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3) Critically examine India’s population policy of 1976 and explain the issues arising out of it?(250 words)

Topic– Part of static series under the heading – “Population and associated issues”

3) Critically examine India’s population policy of 1976 and explain the issues arising out of it?(250 words)

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to bring out the key features of India’s population policy and discuss the pros and cons as well as the impact of the policy.

Directive word

Critically examine – When you are asked to examine, you have to probe deeper into the topic,  get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any . When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, all you need to do is look at the good and bad of something and give a fair judgement.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain that Government of India introduced first National Population Policy in 1976, which focussed on reducing birth rate, lowering infant mortality rate and improving standard of life.


  • Discuss the contents of the policy such as the focus on
    • No coercion for family planning
    • Minimum marriage age 18 years for females and 21 years for males.
    • Emphasis on awareness through education and media
    • Mandatory registration of marriages
      Use of media for spreading the awareness about family planning among the rural masses.
    • Monetary compensation to those who opt for permanent measures of birth control (sterilisation and tubectomy).
  • Discuss the pros and cons of the policy and how effective it has been in controlling population growth and associated issues
  • Highlight the issues arising out of the population policy such as
    • Firstly, the NPP had a narrow perspective, give much importance to contraception and sterilisation.
    • The basic prerequisite of controlling population include poverty alleviation, improving the standards of living and the spread of education.
    • Secondly, on national scale the policy was not publicised and failed to generate mass support in favour of population control.
    • Thirdly, we have insufficient infrastructure owing to the lack of trained staff, lack of adequate aptitude among the staff and limited use or misuse of the equipment for population control resulted in failure of the policy
    • Lastly, the use of coercion during the Emergency (1976-77) caused a serious resentment among the masses. This made the very NPP itself very unpopular.

Conclusion – Give your view on how the policy dealt with population and associated issues and discuss changes required.