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An Eyewash?

From the very beginning of our creation, people have come to know that allocation of money is reduced when the head count increases! To realise this basic fact, one does not need to understand tough Economic Theories. So, it is quite natural for one to think that the huge population of India, 1.37 billion in 2019, has started posing a serious threat to the South Asian nation’s development…
Interestingly, one can readily question the belief that ‘the growth in population is a major constraint for India’s development’ in different ways! One can easily make population growth or explosion responsible for various problems, such as starvation, malnutrition, poverty, unemployment, with other related and unrelated issues. Perhaps, such a consideration would not be entirely correct! One should understand that the real problem lies elsewhere…
Most of the confused people blame the unhealthy growth in population for each and every problem. However, not a single Corporate Economist has proved that the global wealth has become insufficient to meet the needs of the world population! In fact, no one would believe that a nation, which has spent Rs 2,989 crore or USD 500 million to build the world’s tallest statue ‘The Statue of Unity‘, cannot feed its people! Actually, this is the real form of the Capitalism, where profit-making is the only motivation of the production system, and not the basic minimum requirements of the human beings.

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The Capitalist Economy considers Demand as the yardstick to judge the Market, and the Market depends on people’s Purchasing Power. Again, the owners of the production system often reduce the strength of employees in an attempt to maximise their profit. While doing so, they ignore the fact that such a move might also reduce purchasing power of the laid-off people. Hence, population growth is not solely responsible for starvation, malnutrition, poverty, and unemployment. Instead, private ownership of the production system and unequal distribution of wealth are responsible for these social evils!
Today, only 1% of the Indian population is seen accumulating 73% of the National Wealth! Currently, the number of billionaires in India is 101. On the other hand, 67 million Indians have managed to increase their property by just 1% in the last one year! Again, the concentration of wealth, and not the population growth, is the main problem in this South Asian country.
As per the official data, India’s population growth rate was 23.9% (in a decade) in 1991. It had come down to 21.5% (per decade) in 2001. According to 2011 Census, the population growth rate dropped to 17.6% over the next 10 years. On the basis of a UN Report, a group of surveyors has claimed that the number of young working people is constantly decreasing, worldwide! India is no exception to it. According to the surveyors, the number of people between 20 and 60 years of age will decrease steadily in India till the end of 2060! As a result, the country may experience a shortage of work force in the next four decades. As per another study, the rate of population growth among the Indians, irrespective of Hindus and Muslims, could attain a Replacement Rate by 2050! In other words, birth rates and mortality rates will be almost the same!

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According to a third study, while the population growth among Hindus has decreased by 0.7% in recent times, it has decreased by 0.8% among the Muslims.The study has revealed that birth rate depends on financial conditions, education, social conditions, etc.; and not on religion and caste. There is a direct relation between decreasing birth rate and girls education, proper care of girl child, and improvement of mother and baby’s health. It is a fact that the annual birth rate among Hindus is 2.2% and among Muslims is 1.56%. However, the annual birth rate among poor or low-caste Hindus and among Muslims is the same!
In the European Union (EU), the average rate of childbirth is 1.6 per woman. It is to be noted that the EU countries are worried about the increase in the number of elderly people. It was clearly mentioned in the National Family and Health Survey Report 2015-16 that the average rate of childbirth was 2.3 per woman in India. In some Indian provinces and big cities, this rate was 1.7-1.9 per woman!
Therefore, one could readily come to the conclusion that there is no direct relationship between population growth and socio-economic problems in India. Population control is necessary… but, equal distribution of wealth is of utmost importance in a developing country, like India.

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