of twelve months with full earnings and allowances, under national pension scheme three percent increase will be given in the employer’s contribution fund, rebate on charges for utilities like house tax, safe drinking water and electricity, free health care facility and insurance coverage is given to the spouse.

Section 5 of the bill gives additional incentives for the public servants who have only one child and undergo voluntary sterilization upon himself or spouse. The incentives are free health care facility and insurance coverage to the single child till he attain the age of twenty years, Preference to single child in admission in all the education institutions including but not limited to Indian Institute of Management, All India Institute of Medical Science etc., two additional incentives will be given in the entire service, Free education to the single child up to graduation level, preference to single child in the government jobs, In case of a girl child scholarship is given for higher studies.

Section 6 talks about the Incentives given to any individual other than public servants. Any Individual who adopts two child policy and undergo voluntary sterilization upon himself or spouse will be given benefits such as three percent increase in the employer’s contribution fund under national pension, rebate on charges for utilities such as safe drinking water, house tax, electricity, soft loan for construction or purchasing a house on nominal rates of interest, maternity or paternity leave of 12 months with full salary and allowances. Also additional incentives are given to any individuals who have only one child and voluntarily undergo sterilization upon himself or spouse. The additional incentives are Preference is given to single child in admission in all educational institutions including but not limited to Indian Institute of Management, All India Institute of Medical science etc., free education is provided to the child up to graduation level, Preference to single child in government jobs, Free health care facility and insurance coverage is given to single child till he attain the age of twenty years, In case of a girl child scholarship for higher studies is given.

Section 7 provides that any couple who are living below the poverty line and have only child and undergo voluntary sterilization upon himself or spouse are eligible to get one time lump sum amount of rupees eighty thousand if child is a boy and one lakh if the child is a girl.

Section 8 talks about the disincentives or Revocation of incentives, Anyone who doesn’t follow the two child norm after its commencement will not be eligible for the incentives given under section 4 and section 7 and also there are additional disincentives such as Debarring from benefit of government sponsored welfare schemes, Limit ration card units up to four, bar on contesting elections on local body  (Section 9), Bar on applying to government jobs (section 10), Bar on promotion in government services (Section 11), Bar on receiving any kind of government subsidy (section 12).

General exceptions:

Multiple births out of second pregnancy (section 13)

For Example:

1. A and his wife B had a child in the first pregnancy and two children out of second pregnancy then the actions of A and B will not come under the contravention of two child norm.

2. A and his wife B had a child in the first pregnancy and three children out of second pregnancy then the actions of A and B will not come under the contravention of two child norm.

3. A and his wife B had two children out of first pregnancy and two children out of second pregnancy then the actions of A and B will come under the contravention of two child norm.

Adoption (section 14) is also under the exceptions.

For Example:

1. A and his wife B had no child born out of their marriage and adopted two children. The actions of A and B will not be under the contravention of two child norm.

2. A and his wife B had no children born out of marriage and adopted more than two children. The actions of A and B will be under contravention of two child norm.

3. A and his wife B had a child out of their marriage and adopted two children. The actions of A and B will be under contravention of two child policy.

4. A and his wife B had two children out of their marriage and adopted one child. The actions of A and B will be under contravention of two child norm.

5. A and B had two children out of their marriage and adopted two or more children. The actions of A and B will be under contravention of two child norm.

Disability of the first or second child (section 15) comes under exceptions:

For Example:

1. A and his wife B had two children out of their marriage and the first child suffers from a disability. A and B give birth to their third child. The actions of A and B will not be under the contravention of two child norm.

2. A and his wife B had two children out of their marriage and the first child suffers from a disability. A and B give birth to third and fourth child in the same pregnancy then the actions of A and B will not come under the contravention of two child norm.

3. A and his wife B had two children out of their marriage and both the children suffered from a disability. A and B give birth to the third and fourth child from different pregnancies then the actions of A and B will come under the contravention of two child norm.

4. A and his wife B had a child out of their marriage and gave birth to second and third child from the same pregnancy then the actions of A and B will not come under the contravention of two child norm.

5. A and his wife B had a child out of marriage and gave birth to second and third child out of different pregnancies. The actions of A and B will come under the contravention of the two child norm.

Death of child (section 16) will come under the exceptions

For Example:

1. A and his wife B had two children out of their marriage and the first child died. A and B had a third child born out of marriage. The actions of A and B will not come under the contravention of two child norm.

2. A and his wife B had two children out of their marriage and the first child died. A and B had their third and fourth child in the same pregnancy. The actions of A and B are in contravention of the two child norm.

3. A and his wife B had two children and both the children died. A and B gave birth to their third and fourth child in different pregnancies the the actions of A and B are in contravention of two child norm.

4. A and B had a child and the child died. A and B had their third and fourth child in the same pregnancy then the actions of A and B are not in contravention of two child norm.

5. A and B had a child and the child died. A and B have second and third child out of subsequent pregnancies then the action of A and B will come under contravention of two child norm.

Section 17 talks about Married couple expecting a child at the time of commencement of this act, If he is having three children from his marriage and conceives a third child within one year from the date of commencement of this act then the actions of individual will not come under the contravention of two child norm.

Section 18 provides the effects of contravention of two child norm in cases of polygamous marriages: if the actions of husband in polygamous marriage are in the contravention with the two child norm then he is not eligible to receive any incentives provided under this act and also he is liable for the disincentives given under this act. If the actions of husband in a polygamous marriage are in contravention of the two child norm, shall not preclude his wives and children who are eligible to get incentives given under the act. If the actions of wife in polygamous marriage is in contravention to the two child norm then she is not eligible to get any incentives given under this act and also shall be liable to for the disincentives provided under this act.

IS THERE ANY NEED FOR POPULATION CONTROL BILL IN UTTAR PRADESH?

According to the UN department of Economic and Social Affairs estimates India’s Population will reach 1.5 billion by 2030 and hit 1.64 billion in 2050 (4). This would make India become the largest populous country by overtaking China. Out of the total population in India, Uttar Pradesh is the most populous state. In Uttar Pradesh there are very limited basic resources like safe drinking water, access to quality education, decent housing and economic livelihood opportunities but a very high population. So this bill states that it is necessary to control the population of the state and promote sustainable development with more equitable distribution.

PROS OF POPULATION CONTROL BILL

1. There are people in Uttar Pradesh who are living below the poverty line because of Lack of basic resources. So, by implementing the two child norm more people can get access to basic resources like safe drinking water, Health facilities, Quality Education etc. and this leads to reduced poverty. Everyone have right to get Quality Education without any discrimination.

2. This bill mainly aims at reduction of population and less population leads to less pollution and brings healthy environment.

3. Uttar Pradesh government has announced incentives for the public servants who voluntarily follow the two child norm like two additional increments during the entire service, rebate on charges for utilities such as water, electricity, water, house tax, Maternity or paternity leave of 12 months with full salary and allowances etc.

4. This bill applies to everyone in the state not only to the common people but also to the policy makers.

5. If a family is financially poor and has more than two children then they might not be able to get education for all of them. So, if people follow the two child norm then the government gives benefits for children to get an admission into good schools and to get quality education.

CONS OF POPULATION CONTROL BILL

1. Implementation of the two child norm may lead to more sex selective abortion as many people in India prefer having a male child than female child. In china when the one child policy is implemented they observed many sex selective abortions there is a chance that it can happen in India too. Earlier there were cases where people threw their female child in the streets, waste bins and after implementation of this bill there might be a rise in these kinds of cases.

2. Many people who Lack in awareness and who are poor are giving birth to more people and refusing them from getting benefits from government schemes because not following the two child norm leads to more poverty.

3. In China after years of implementing the one child policy they have faced an imbalance of population. So in order to improve the balanced development of the population, China has lifted the one child policy and implemented the three child policy. So, there is a possibility that India may face imbalance in society which affects the economic growth of the society.

4. As in India people give preference to male child rather than female child there is a possibility that if a woman gives birth to a female child both the times then the husband might blame his wife completely and divorce her or there is a chance of many women being a victim of domestic violence.

SUGGESTIONS & CONCLUSION

1. All the incentives or benefits provided under this act should be applicable to every individual irrespective of their jobs.

2. The Act did not provide any information about single parents.

3. In the areas where the people are not aware about the bill or the population problem, the government should take the initiative to create awareness in those areas.

4. The Act did not provide any information about the people who are in living relationships.

5. Nonprofit organizations should take part in creating awareness about the bill, the problems arising due to increase in population and how to solve it among people in the areas where there is lack of awareness.

 India is the second populated country in the world after China. As per the UN department of Economic and Social affairs, India will overtake China and become the first highest country with a very huge population and in India Uttar Pradesh is the most populous state. This leads to increase in poverty, overcrowding, damage in climate by pollution, diseases, Lack of opportunities, awareness and basic necessities and many more. In India there are limited resources like safe drinking water, Quality education, decent housing, and health facilities and because of this many people are living below the poverty line. So it is necessary to take an initiative to control the population and the Uttar Pradesh government has come up with a bill which helps in controlling the population.

Bibliography

1. Mukherjee, Priyanka. UP’s 2-child policy: Is there a need for population control measures in India? timesofindia. [Online] 7 15, 2021. [Cited: 9 17, 2021.] https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/ups-2-child-policy-is-there-a-need-for-population-control-measures-in-india/articleshow/84440004.cms.

2. THE UTTAR PRADESH POPULATION (CONTROL,STABILIZATION AND WELFARE) BILL, 2021. LiveLaw. [Online] 7 19, 2021. [Cited: 9 17, 2021.] https://www.livelaw.in/pdf_upload/up-population-control-bill-draft-396420.pdf.

3. THE UTTAR PRADESH POPULATION (CONTROL, STABILIZATION AND WELAFRE) BILL,2021. LiveLaw. [Online] 7 19, 2021. [Cited: 9 20, 2021.] https://www.livelaw.in/pdf_upload/up-population-control-bill-draft-396420.pdf.

4. Pandey, Kundan. India’s population: 1.37 billion and not counting. DownToEarth. [Online] 2 11, 2020. [Cited: 9 20, 2021.] https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/governance/india-s-population-1-37-billion-and-not-counting-69013.

Author: SRI SIRI TARIMALA , PRESIDENCY UNIVERSITY

Editor: Kanishka VaishSenior Editor, LexLife India.

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