(IGP) Special Current Affairs Material for IAS (Pre) 2013 - Topic: "Population (Part -1)"

(IGP) Special Current Affairs Material for IAS (Pre) 2013

Chapter: Government Plans Programme & Policies

Topic: Population (Part -1)


India, like many other countries, has come a long way from the initial days of evolution under conditions of high mortality due to famines, accidents, illness, infections and war, when relatively high levels of fertility was essential for species survival. Over the years, better equipped in dealing with diseases and vagaries of nature, it has witnessed significant increase in life expectancy alongwith steep fall in mortality. Confronted with malthusian growth, changing social mores and spurred by government interventions, the population responded by taking steps to reduce fertility, but the continued increase in number of women in reproductive age has ensured high number of births each year. Consequently, in the world of seven billion people, India alongwith China already occupies a place in the Billionaire club and is likely to overtake China by 2025.

Size, Growth and Structure

The second most populous country on earth, India accounts for more than 17 per cent of world population mith meagre 2.4 per cent of the world surface area. In contrast, the USA accounts for 7.2 percent of the surface area with only 4.5 percent of the world population.

Indian in World Population

The population of India, at 1210.2 million, is almost equal to the combined population of U.S.A., Introduction, Brazil, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Japan put together the population of these six countries totals 1214.3 million!
The population of India has increased by more than 181 million during the decade 2001-2011. The absolute addition is slightly lower than the population of Brazil, the fifth most populations country in the world!
The statewise population distribution during the two recent census indicates that UP continues to be the most populous state with about 200(16 per cent of total population) million people. States of Maharashtra and Bihar (9 per cent of the total population each) have made the transition to more than 100 million population category. Twenty States and Union Territories now have a population of over ten million. On the other extreme, there are five States and Union Territories in the country that are yet to reach the one million mark.

The above Contents are the part of our on going programme of Special Current Affairs Material for IAS (Pre) 2013. Which consist:
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Population Growth

As per UN estimate World population grew at annual rate of 1.23 per cent during 2000-2010 with developing countries like India registering a higher growth rate. The population of developed countries like Japan & USA grew at a slower pace with Russia even witnessing a decline in population. China registered a much lower growth rate (third lowest in top ten most populous countries behind Russia & Japan, in fact much lower than USA). It is now estimated that will overtake china as the most populous country by 2025-30 despite the fact that growth rate has slowed down even in case of India.

Demographic Transition

India, at present, is at stage three of the four stage model* of demographic transition from stable population with high mortality and fertility to stable population with low mortality and fertility, with some of the states/UT's already into stage four. Percentage decadal growth rate of population in has been declining since 1971-81 at all India level. However, significant fall in case of EAG States(Empowered action group states) UP, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Jharkhand, MP Chhatisgarh, Rajasthan & Orissa) has been noticed for the first time during 2011 census.

  • Stage 1 : less developed countries, high birth rate, high no. of deaths due to preventable causes, stable population
  • Stage 2 : Death rates fall due to improved public health but high fertility due to limited access to health and contraceptive services, spurt in population.
  • Stage 3 : Birth rate also falls, population continues to grow due to large no. of people in reproductive age group
  • Stage 4 : Stable population but at a level higher than the initial, low birth & death rates, high social & economic development.

Since both fertility & mortality have fallen significantly (graph below) the population still continues to grow, though at a slower pace India, presently reflects characteristics of stage three countries in the parlance of demographic transition.

Population Growth- Inter State Comparison

The EAG group(UP, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Jharkhand, MP, Chhatisgarh, Rajasthan & Orissa indicative of general trend)accounting for about forty three to forty six percent of India’s population since 1951 for the first time, during 2011, saw decline in the growth rate(GraphIndia- Population & Percentage Decadal Growth). Amongst EAG states, best performance was seen in case of Orissa followed by Uttarakhand with growth rate in Orissa falling below national level during 2001-11, even though steepest decline was observed in case of Rajsthan followed by UP. Bihar continues to have the highest growth rate. Compared to 1991-2001, only Chhatisgarh has shown an increase in growth rate in case of EAG states.

Amongst non EAG states Tamil Nadu & Puducherry have shown increase in growth rate during 200-1-11 as compared to previous decade. Amongst non EAG states & even otherwise steepest fall (6.7 percent points) during 2001-11, compared to previous decade has been observed in case of Maharashtra. Among the more populous Non EAG states, growth rates of Gujarat, Haryana, Delhi& Jammu Kashmir are higher than the current national average.

Population Structure

Population Pyramids represent complex changes in age structure of the population. In developed countries the shape is almost cylindrical instead of a pyramid because of the high life expectancy, low fertility and relatively low population in reproductive age group. In these countries, advantages of stable population are challenged by higher dependency ratio since the working age population is less.

In contrast to the above, population of most of the developing countries including(India) consists of large proportions of children and persons in reproductive age group. For now and the near future, population projections for India augur well since it will have a large segment of population in the working age group, with considerably decreased dependency ration putting it in a position to reap demographic dividend.

Sex wise composition

After an all time low sex ratio (No. of females per thousand males) of 927 in 1991, the sex ratio of India has shown improvement during last two decades. Sex ratio, as per the recent census is 940 which is largely comparable to the best performance (941 in 1961) in last fifty years. Several steps, including gender equality awareness campaigns were taken by the government to arrest the trend of declining sex ratio. Stateswise comparison with all India Averages: The lowest sex ratio among the States has been recorded in Haryana(877), Jammu & Kashmir(883) and Sikkim (889). Among the UTs the lowest sex ratio has been returned in Daman & Diu(618), Dadra & Nagar Haveli (775) and Chandigarh (818).

Increase/ decrease in sex ratio at state level : Among the major States, Bihar, Jammu Kashmir and Gujarat have experienced a fall in the sex ratio. The decline ranged from 2 points in Gujarat to 9 points in Jammu & Kashmir. Other smaller Union Territories showing steep decline are Dadra & Nagar Haveli (37 points) and Daman and Diu (92 points). Perceptible increase has been observed in the major States such as Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Orissa, Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Punjab and all the States located in the North East.

It is interesting to note that States having historically low sex ratio such as Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and Chandigarh have shown appreciable increase in the sex ratio in Census 2011 with Chandigarh & Delhi showing an improvement of more than 40 points compared to 2001. Majority of the States identified as gender critical for special attention and intervention as part of the Census 2011 have shown increasing trend in the sex ratio as per the provisional results.

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