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Replacement Level Fertility

  • 29 Jul 2022
  • 8 min read

For Prelims: Replacement Fertility Rate, National Family Health Service, Related Government Schemes

For Mains: Significance of growing/ declining population, importance of family planning, National Family Health Survey, government’s initiatives

Why in News?

Recently, the Government of India reported that India has achieved replacement level fertility, with as many as 31 States/Union Territories reaching a Total Fertility Rate of 2.1 or less.

  • Between 2012 and 2020, India added more than 1.5 crore additional users for modern contraceptives thereby increasing their use substantially.
  • Government also unveiled the India Family Planning 2030 vision document.

What do we know about Replacement Level Fertility?

  • Total Fertility Rate of about 2.1 children per woman is called Replacement-level fertility.
    • TFR lower than 2.1 children per woman — indicates that a generation is not producing enough children to replace itself, eventually leading to an outright reduction in population.
    • Total fertility rate (TFR) in simple terms refers to the total number of children born or likely to be born to a woman in her lifetime if she were subject to the prevailing rate of age-specific fertility in the population.
  • India's total fertility rate (TFR) has declined from 2.2 in 2015-16 to 2.0 in 2019-21, indicating the significant progress of population control measures, revealed the report of the fifth round of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5).

What is India Family Planning 2030 Vision?

  • Focus Areas:
    • Strategies to overcome teenage childbearing, lack of male participation in awareness programmes, migration and lack of access to contraceptives have been identified as priorities.
  • Contraceptives:
    • Modern contraceptive prevalence Rate:
      • Women with Migrant Husband:
        • 35% in Bihar and 24% in UP
        • It is mostly driven by lack of contraceptive preparedness before husband's arrival, inability to procure contraceptives due to inaccessibility to health facilities and stigma around procuring contraceptives when the husband was away.
      • Women with Resident Husband:
        • 47% in Bihar and 36% in UP
    • Although modern contraceptive use among married adolescents and young women have increased, it remains low.
      • Married adolescent girls and young women reported high unmet need for contraception.
    • In several districts, more than 20% of women marry before they become adults.
      • The districts are located in Bihar (17), West Bengal (8), Jharkhand (7), Assam (4) and two each in UP, Rajasthan and Maharashtra.
      • The same districts have seen low use of modern contraceptives.
    • The vision also included a plan to use the private sector for providing modern contraceptives.
      • Private sector contributes 45% share of pills and 40% share of condoms. For other reversible contraceptives like injectables, the share is 30% and 24% for Intrauterine contraceptive device (IUCD).

How did India achieve the Replacement Level Fertility?

  • Women Empowerment:
    • The latest data also show significant progress on several indicators related to fertility, family planning, age at marriage and women’s empowerment — all of which have contributed to the decrease in TFR.
  • Contraceptives:
    • Between 2012 and 2020, India added more than 1.5 crore additional users for modern contraceptives thereby increasing their use substantially.
  • Reversible Spacing:
    • Introduction of new reversible spacing (gaps between children) methods, wage compensation systems to undergo sterilisation, and the promotion of small family norms also worked well over the years.
  • Government’s Initiatives:
    • Mission Parivar Vikas:
      • The Government has launched Mission Parivar Vikas in 2017 for substantially increasing access to contraceptives and family planning services in146 high fertility districts with TFR of 3 and above in seven high focus states.
    • National Family Planning Indemnity Scheme (NFPIS):
      • This scheme was launched in the year 2005, under this scheme clients are insured in the eventualities of death, complication and failure following sterilization.
    • Compensation scheme for Sterilization Acceptors:
      • Under the scheme, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare provides compensation for loss of wages to the beneficiary and also to the service provider (& team) for conducting sterilizations from the year 2014.

What is the National Family Health Survey?

  • About:
    • The National Family Health Survey is a large-scale, multi-round survey conducted in a representative sample of households throughout India.
  • Conducted by:
    • The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) has designated the International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS) Mumbai, as the nodal agency for providing coordination and technical guidance for the survey.
    • IIPS collaborates with a number of Field Organizations (FO) for survey implementation.
  • Objectives:
    • Each successive round of the NFHS has had two specific goals:
      • To provide essential data on health and family welfare needed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and other agencies for policy and programme purposes.
      • To provide information on important emerging health and family welfare issues.
    • The survey provides state and national information for India on:
      • Fertility
      • Infant and child mortality
      • The practice of family planning
      • Maternal and child health
      • Reproductive health
      • Nutrition
      • Anaemia
      • Utilization and quality of health and family planning services.
  • NFHS - 5 Report:
    • The Total Fertility Rate (TFR) has further declined from 2.2 to 2.0 at the national level between NFHS 4 (2015-16) and NFHS 5 (2019-20).
    • There are only five states in India which are above replacement level of fertility of 2.1. These states are Bihar, Meghalaya, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Manipur.

Way Forward

  • Although India has achieved replacement level fertility, there is still a significant population in the reproductive age group who must remain at the centre of our intervention efforts.
  • India’s focus has traditionally been on the supply side, i.e. the providers and delivery systems but now it’s time to focus on the demand side which includes family, community and society.
  • Significant change is possible with this focus, instead of an incremental change.

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Questions (PYQs)

Q1. ‘’Empowering women is the key to control the population growth.’’ Discuss. (2019)

Q2. Critically examine the effect of globalization on the aged population in India. (2013)

Q3. Discuss the main objectives of Population Education and point out the measures to achieve them in India in detail. (2021)

Source: TH

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