The below mentioned article provides a close view on the national policy (2000).
On the basis of experience of 50 years in national family welfare programme, the GOI has adopted a National Population Policy in 2000.
Its main objective is to meet the needs of contraception and health care infrastructure and to provide integrated service delivery for reproductive and child health care. A national commission has been set up to monitor and give directions for the implementation of the policy.
The modern term objective is to bring the total fertility rate (TFR) to replacement levels by 2010. The long term objective is to achieve a stable population by 2045. It may be difficult to realise the target unless the present rates of population growth, which are well above the national average in from states — Bihar, Rajasthan, U.P. and M.P. are effectively brought down. There states together accounted for 42% of the population growth in 1991-2001.
The National Population Policy has listed the following measures to achieve a stable population by 2046:
1. Reduction of infant mortality rate below 30 per 1000 live births.
2. Reduction of maternal mortality rate to below 100 per 1, 00,000 live births.
3. Universal immunisation.
4. To achieve 80 per cent deliveries in regular dispensaries, hospitals and medical institutions with trained staff.
5. Access to information, containing AIDS, prevention and control of communicable diseases.
6. Incentive to adopt two-child small family norm.
7. Facilities for safe abortion to be increased.
8. Strict enforcement of Child Marriage Restraint Act and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act.
9. Raising the age marriage of girls to 18, and preferably raising it to 20 years or more.
10. A special reward for women who marry after 21 and opt for a terminal method of contraception after the second child.
11. Integration of Indian System of Medicine in the provision of reproduction and child health services.
12. Health insurance cover for those below the poverty line who undergo sterilisation after having two children.
13. The appointment of a National Commission on Population to be headed by the Prime Minister to monitor the implementation of population policy. This is being done to impress upon the nation the urgency of paying attention to the problems of control of population. Since India has already crossed the mark of 1,000 million, the effort of the National Population Policy is to limit it to 1,100 million by the year 2010 by intensity family planning measures.
The action Plan drawn for the next 10 crucial years includes the following:
(a) Self-help groups at village panchayat levels comprising mostly of housewives will interact with health care workers and gram panchayats.
(b) Elementary education to be made free and compulsory.
(c) Registration of marriage, pregnancy to be made compulsory along with births and deaths.
By and large, the Population Policy has been accepted as a step in the right direction.
Michael Vlassoff, UNFPA representative said:
“The policy clearly demonstrates the growing commitment of the Government to population concerns.” The policy avoids ruthless measures, which entail “coercive element” and depends more on “positive measure”.