What is two-child policy? What Assam and Uttar Pradesh have proposed
Legislation that bars people from availing of government subsidies and other government benefits if they have more than two children is known as a two-child policy. India does not have a national child policy but two BJP states Uttar Pradesh and Assam have moved towards this direction.
Assam's population control policy proposal
Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has been a strong supporter of the two-child policy. The government is likely to bring new legislation for this policy in the state Budget session starting from July 12.
In 2017, Assam had brought in the Population and Women Empowerment Policy in which government employees were asked to strictly follow the two-child norm. The new law may bring loan waiver and other government schemes under this population rule. But Sarma has said that tea garden workers and SC/ST community will not be included in that.
In the first week of July, Sarma met the indigenous Muslim community and said that similar such discussions with Bengali-speaking Muslims will also be held. "Population explosion in some parts of Assam has posed a real threat to the development of the state," Sarma said.
Uttar Pradesh two-child policy proposal
Uttar Pradesh's law commission has come up with a similar proposal where any person having more than two children will be barred from getting government subsidies. The proposal is on the lines of what the Assam government already has -- a person with more than two children can not apply for a government job or contest local body election.
"The personal law governing A allows polygamy. A has three wives B, C and D. A and B, A and C, and A and D shall be counted as three distinct married couples so far as the status of B, C and D is concerned but as far as the status of A is concerned, it shall be counted as one married couple for the purpose of calculation of the cumulative number of children," the draft says.
Two-child policy in other states
While these two states are new in this direction, there are several other states which have this rule for specific things like contesting in local body elections etc.
In Rajasthan, if a person has more than two children, they are disqualified from contesting the local elections. A similar provision barring people with more than two children from contesting local elections exist in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand, Odisha, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.