Today, we are facing rapid increase in population in many parts of the world. The sudden increase in the number of individuals in a community is often termed as population explosion. In the past 200-300 years, the world’s population has increased tremendously. It is predicted that the human population will increase by 1 billion in the next decade. Population explosion results mainly due t accelerating birth rate, a decrease in infant mortality and increase in life expectancy Many people look at the population explosion as a problem or have negative viewpoint about it, however, several people also look at it as a huge opportunity fo a Nation to achieve its ambitions. It can be said that population growth can be blessing, but when it put the pressure on resources, it becomes bane.
Status of Population in India
India is the second most populated country in the world with nearly a fifth of the world’s population. According to the 2011 Census Report, the population of India is 1.21 crore with 62.37 crore males and 58.64 crore females. The total literacy rate in the country at present is 74.04%. The density of population is 382 persons/sq km. UN report of The World Population Prospect 2017′ revision by Department of Economics and Social Affairs has forecasted that Indian population will surpass the population of China by 2025.
Reasons for Population Explosion
Population growth and demography is a multi-dimensional concept, hence many scholars from different fields such as Geography, Economics and Anthropology have suggested many reasons for the rapid growth of Indian population.
in this section, we will discuss various social, economic and political causes for population growth in India
• Social Causes
The high illiteracy and absence of rationalism among people are the main reasons for high birth rate. The religiously orthodox and conservative people are against the use of family planning measures. Compared to developed countries, the age of marriage for girl child is low in India,
Further, she is burdened with reproducing a son which creates a scenario of unwanted girl child. Similarly, emphasis on agriculture, dominance of joint family and high rural population are seen as other reasons for the population growth
• Economic Causes
Widespread poverty is also the cause of increase in population. Poor people believe more children as an asset. In addition to it, there is lack of social security in India, hence children are seen as insurance by many communities in India. The high infant mortality rate also pushes people to reproduce more children.
• Political Causes
India is a democratic polity where political leaders are seen as patron in chief of the community. Since representative of people are selected on majority of votes polled, their respective community’s leaders discourage population control measure. Further, population control measures are seen as government sponsored program with citizens as beneficiary whereas in other developed countries, it is movement by citizens and supported by the government
Around 50% of India’s population is directly or indirectly indulged in agriculture which is subsistence in nature, hence more children are seen as helping hands in highly intensive agricultural operation
Effects of Population Explosion
“The phenomenon of population explosion has led to various problems that low rate of capital formation because of high dependency ratio, low of living, high poverty and lower productivity of labour. Some of the of population explosion are as follows
•Socially, population explosion leads to migration of people from rural areas to the urban areas causing the growth of slum areas. People in slums live in most unhygienic and insanitary condition which gives birth to number of diseases.
•Migration in big cities often lead to several associated problems. Overcrowding, traffic congestions, frequent accidents and pollution in big cities are the direct results of over population.
•Population explosion is the result of high birth rate. Frequent pregnancy without leaving a gap which is hazardous to health of mother leads to high death rate among women in the reproductive age
• Environmental consequences of population explosion are even more dangerous. It increases pressure on land and leads to further sub-division and fragmentation which is compensated by using synthetic fertilizers, insecticides and pesticides which in turn pollute land, water and air.
•Lastly, increased housing and transportational needs creates pressure on existing natural resources of the country which is limited in nature. It also significantly increases the Green house gas emission in atmosphere.
Population Growth as Boon
•Population growth provides us with a more number of working population. Larger population provides a greater manpower. If this manpower is utilised efficiently in different sectors, it can lead the country towards prosperity.
• India’s population is termed as a young population as the average age of Indian population is around 25-26 years, which is considered as productive age This kind of population can help the economy to grow.
• Greater population means more consumers for industries. So many industries focus on the countries having large population to sell their products. These leads to competition and eventually leads to a fall in the prices of many goods.
• Population explosion also provides us with people of multiple talents in the fields such as sports, music, art etc. If a country invests well on human resources and provides enough opportunities to the people, it can come up with vast pool of talented people.
• With the increase in working age population, the dependency rate will decrease It will also add savings and investments in the country as more people are in employable age group. This will bring economic prosperity in the long run.
Population Growth as Bane
• The increase in population puts a pressure on the several resources. This leads to the overall shortage in land, jobs, capital, housing and health services.
• Rapid population explosion has led to the over exploitation of the natural resources and degradation of environment.
• To cater the demands of ever increasing population, building the subsequent infrastructure for providing basic necessities like health, education and water become a challenge for various government authorities.
•For feeding a large population, we need more production of food. Even though new techniques of agriculture have increased our productions, there is still malnutrituon reported in parts of country,
•Poverty is one of the key issues which is directly linked with over population.
• When the population is large, there are employment issues. Many people have the necessary qualifications but there are not enough jobs for them.
• Population explosion ultimately leads to the decrease in per-capita income and standard of living of the people.
While the population explosion can give us many opportunities for development, it also undermines the available resources. This results in the degradation of the quality of living. The quality of an undernourished, poverty stricken, unhealthy but big society is definitely lower than a smaller but healthy, educated, economically secured and well employed society. The population can be our strength only when we have resources and power to feed, provide the basic facilities, health care and jobs.
This will mould them into an asset. But in reality, we don’t have the necessary resources to do this. Therefore, we should make conscious efforts as individuals to put a curb on further population increase. It is the only way through which we can secure better future for upcoming generations. Highlighting the importance of population control, Prime Minister in his Independence Day Speech of 2019, equated the “family planning as another form of patriotism.” Hence, family planning needs to taken as another Jan andolan’ by the citizens of the country in order to visualize the dream of making India a global superpower.
Thank you very much for reading this article“What is population, definition, meaning, Indian population, population increase”