Ten Years after Population Policy of Madhya Pradesh: Issues and Challenges

Article excerpt

India is the first country in the world, where the official National Family Planning Programme was initiated with the pioneer objectives of population stabilisation and to achieve the sustainable development. In the year of 2000, Central Government of India declared a new population policy at national level. Similarly attempt has been made at the state level Among the states, Madhya Pradesh declared its population policy in January 2000 with the broad objectives to reduce fertility and to achieve desired maternal and child health indicators by the year 2011. In this paper, an attempt has been made to examine how far the goals of population policy have been accomplished, why there is a gap between target and outcome and what needs to be done to achieve the desired result.

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Two major obstructions of the human systems in the present time are poverty and population growth. In developing countries, population policies have been given increasing significance and momentum in the context of the socio-economic development strategies. As early as 1951, India was the only country in the world which had set for herself a national demographic goal in terms of a desired reduction in Crude Birth Rate (CBR). For this purpose, she launched an official programme of family planning as a part of her Five-Year Plan. For the first time, a National Population Policy was adopted in April 1976, which was revised in 1977. At present three policies are in operation in India that have direct impact on population issues and availability of family planning services. These are the National Population Policy (NPP) 2000, National Health Policy (NHP) 2002, and National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) 2005. (1)

At the sub-national level, Government of Madhya Pradesh had adopted a state level population policy in the year 2000. The Madhya Pradesh Population Policy 2000 laid down to reach a Total Fertility Rate (TFR) of 2.1, Couple Protection Rate (CPR) to around 65 per cent, Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) and Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) to be reduced to the level of 95 and 220 respectively with several other socio-demographic-health goals (parameters) to be achieved by the year 2011. As we are now in the target year, hence, an attempt has been made in this paper to examine how far the goals of population policy have been accomplished. Why there is a gap between target and outcome. What needs to be done to achieve the desired objectives?

The paper is organised as follows: First section deals with the population policy adopted by the Government of India since independence. Section second gives a brief description of the Madhya Pradesh Population Policy 2000. Section third presents the descriptions between objectives and outcomes with respect to several health and demographic parameters of Madhya Pradesh. Section fourth analyses why there is a gap between goal and realization. Section fifth concludes the paper.

Indian Population Policy: A Bird's Eye View

Population concerns have a long history in India. The Bhore Committee (1943) paved the way for the Government of India (GoI) to adopt a National Programme of Family Planning after independence. The population policies formulated and the national programmes of family planning implemented after independence in India passed through six different phases as analysed below (Srinivasan, 1995).

The initial approach adopted by the Government of India was a clinic approach (Phase I, 1951-1961). A number of family planning clinics were opened throughout the country and it was assumed that there was already a strong desire to space and limit family size among the couples. If contraceptive services were offered in a clinical setting it would be sufficient to reduce the birth rate. This approach was extended till the end of second Five Year Plan period.

As a reaction to the increase of population in 1961 census, a demographic goal was set in 1962 to reach crude birth rate of 25 by 1972. …