India’s population may be young but it is also the second largest in the planet — second only to China.
While the focus of the politicians and the media may have veered away to more pressing concerns of late, HT’s nationwide poll shows the common man still thinks of population as a hurdle India must cross if it wants to be a global power.
Even though 30 per cent respondents of the survey did feel India stood to gain from the manpower advantage, the view of the majority, 70 per cent, was rather bleak.
Thirty-five per cent felt drinking water would be the first major resource crunch a rising India will face and 23 per cent thought food was a bigger concern, considering the over-billion mouths that must be fed.
The government’s role was not only criticised in efforts to curb population growth — 62 per cent said it had not done enough. Fourty-one per cent respondents also said the government’s efforts to tap renewable energy were inadequate. The verdict on whether climate change is a major issue was mixed — 46 per cent respondents said the issue was significant.