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20 Feb, 2012

Indian Population Expected to Stabilise by 2045


Nairobi, Kenya, 14 Feb 2012, (Ministry of Health and Family Welfare) – The Union Health and Family Welfare Minister and Chairman, Partners in Population Development (PPD), Mr. Ghulam Nabi Azad today addressed a gathering here on the occasion of Re-Launch of Family Planning Campaign of Government of Kenya during the ongoing three day meeting of the Executive Committee of PPD.

The Minister said India growing population is a matter of great concern and poses several challenges on the economic, environmental and development fronts. He noted that the world population stands today at 7 billion plus. Africa and India together constitute more than 2.3 billion, which is roughly one third of the entire world population. Kenya alone has approximately 41 million people and like India, its population is very young and growing rapidly.

Mr. Azad said India has been consistently making efforts towards improving health and reducing fertility for sustainable development ever since the launch of the world’s first national program emphasizing family planning for reducing birth rates in 1952. Since then, the Indian family planning program has evolved and has recently been repositioned to not only achieve population stabilization but also to promote reproductive health and reduce maternal mortality, infant & child mortality and morbidity. The National Population Policy, since 2000, places emphasis on reducing the unmet needs for family planning, improvement of health care infrastructure and attain Population Stabilization by the year 2045.

According to the recently conducted Census of India, the population now stands at 1.21 billion. A positive sign emerging from the Census shows that the decadal growth rate has come down sharply to 17.64 in the years’ 2001 to 2011 as against 21.54 between 1991 to 2001. There has been a steady decline in Total Fertility Rate. 14 States and Union Territories out of 35 have already achieved the replacement fertility level of 2.1.

The focus in India has been to make special efforts to generate awareness and persuade people to have small family sizes for the betterment of the health of the mother, child and the whole family. For this, focus is on providing fixed day family planning services at health facilities and easier access to contraceptives. “We have now launched a new initiative under which, contraceptives, both male and female, shall be delivered free of cost and door to door by the community health workers in high focus areas,” Mr. Azad said.

To reduce the Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) and Infant Mortality Rate (IMR), the Government has taken a number of initiatives in the last 5 years to facilitate institutional deliveries and newborn care, which have seen institutional deliveries increase from 47% to 72%. The national programme contributed to the further decline of the MMR from 254 in 2004-06 to 212 in 2007-09 and IMR from 58 in 2005 to 47 in 2010.

India was re-elected as the Chairperson of Partners in Population Development (PPD) in November 2011 for a three-year term.