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SYNOPSIS [15th March,2021] Day 55: IASbaba’s TLP (Phase 1): UPSC Mains Answer Writing (General Studies)
1. Can overpopulation be held as the primary reason for unemployment in India?
Approach- Question can be approached by defining overpopulation and then by analysing the reasons behind the unemployment, link with overpopulation can be given. Critical analysis of the same in the second part with the way ahead can be stated in conclusion.
Overpopulation refers to a population which exceeds its sustainable size within a particular environment or habitat. Overpopulation results from an increased birth rate, decreased death rate, the immigration to a new ecological niche with fewer predators, or the sudden decline in available resources.
What are the effects of overpopulation on employment?
- According to the Indian census, carried out in 2011, the population of India was exactly 1,210,193,422, which means India has crossed the 1-billion mark. This is the second most populous country of the world after China and the various studies have projected that India will be world’s number-1 populous country, surpassing China, by 2025.
- In spite of the fact that the population policies, family planning and welfare programmes undertaken by the Govt. of India have led to a continuous decrease in the fertility rate, yet the actual stabilisation of population can take place only by 2050.
- Growing population has forward and backward linkages with the other economic dynamics particularly poverty and unemployment. Rising population is accompanied by a rise in the labour force of the community which leads the substantial chunk of population to unemployment.
- The population aggravates the unemployment & disguised unemployment problem. The vacancy rate is negligible as compared to wants of employment, which ultimately results into low income groups and large families depending upon single earning person.
What is the employment scenario in India?
- Unemployment is one of biggest challenge for the India. Unemployment is mainly caused by Overpopulation.
- Large size of population results in large army of labour force in India. But due to shortage of capital resources it becomes difficult for a country to provide gainful employment to the entire working population. Open unemployment in urban areas and Disguised unemployment in rural areas are the normal features of an under developed country like India.
- The population of India on 1 January 2018 was 1.31 billion, comprising 858 million rural and 457 million urban inhabitants.
- The total number of workers in the economy was 472.5 million in 2011-12, which fell to 457 million in 2017-18. The absolute number of workers declined by 15.5 million over six years.
- Most of the decline in employment has happened due to the fall in the number of workers in agriculture and a sharp fall in the absolute number of female workers. Roughly 37 million workers left agriculture in the last six years. During the same time, 25 million women workers were out of the workforce.
- While the trend of workers moving out of agriculture is seen since 2004-05 and is welcome, it also points to the rising vulnerability of farm production. The crisis in agriculture in the last six years has only accelerated the process.
- What is surprising is the trend of declining women workers, which has absolutely no parallel in any developing or developed country of similar per capita income. In most East Asian countries, the period of rapid growth was also accompanied by a rising number of women workers.
- India has bucked this trend as the income grows, Indian women tends to quit job as a symbol of status and focus more on household responsibilities.
- The number of people aged 25-64 years increased by around 47 million during the six-year period, it also means that the economy should have created at least 83 million jobs between 2012 and 2018 to accommodate those who have entered the labour force and those forced out of agriculture.
What can be done?
- Though the trend tells us that the overpopulation might be a leading cause of unemployment, data may not necessarily agree with our presumption.
- India lags far behind when it comes to human resources development. We enjoy demographic dividend, which is highest in the world. India can be manufacturing hub for the world. The Chinese miracle was able to showcase that the population can be utilised to create surplus capital by allowing necessary policies for employment.
- In production linked manufacturing sector, china created millions of jobs, and reaped benefits of the same. India is youngest workforce in the world, we should not look at our population as a burden but as an asset.
- The policy failures are unable to generate more employment opportunities, countries like Canada are looking for more workforce and on the other hand in India, despite having abundant natural resources and human capital if we are failing to provide employment, then we have to go for structural reforms.
- Everything cannot be blamed on population. Recent study showed that india’s population will stabilise after 2047. Optimum use of human resources along with necessary policy measures for economic growth and population control can produce expected benefits.
Overpopulation is a cause of concern for when it comes to unemployment, though it is not the sole reason, policy loopholes, unconventional growth pattern of economy made things critical for employment opportunities. Robust economic growth with more female participation in the workforce combined with population control measures will provide us the necessary impetus to become major economy in the world.
2. What is National Population Register (NPR)? What are its objectives. How is it different from National Register of Citizens (NRC)? Discuss.
Question is asking you to discuss you have to argue, and debate mean to talk about something in order to reach a decision or to convince someone of a point of view. Cover comprehensively covering all angles.
The data for National Population Register was collected in 2010 along with the house listing phase of Census of India 2011. The updating of this data was done during 2015 by conducting door to door survey. The digitisation of the updated information has been completed. Now it has been decided to update the National Population Register along with the House listing phase of Census 2021 during April to September 2020 in all the States/UTs except Assam. A Gazette notification to this effect has already been published by the Central Government.
WHAT IS NPR
The National Population Register (NPR) is a Register of usual residents of the country. It is being prepared at the local (Village/sub-Town), sub-District, District, State and National level under provisions of the Citizenship Act 1955 and the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003. It is mandatory for every usual resident of India to register in the NPR. A usual resident is defined for the purposes of NPR as a person who has resided in a local area for the past 6 months or more or a person who intends to reside in that area for the next 6 months or more.
OBJECTIVES OF NPR
The objective of the NPR is to create a comprehensive identity database of every usual resident in the country. The database would contain demographic as well as biometric particulars. As per the Home Ministry, the objective of conducting NPR is to “prepare a credible register of every family and individual living in the country apart from strengthening security and improvement in the targeting of beneficiaries under various Central government schemes”
HOW IS NATIONAL POPULATION REGISTER (NPR) DIFFERENT FROM NATIONAL REGISTER OF CITIZENS (NRC)
- Amidst the massive protests over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and the NRC in different parts of India, NPR was being confused with NRC. But as per the government the two are independent lists with no relationships with each other.
- NPR is a population registrar and not a citizens’ registrar. NPR has nothing to do with NRC.
- NPR is ‘the register containing details of persons usually residing in a village or rural area or town or ward or demarcated area within a ward in a town or urban area. NRC is a register containing details of Indian Citizens living in India and outside India.
- NPR is not a citizenship enumeration drive; it would also include a foreigner staying in an area for more than six months. NRC will contain details of only the citizens of India excluding the foreigners staying in India.
In reply to a question filed by The Hindu under the Right to Information (RTI) Act seeking information on the expected date of the first phase of Census 2021 and an update of the NPR that was earlier scheduled to begin April 1, 2020. The office of the Registrar General of India (RGI) said the schedule or the questionnaire of the NPR is “being finalised” and the information about the expected date of first phase of CENSUS 2021 is “not available.” The Union Cabinet approved an amount of Rs. 3985/- crores for updating the NPR. Coming along the nationwide protests against the NRC, these two major terms have been dominating the Indian News these days. While both the terms NRC (National Register of Citizens) and NPR (National Population Register) appear to be similar, both have a basic difference among them.
3. What are the key challenges in tapping India’s demographic dividend? Examine. What suggestions would you give to address those? Discuss
The student is expected to write the challenges and provide suggestions to address those challenges. It is a very simple forward question.
India’s population is among the youngest in an ageing world. By 2022, the median age in India will be 28 years; in comparison, it will be 37 in China and the United States, 45 in western Europe, and 49 in Japan. India’s working-age population has numerically outstripped its non-working age population. A demographic dividend, said to have commenced around 2004-05, is available for close to five decades. Irrespective of how the population grows there is a narrow window of time, in which India has to leverage this demographic dividend. Thus, adequate measures and policies should be effectively implemented to utilise this opportunity and stop turning demographic dividend into demographic disaster.
There are various factors going in favour of India which can enable it to harness the advantages of demographic dividend. India has a critical mass of skilled, English-speaking knowledge workers, especially in the sciences. It has a wellfunctioning democracy. Its domestic market is one of the world’s largest. It has a large and impressive diaspora, creating valuable knowledge linkages and networks.
Challenges in Demographic Dividend
- Disparity in periods of window of demographic dividend: Since, India’s population is heterogeneous, the window of demographic dividend becomes available at different times in different States. While Kerala’s population is already ageing, in Bihar the working age cohort is predicted to continue increasing till 2051. By 2031, the overall size of our vast working age population would have declined in 11 of the 22 major States.
- Need for skills: The Economic Survey 2019 highlights the gap between the projected annual increase in working age population and the available number of jobs. Further, UNICEF 2019 reports that at least 47% of Indian youth dont have the adequate education and skills necessary for employment in 2030. According to the World Skill Report, only 40 percent of the total graduates who come out of the colleges in the job-sector are employable.
- Gender Imparity: Growing female literacy is not translating into relevant and marketable skills. Even the gap between the literacy and skill acquirement is very high as compared to OECD countries as such there is potential loss of the dividend that lies in the market.
- Lack of flexible entry and exit policies for women into virtual classrooms, and into modules for open digital training, and vocational education limits access to contemporary vocations.
Addressing those Challenges:
- Improving education infrastructure: The projected demographic dividend would turn into a demographic disaster if an unskilled, under-utilised, and the young population undermines social harmony and economic growth. While over 95% of India’s children attend primary school, the National Family Health Surveys (2015-16) confirm that poor infrastructure in government schools, malnutrition, and scarcity of trained teachers have resulted in poor learning outcomes.
- Balancing equity and quality in education: While India aspires to become a knowledge economy, millions of young people are getting left behind. High quality education could achieve gender parity and propels people forward into more productive lives.
- Ensuring universal accessibility to education: Most districts now have excellent broadband connectivity.Irrespective of rural or urban setting, the public school system must ensure that every child completes high school education, and is pushed into appropriate skilling, training and vocational education in line with market demand.
- Modernising school curricula: Systematically investing in teacher training is required so that they grow in their jobs to assume leadership roles, while moving beyond the limits of the syllabus.
- Deploying new technology in education: To accelerate the pace of building human capital, virtual classrooms together with massive open online courses (MOOCS) can be instrumental to help prepare this huge workforce for next-generation jobs.
- Investing in open digital universities would further help yield a higher educated workforce.
- Improving health care: In India, population health is caught between the rising demand for health services and competition for scarce resources. The National Sample Survey Office data on health 2018, shows that a downturn in the rural economy is making quality health-care unaffordable. People are availing of private hospitals less than they used to, and are moving towards public health systems. Also, 70% of health sector budgets should be assigned to integrate and strengthen primary and integrated public health-care services and systems up to district hospital levels.
- Women emancipation: A comprehensive approach is needed to improve their prospects of gainful employment. This could include: Starting adequate job portals and organisations to provide employment for trained women, even from home. Guaranteeing equal pay for women will make it worth their while to stay longer in the workforce.
India has undergone demographic transition from 1920 to 1980 and again in 2000s. It has entered the threshold of demographic dividend wherein a large proportion of population is between 15-59 yrs. It is both an opportunity as well as a challenge for India to make the best of it as the tide may turn against us in a period of another 40 years or so. With a favourable demography, proactive policies aimed at job creation, skill development, a vibrant financial sector to develop and support entrepreneurial activity, adequate educational and healthcare infrastructure India can surely reap benefits of demographic dividend. Runway is ready, take off has to happen.
4. Does India really need a population control bill? Share your views.
A simple and straightforward question where in the candidate needs to share his/her views regarding the necessity of population control bill in India, where the views should be properly substantiated.
India’s population is going to overtake China in 2026, according to a UN report ‘World Population Prospects 2019’. This ever-increasing rate of population in India is considered as the root of most of the problems the country faces. In this light, the recent private member bill introduced in Rajya Sabha i.e. Population Control Bill, 2020, becomes an important point of discussion.
- Population control is a policy of attempting to limit the growth of a population in numbers, focusing especially in the poor and densely populated parts of the world where people are not aware of the consequences of overpopulation.
- In this regard, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his 2019 Independence Day speech, raised concerns regarding population explosion and its ill-effects. Consequently, the need for a population control bill can be seen from the following points –
- India accounts for about 17 per cent of the world population with only 2.2 per cent of the world’s land mass. The increasing population has resulted in an increasing pressure on the country’s limited natural resources.
- Despite the decrease in fertility rate, according to United Nations World Population Prospects report India’s population will continue to increase up till 2050.
- As the population increases, the demand for new cars and houses also increases leading to effect on the air quality due to the emission of harmful gases like carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. This leads to global warming, a rise in sea levels, and changing climate patterns as well as more waste generation and associated issues.
- In India, there already exists great amount of income and wealth inequality (Oxfam report). Overpopulation also leads to increase in the unemployment of the country as the number of people exceeds the number of jobs available in India.
- Overpopulation might create tensions between the States or even among a few countries for the demand of resources leading to conflicts and probably war. Since vast sections of population are dependent on unsustainable resources, grave consequences can be seen across vulnerable sections.
- Indeed, India’s rapid increase in population is becoming a threat to the resources and its people, affecting the social, economic, and cultural spheres of the country. However, as of data until August 2019, India had no contemporary ‘population explosion’. Thus, population control bill is not considered a necessity for India due to the following factors –
- According to the 2018-2019 Economic Survey, India’s population grew 1.3% a year from 2011 to 2016, down from 2.5% a year from 1971 to 1981. The TFR was 2.2 in 2017 – close to the replacement level fertility of 2.1. The survey estimated the TFR in 2021 could be 1.8. Thus, population growth rate is declining at a faster rate.
- The International Convention on Population and Development or Cairo Convention is a bar in bringing legislation for population control. The convention was against forced sterilizations and thus Indian government, being a signatory to it, can’t bring in forceful means of population control.
- Researchers argue that it remains difficult to establish a robust connection between population growth and development. Countries like South Korea and Taiwan experienced rapid population growth throughout the second half of the 20th century without it negatively impacting their per capita income. Instead, between 1960-80, the average per capita income in South Korea and Taiwan was 6.2 per cent and 7 per cent respectively.
- The biggest victims of the Population control Bill will be Indian women. Many women already can’t choose to refuse marriage or to reproduce, and are forced to undergo non-voluntary birth control measures. These ‘habits’ may only intensify. Female infanticide will also likely worsen, from the current skew of 909 female births per 1,000 male births.
- Further, according to an affidavit by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in SC, mentions that international experience shows that any coercion to have a certain number of children is counter-productive and leads to demographic distortions.
- Also, analysis of the government’s newly-released health data showed that such population control laws are unnecessary: in 19 of the 22 states and Union Territories for which data were released, women have fewer than two children, on average, which is less than the replacement level for population.
Instead of framing any law or legislation on population control, there are other measures that can be and are being taken by the Government to limit the population of the country. These measures are as follows –
- Raising the status of women is an important social measure for population control as it will end the gender discrimination and improve child health.
- Educating the masses is another important aspect of controlling population as the people have to be made aware of the harmful consequences of overpopulation as well as the benefits of using contraceptive methods.
- The option of adoption should be popularized as there are many children who do not have families to take care of them. They have to live in orphanages or organizations that only help these children to stay alive and survive and also stabilize the population.
- The government should provide families with incentives and financial aid for the adoption of birth control measures. Also, focus should be on specific districts with high population growth rates to tackle the problem effectively.
In a post-COVID-19 India, there is a need for increased spending on public health – and not bills that punish people for crimes they didn’t commit. This will safeguard women’s rights and contribute to a healthy population. Instead of population control Bills, India should consider a ‘population investment bill’ that takes the health, wellbeing and education of its citizens seriously.
5. What are the factors responsible for regional variations in demographic attributes in India? Illustrate.
Candidates are expected to define term demographic attributes first and write about demographic attributes in India. Then illustrate on factors responsible for regional variations in demographic attributes in India.
Demographics are the classifiable characteristics of a given population. Demographic attributes is the quality of growing human populations and studied on the basis of age structure, population pyramid, Sex ratio, Literacy ratio, the fertility rate, Population density and Migration etc.
There are two types of demographic attributes:
- Formal Demography or quantitative data such as sex ratio, literacy ratio.
- Social Demography, qualitative or socio, economic, the political aspect of data such women participation in politics, etc.
In India, as per 2011 Census data, the following demographic attributes are:
- Sex ratio: 940
- Fertility rate: 2.33 in 2016.
- Literacy rate: total: 74 % Male: 82.14 % Female: 65.46 %
- Decreasing order of literacy rate, state-wise: Kerala, Lakshwadeep, Mizoram, Tripura, Goa.
- Population by the state in decreasing order: UP, Maharashtra, Bihar, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh.
- Sex ration decreasing order, state-wise:Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andra Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Meghalaya.
There are wide regional variations in the demographic attributes of India let us study the factors responsible for it:
- The fertility of soil and availability of irrigation facilities are major factors in determining the density of population. The arid regions of Rajasthan and Gujarat are sparsely populated. So are the high mountain regions in the north. The rocky regions comprising the southern peninsula are moderately populated. The five states of Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh are home to about half the country’s population.
- Climate is one of the essential elements of the physical factors which influence the spatial distribution of population through temperature conditions and the amount of precipitation. Take the case of hot and dry deserts of Rajasthan and the cold and wet Eastern Himalayan region where very low temperature and heavy precipitations prevail. This is the reason for uneven distribution and low density of population here.
- The broad spatial contours of Indian fertility patterns are well known in India. There are differences within and between other regions in India, though they are not as pronounced as the north-south divide. Bihar has the highest rate at 3.41, followed by Meghalaya at 3.04 and Uttar Pradesh and Nagaland at 2.74. Total fertility rate in rural areas was 2.4 while in urban areas it was 1.8.
- The proportion of urban population in India is 31.16%, but it is showing a much faster rate of growth over the decades due to the development of urban areas in terms of socio- economic conditions and an increased rate of rural-urban migration. Rapid urbanisation creates populous cities. For example Mumbai-Pune industrial complex is a good example to show how social, cultural, historical, and political factors collectively have contributed to its rapid growth of population and its density.
- The worker participation rate is higher in the areas of lower levels of economic development since a large number of manual workers are needed to perform the subsistence or near subsistence economic activities. For example Daman and Diu and Dadra Nagar Haveli.
- According to the Economic Survey 2018–19, Maharashtra, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi are having high per capita income and the child sex ratio of these states is still low. So the problem of selective abortions is not due to poverty or ignorance or lack of resources. For example, if practices like dowry mean that parents have to make large dowry payments to marry off their daughters, then prosperous parents would be the ones most able to afford this. However, we find the sex ratio to be the lowest in the most prosperous regions.
- Regional variations are still very wide, with states like Kerala approaching universal literacy, while states like Bihar are lagging far behind. The inequalities in the literacy rate are specially important because they tend to reproduce inequality across generations. Illiterate parents are at a severe disadvantage in ensuring that their children are well educated, thus perpetuating existing inequalities.
- Availability of Natural Resources in Chhota Nagpur Plateau region has all along been a rocky and rugged terrains. This rainy and forested region has been a home of several tribes and was one of the sparsely populated parts of the country. However, a string of industrial towns and centres have sprung up over the past century soon after rich minerals such as iron-ore, manganese, limestone, coal etc. were found in unusual abundance and close to one another.
India is on the right side of demographic transition that provides golden opportunity for its rapid socio-economic development, if policymakers align the developmental policies with this demographic shift. With investing in people through healthcare, quality education, jobs and skills helps build human capital, which is key to supporting economic growth, ending regional differences, and creating a more inclusive society.