WPP’s Projections on India
(GS-I: Society: Population)
The world population prospectus report 2022 was released last month.
India is at the 3rd stage of the demographic transition (DT).
India is experiencing a slowing population growth rate due to constant low mortalityand rapidly declining fertility. Its population growth is further expected to fall to 1% by 2025.
Challenges in Demographic Transition:
Many States have not achieved a low TFR (e.g. Bihar, UP): The reasons being high illiteracy levels, rampant child marriage, and low contraceptive usage compared to other states.
The total fertility rate of a population is the average number of children that would be born to a woman over her lifetime
Male-dominant sex ratio: It is 943 females per 1,000 males (2011). Reason being- preference for sons and sex selection (both pre-and post-natal)
Marriage squeeze: Not many girls are available in comparison to boys, leading to an instance of bride purchase.
Elderly population: It is now increasing and is expected to be 12% by 2050 (from above 9% now).
Suggestions by author
Family needs to be at the heart of India’s health system
(GS-II: Issues Relating to Health, Education, Human Resources)
Evaluation of health care in India
Health Care System in India: multi-tiered structure.
Village-level PHC: a community worker operates and provides services covering 12 diseases/needs.
Block-level: there is a 30-bed community health centre operated by four specialists
District level: Hospital/medical college
History of healthcare reforms: Bhore Committee Report (1946), the Kartar Singh Committee Report (1973), National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) of 2005 and the Ayushman Bharat Mission of 2019.
NRHM was remarkable as it set the Indian Public Health Standards (IPHS) for physical infrastructure, human resources and service delivery, and led to a three-fold increase in budget.
Outcomes out of NRHM:
Institutional deliveries improved from 41% in 2005 to 89% in 2021,
The maternal mortality ratio (MMR) went down from 407 per one lakh women in 2,000 to 113 per one lakh women in 2021,
The infant mortality ratio reduced from 58/1,000 live births in 2005 to about 28/1,000 live births in 2021
The healthcare system’s footfall has registered an impressive improvement in states like Bihar and UP.
Limitations: The primary healthcare system continues to be plagued with gaps and deficiencies, over- crowding, poor facilities, low budget (barely 1.1% of GDP)
National policy should be nimble and allow for differential strategies because a single system may not be apt for the entire country.
The Centre should adopt the principles of flexibility, and decentralisation and provides the space for innovation for states and districts to plan, design and implement primary care in accordance with local needs. The Centre government’s role should be limited to measuring outcomes.
India’s big problem of low-quality employment
A report titled “Impact Assessment Study of the Labour Reforms” was published recently, it analysed labour reforms conducted in Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand, and Uttar Pradesh during the period 2004-05 to 2018-19.
Status of employment:
1980 to 1990: Every 1% of GDP growth generated roughly two lakh new jobs
1990 to 2000: Every 1% of GDP growth generated roughly one lakh jobs.
The trend in labour reform:
Pre-2014 Reforms: The government focused on improving labour administration by simplifying procedures and digitisation.
Post-2014 Reforms: Focus on reforming the content of the laws e.g. New labour codes.
Since labour is a state subject, we look at the performance of states on these labour reforms:
Little success: The labour reforms were undertaken so far had little effect on increasing employmentin large enterprises in India.
The reforms failed to serve the primary purpose of labour laws like to protect workers, not promote the interests of investors.
Employment in formal enterprises is becoming more informal.
Increasing contractualization: Large investors are employing increasing numbers of people on short-term contracts, while perversely demanding more flexibility in laws.
Rajasthan, the first state to implement the reforms, seems to have benefitted the least from them.
More GDP does not automatically produce more incomes at the bottom. India needs to focus on the creation of jobs, labour policies must focus on the generation of better-quality livelihoods for Indian citizens or all citizens’ ease of earning better livelihoods and with more dignity.
Shri Aurobindo Ghosh
To commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Shri Aurobindo Ghosh, the central government is holding spiritual programmes from August 12 to August 15, 2022, across 75 prisons in India.
About Sri Aurobindo:
He was a yogi, seer, philosopher, poet, and Indian nationalist who propounded a philosophy of divine life on earth through spiritual evolution.
In Pondichéry he founded a community of spiritual seekers, which took shape as the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in 1926.
Helped establish the Anushilan Samiti of Calcutta in 1902.
He and his brother revolutionary Barin Ghose contributed articles to the magazine Jugantar
He was also a journalist, editing newspapers such as Bande Mataram. In 1914, he started publishing the magazine, Arya.
In May 1908, Aurobindo was arrested in connection with the Alipore Conspiracy Case.
He wrote copiously and his greatest literary achievement was ‘Savitri’, an epic poem with about 24000 lines.
He developed a kind of Yoga called Integral Yoga.
His theory of Nationalism:
Sri Aurobindo Ghosh was considered a prophet of Indian nationalism. Along with Bankimchandra, Tilak and Dayanand, he developed the theory of nationalism in India (based on Vedanta Philosophy)
He declared that India was in fact Mother India which represented the united power and Shakti of millions of her children. Mother India represented the infinite energy of her people.