Centre to draft roadmap for achieving ‘population stabilisation’
The Centre’s apex policy think-tank NITI Aayog will draft a roadmap for population stabilisation with a key focus on addressing social determinants of health such as age at marriage and sex-selective practices and strengthening quality of health care.
Treating population stabilisation and family planning as a national priority, fostering inter-departmental convergence and ensuring multisectoral participation and integration will be among its priorities.
The apex think tank on Friday will hold a consultative meeting titled “Realizing the vision of population stabilization: leaving no one behind”.
The consultative meeting is being organised in partnership with the Population Foundation of India (PFI) along with senior officials, experts and subject matter specialists.
The aim is to discuss ways and means of strengthening India’s population policy and family planning programmes. The recommendations from the consultation will contribute to a NITI Aayog working paper to help achieve India’s vision of attaining population stabilization, as voiced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 15 August 2019, NITI Aayog said in a statement on Thursday.
“India, with a current population size of 1.37 billion, has the second largest population in the world. We are also at a stage where birth rates are falling but the population continues to grow due to the fact that more than 30 per cent of the population is young and in the reproductive age group,” NITI Aayog said.
“ Nearly 30 million currently married women in the age group of 15-49 years within this critical cohort of young people have unmet needs in family planning, which limit their ability to delay or avoid pregnancy by not having access or the agency to use contraception. Family planning is considered universally as the smartest development investment. For India to realize its sustainable development goals and economic aspirations, it is important to ensure that people have informed access to contraception and quality family planning services, “ NITI Aayog said in a statement.
The working paper is expected to address key gaps in India’s family planning programmes. “It will offer constructive recommendations to address regional disparities in outcomes by focusing on adolescents and youths, inter-departmental convergence, demand generation, access to contraceptive services and quality of care...Increasing the basket of contraceptive choices, with greater focus on spacing methods and helping women make informed choices about delaying pregnancy and spacing between children,” the statement said.
The paper will also address social determinants of health such as age at marriage and sex-selective practices.
The policy think tank will also focus on increasing budgetary allocations for family planning, “to align with the unmet needs of India’s young people who constitute nearly 30% of India’s population.”