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World Population Day: Awareness and Significance

When is World Population Day observed?

1. World Population is observed annually on July 11 to raise awareness of global population issues.

2. The event was established by the United Nations Development Program in 1989.

What is the significance of World Population Day?

1. It focuses on raising people’s awareness on population issues like – the importance of family planning, gender equality, poverty, maternal health and human rights.

2. The world population had reached 7.7 billion in the present year 2019.

3. World Population Day advocates from around the world calling on leaders, policymakers, grassroot organizers and institutions to help make reproductive health and rights a reality for all.

How is the present situation of demography in India?

1. India’s population is rising continuously, and it may overtake China in the coming years.

2. India has a favourable demographic dividend as it has a high population of young generation which can help it in improving its economic growth.

3. India at the same time also needs to focus on both stabilising its population and women empowerment.

4. Although many states have reduced their Total Fertility Rate to less than 2, states like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, etc still have TFR more than 2.

Which are the steps taken by Government to reduce Total Fertility Rates in remaining states?

1. “Mission Parivar Vikas” is being implemented in 145 High Focus Districts in 7 states to provide Family Planning information system to improve the situation in these states.

2. The key strategic focus is on improving access to contraceptives through delivering assured services, dovetailing with new promotional schemes, ensuring commodity security, building capacity (service providers), creating an enabling environment along with close monitoring and implementation.

3. Schemes like “Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan” have helped in improving the education, especially of girls as well.

Where is the way ahead?

1. The health of adolescents should be improved, as they provide a favourable demographic dividend to the nation, by

a. reducing use of tobacco,

b. improving their lifestyle,

c. providing a good quality of education (including education on sexual health) etc.

2. Behavioural changes in society with a notion that “a child should not be bearing a child” must be made.

3. With the combined efforts of society and Government, India can achieve the positive gains from its favourable demographic dividend at present and in years to come.