JNU plans discussion on need for population control policy

Aditi Tandon

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 13

With overpopulation becoming a subject of debate in recent times, Jawaharlal Nehru University has decided to take the lead in pitching a discussion on the need for a population control policy.

Vice Chancellor Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar today said the JNU would this Saturday host a talk on the subject by Manu Gaur, a leading campaigner for a domestic population control legislation.

The talk to be held under the Ministry of Youth Affairs’ National Service Scheme programme will be titled “Population Control Policy: A necessity”. The introduction to the subject says “as per the current demographic statistics India’s population is slated to rise by almost 350 million over the next quarter century, twice as fast as China, the US and Western Europe combined. The population will drag India into a vicious cycle of poverty leading to major problems of illiteracy, unemployment and inflation. Thus, it becomes a necessity for us to discuss, develop and devise methods to control this growing population.”

Manu Gaur has been engaged with the issue for some years and was instrumental in drafting a national population control policy which was backed by 125 MPs in December 2018 and moved as a private members’ Bill in the Lok Sabha.

Gaur is currently President of TAXAB (Taxpayers Association of Bharat), an organisation JNU’s leaflet about the Saturday talk describes as “a national-level organisation working on the issue of welfare of taxpayers, population control, safety and revival of natural resources and development of Bharat.”

The issue of overpopulation took centre stage last year after Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged the challenges of population explosion in his Independence Day speech, saying people who practice a small family norm are patriots.

Before PM Modi, former Health Minister under Congress-led UPA government Ghulam Nabi Azad had piloted a discussion on the taboo topic in Parliament in 2010. As many as 35 private members Bills are currently pending in both Houses of Parliament on the need for a population control policy. A UN report has projected India to overtake China’s population in less than a decade.

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