Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh government-drafted population control bill has been flaunted as an attempt to bring population balance among different communities, for which the government has also drawn an extensive plan to instill awareness about population control among people, particularly in regions where the fertility rates are higher.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath released the 40-page Draft document of Population Policy 2021-30 World Population Day intending to bring down the gross fertility rate in the state from 2.7 at present to 2.1 by 2026, and to 1.9 by 2030. The Draft put forth an emboldened idea focusing on women to empower them to make personal choices in terms of child planning.
To discourage people from planning more children, the Draft lays out several policies, including a ban on people with more than two children from contesting local body elections, forbidding them government jobs and promotions, incentives and prohibiting them from receiving any kind of government subsidy, forcing people to choose better child planning option as laid out in the Draft.
Apart from the above measures, the Draft implies the setting up of facilities to improve the accessibility of various contraceptives under the family planning programme and the state-monitored safe abortions systems. More new laws will also be churned out in time if found necessary to ensure that population control is effectively implemented, according to the Draft.
Now the Draft has been made public for forming public opinion over the government-proposed family planning policy before it will be presented in the Assembly to be made into law.
But the State Law Commission Secretary has presented the Yogi government's proposal in a different tone, according to The Indian Express, claiming the Draft's ownership. The IE quoted Secretary Sapna Tripathi as having said that the Draft was a proposal made by the State Law Commission, and it would be sent to the government approval for a final draft after making needful changes following the public suggestions.
The Indian Express report suggested five key targets as the main focus of the policy that are population control, ending curable maternal mortality and illnesses, ending curable infant mortality and ensuring betterment in their nutrition status, betterment of sexual and reproductive health-related information and facilities among the youth, and care of elders.
Chief Minister Adityanath's take on the policy is that since the population is directly linked to poverty and illiteracy, the population control measures would not be confined to any particular community or section of society.
"A population explosion can create obstacles in the development of the state and the country. This has been discussed on many fora for the last four decades. Countries and states that have made the required effort in this regard have seen positive results, but there is more to be done," the Chief Minister said.