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Sunday, September 26, 2021

Govt not considering to bring two-child policy: MoS Health informs Lok Sabha

The minister's remarks assume significance as two BJP-ruled states—Uttar Pradesh and Assam—have proposed two-child policies in their respective states.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: July 23, 2021 10:33:21 pm
Minister of State for Health Bharati Pravin Pawar | Screenshot: YouTube/LSTV

Responding to a question whether the government was considering to bring a two-child policy, Minister of State for Health Bharati Pravin Pawar on Friday informed the Lok Sabha that no such proposal was under consideration.

”No,” said Pawar while responding to the question raised by BJP MP Uday Pratap Singh.

“International experience shows that any coercion or diktat to have a certain number of children is counter-productive and leads to demographic distortions like sex-selective abortions, abandonment of the female child, and even female infanticide to intense son preference,” she said in the written reply, adding that all this eventually resulted in a skewed sex ratio.

This assumes significance as two BJP-ruled states—Uttar Pradesh and Assam—have proposed two-child policies in their respective states.

Pawar added that states like Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, and other states/UTs have succeeded in reducing the fertility rate by adopting a holistic approach towards family planning without resorting to any stringent population control measures.

Also, the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development, Cairo, 1994, to which India is a signatory, unequivocally opposes coercion in family planning, Pawar said.

The minister also stated that the National Family Planning Programme (NFPP) implemented by the government, which provides voluntary and informed choices to citizens without any discrimination through a target free approach, is aimed at checking population growth.

Various services provided under NFPP include Mission Parivar Vikas, expanded contraceptive choices, compensation scheme for sterilization acceptors, post-partum intrauterine contraceptive device incentive scheme, scheme for home delivery of contraceptives by ASHAs, scheme for pregnancy testing kits in the drug kits of ASHA and family planning logistics management information system.

With these initiatives, the total fertility rate has declined from 2.7 per cent in 2005-06 to 2.2 per cent in 2015-16, she added.

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