In an effort towards Population control in the state of Uttar Pradesh, the UP government may bar couples with more than two children from availing benefits of government welfare schemes or contest panchayat elections.
As per a report in Times of India, UP Health Minister Jai Pratap Singh on Wednesday said, “the population policy of different states is being studied and the best from them is being pulled out for our state which is most populous in India.”
He added that a group of experts is reviewing a draft of the policy. The last population policy of Uttar Pradesh was last revised in the year 2000.
Dr Badri Vishal who is a part of the expert group pointed out that northern states are struggling to control their population while southern states have been able to control. He said, “Several states particularly Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh- which are smaller than us in terms of population- have rolled out schemes to de-incentivize too many children. In both states, those with more than two children cannot contest elections. We propose to adopt this rule.”
According to sources, the UP government may consider two major steps in order to curb the bursting population in the state. One of them is holding back the state government’s welfare scheme to the couples with more than two children and another step is to bar candidates with more than two children from entering into state services.
As per TOI’s report, UP’s total fertility rate or TFR (total number of children expected to be born to women in a reproductive life span of 15 to 49 years) is 3, which is termed higher. India’s average TFR stands at 2.3. Of the 145 high TFR districts in the country, 40% are in UP alone.
As per reports, the UP government has set a target to achieve state-wide average reproduction rates of 2.1 by 2015. The urban areas have already achieved it. But rural areas are far from this goal. The current population of UP is over 22 crores.
PM Narendra Modi had expressed concern over population explosion in the country during his Independence Day speech in 2019. He asserted that a small section of society that keeps their family small deserves respect, and what they’re doing is an act of patriotism.
UP CM Yogi Adityanath had also stressed upon population control on February 19 saying that increasing population is the reason for increasing unemployment in the country.