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Mains Practice Questions

  • Q. Discuss the main objectives of Population Education and point out the measures to achieve them in India in detail. (250 words)

    23 May, 2022 GS Paper 1 Geography


    • Introduce the concept of population and population education briefly.
    • Briefly mention the status of population growth in India.
    • Mention the objectives of population education.
    • Mention the initiative of the government with respect to population education in India.
    • Conclude the answer suitably.


    • The total number of people living in a particular place, at a particular time, is known as a population.
    • Population education can be defined as a process of developing awareness and understanding of the population situation among people and making them more responsible towards managing the population.

    Population in India

    • According to the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs estimates, India’s population will reach 1.5 billion by 2030 and hit 1.64 billion in 2050. This would make India become the largest populous country, overtaking China.
    • India is at a stage of demographic transition where mortality rates are declining and fertility rates would decline in the next two to three decades or so.

    Objectives of Population Education

    • To develop an understanding of some demographic concepts and processes.
    • To develop among the younger generation an understanding of the most important phenomenon of the modern world viz., rapid growth of population and its causes.
    • To develop an understanding of the influence of population trends on the various aspects of human life - social, cultural, political and economic.
    • To develop an understanding of the close interaction of population growth and the developmental process with particular reference to development programmes for raising the standard of living of people.
    • To develop an understanding of the evil effects of overpopulation on the environment and the concomitant dangers from pollution.
    • To develop an understanding of scientific and medical advancement enabling to get an increasing control over famines, diseases and ultimately death and the imbalance thus created between death rate and birth rate.
    • To develop an understanding of biological factors and phenomenon of reproduction which are responsible for continuance of the species.
    • To develop an attitude of responsibility and mutual help and cooperation in all aspects of personal and family living.
    • To develop an appreciation of the relationship between the preservation of the health of the mother, the welfare of the children and the small size of the family.
    • To develop an appreciation of the fact that the actions of each individual member of the society affects others, and personal and national decisions concerning family size and population have long range consequences for the whole world.
    • To develop an awareness of population policies and programmes of the country.

    Population Education in India

    • India became one of the first developing countries to come up with a state-sponsored family planning programme in the 1950s.
      • A population policy committee was established in 1952.
      • In 1956, a Central Family Planning Board was set up and its focus was on sterilisation.
    • In 1976, GOI announced the first National Population Policy. Some of the measures to check the population growth.
    • National Population Policy, 2000 envisaged achieving a stable population for India.
      • One of its immediate objectives is to address the unmet needs for contraception, health care infrastructure, and personnel and provide integrated service delivery for basic reproductive and child health care.
      • It affirmed a commitment to achieve replacement levels of fertility (total fertility rate of 2.1) by 2010.
    • National Family Health Survey (NFHS) is a large-scale, multi-round survey conducted in a representative sample of households throughout India.
      • Till date five NFHS has been conducted and each successive round of the NFHS has had two specific goals:
        • To provide essential data on health and family welfare needed for policy and programme purposes.
        • To provide information on important emerging health and family welfare issues.
    • Realising the potential of education in tackling the problems of growing rate of population, the Ministry launched a Population Education Programme with effect from 1980 designed to introduce Population Education in the formal education system.
      • The Population Education programme is a scheme in the central sector of the Ministry of Education and plays an important role.
      • It has been developed in collaboration with the United Nations Funds for Population Activities (UNFPA) and with the active involvement of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
    • The beginning of population education in India can be traced to the third Five Year Plan (1961-66).


    • The family welfare program over the last five decades with holistic approach towards population control, followed by other social factors like female literacy, age at marriage, status of women, spacing of children, immunisation, health care, infant mortality, etc. have made, no doubt, significant contributions in the direction, but the necessity for the intervention of educational efforts to bring appropriate social transformations so as to promote population stabilization and ensure quality of life can never be denied.
    • The universities and other educational institutions can play a vital role by providing adequate knowledge and necessary awareness in relevant areas

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