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I am author of the books Political Internet(Routledge, 2017), Intimate Speakers ( Fingerprint! 2017), has finished the typescript of three books—first, on Internet and sexuality; second, on the negative impacts of social media; and third, a novel—and is presently working on a narrative non-fiction with the working title Lovescape: Why India is afraid of love.

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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Population growth in India, Lecture Notes

According to 2011 census Population of India  was 121,01,93422.Current Population of India 2013 will be 1,239.26 Millions . India’s population growth caught a faster pace in the third decade of 19th century. Until 1920, India’s population growth was steady due to heavy loss of human life due to wars, famines and epidemics. The population level arouse since 1921 due to advancement of technology and control forms to combat famine and epidemics making such high losses of mankind.
For the first time since the setup of systematic census in 1881, Indi’s population enhanced by more than 10% in a decade with census,1931 enumeration a population of 279 million. When India attained independence with a population of 345 million it faced a series of challenges in every aspect of statecraft. Due to much controversial partition 8 million refugees had come into the country from what was now Pakistan, which was population surplus. At the time of independence, India was termed as an agricultural country because of the vast majority of masses residing in rural areas while few percent of the population dwelled in urban towns and as agriculture was the chief source of income-India being a fertile land.
Since independence, the population of India has more than tripled itself. Since 1950, India’s total fertility rate accounted to 6(children/woman) approx. Since 1952, India has been continuously trying to control its population growth which was increasing at an uncontrolled rate. In 1983, Country took up a national health policy to have a decreased value of total fertility rate of 2.1 by the year 2000 which concluded to be a hypothetical assumption. During late 1980s, an aim to have two children/couple by 2000 was declared but results as being too ambitious. In 2000 India’s population crossed the billion mark. All figures with respect to population are large in India: 2.7 million annual births; 8.7 million annual deaths and 1.5 million infant deaths.
Growing population of India attracted concern since 1947 followed by innumerous policies none of them which qualified to attain expected results. Above all there has been huge growth in the population over the decades. As of 2007, United Nations human development index ranked India 126th, which takes into account social educational and other human living aspects with Population growth bearing a direct impact on socio-economic level.

India's total population stands at 1.21 billion, which is 17.7 per cent more than the last decade, and population growth of females was higher than that of males. The density of population in the country has also increased from 325 in 2001 to 382 in 2011 in per sq km. Among the major states, Bihar occupies the first position with a density of 1106, surpassing West Bengal which occupied the first position during 2001. Delhi (11,320) turns out to be the most densely inhabited followed by Chandigarh (9,258), among all states and UTs, both in 2001 and 2011 Census. The minimum population density works out in Arunachal Pradesh (17) for both 2001 and 2011 Census.

    According to ABC News, India currently faces approximately “… 33 births a minute, 2,000 an hour, 48,000 a day, which calculates to nearly 12 million a year”.
India currently faces a vicious cycle of population explosion and poverty. One of the most important reasons for this population increase in India is poverty. According to Geography.com, “More than 300 million Indians earn less than US $1 everyday and about 130 million people are jobless
Religious beliefs, Traditions and Cultural Norms
India’s culture runs very deep and far back in history. Due to the increased population, the educational facilities are very scarce. As a result, most people still strictly follow ancient beliefs. According to ABC News, the famous Indian author, Shobha De said, “God said ‘Go forth and produce’ and we just went ahead and did exactly that.”
Although poverty has increased and the development of the country continues to be hampered, the improvements in medical facilities have been tremendous. This improvement might be considered positive, but as far as population increase is considered, it has only been positive in terms of increasing the population further. The crude death rate in India in 1981 was approximately 12.5, and that decreased to approximately 8.7 in 1999. Also, the infant mortality rate in India decreased from 129 in 1981 to approximately 72 in 1999 (Mapsindia.com, Internet).
In countries like the United States (U.S.), immigration plays an important role in the population increase. However, in countries like India, immigration plays a very small role in the population change. Although people from neighboring countries like Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal, migrate to India; at the same time Indians migrate to other countries like the U.S., Australia, and the U.K. During the 1971 war between India and Pakistan over Bangladesh, the immigration rate increased tremendously. However, currently the migration in India is –0.08 migrants per 1000 population (AskJeeves.com, Internet), and is decreasing further. This is definitely good for India. This way, the population might eventually come close to being under control and more people may get better job opportunities and further education. For example, the students in my university from India, like myself, have better chances for job opportunities and better education outside India than we would have had in India.

Anxieties of population growth

In India today, the problem has assumed serious proportions. There has been phenomenal increase of population within the last few decades, reaching upto one hundred crore at the turn of the century. The density per square mile is about 350. In USA, it is about 41 per square mile, while in Britain it largely approximates to the figure in Kerala and West Bengal. In Britain, there is less than one acre of cultivable land for each individual. Necessarily if the density of population be large, the pressure on the means of subsistence will also be unduly heavy. There will not be enough food to go round, and high prices of foodgrains will keep the lowest income groups on the verge of starvation. The other risk is that of limited living space. In the past, the plundering nations solved this by grabbing lands from weaker people, living in under-developed or undeveloped countries. That is how the Dutch and the English grabbed South African lands, forced out her peoples or reduced them to slavery. But colonial expansion is now no longer possible. Hence, the alternative today is to fix attention to the reclamation and resettlement of waste lands.


 The current rate of population growth in India is 1.58% and the total fertility rate is 3.11 (AskJeeves.com, Internet).Although the total fertility rate has decreased, due to the increase in the total number of women between the ages of 15 and 44 (reproductive ages), the total number of births has increased. This has lead to the current enormous population size of approximately 1 billion. This has greatly hampered the development of the Indian economy. The amount of resources that could have been available to one person a few years ago now need to be shared between two people, which is not sufficient for either of them. The population increase has lead to air and water pollution, unemployment, poverty, lack of educational resources, and even malnourished women and children.
Air Pollution:
 The technological development of India has lead not only to medical advancements, but also to an increase in the number of factories. That has lead to air and water pollution. More energy needs to be produced to power these factories. When fossil fuels - the world's major source of energy - are burnt, gases are added to the atmosphere. Many cities in India have crossed the limits of suspended particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, and other pollutants due to vehicular and industrial emissions.
As the population grows, more and more forests are cleared. The two most common reasons for deforestation are to make houses for increased number of people to live in, and to use wood as a fuel in the industries. Some of the diseases caused by air pollution are “respiratory diseases, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cardiovascular disease and cancer of the lung” (World Health Organization, Internet). Due to the tropical climate of India, air pollution also causes smog which may result in headaches, dizziness, breathing difficulties, or even mass illness due to carbon monoxide. This slow murder goes unnoticed because people die of diseases like cancer, asthma, and heart problems after long exposures to deadly air pollutants.
Besides the untimely deaths of several thousands of people every year due to air pollution, the pollutants also have a deadly impact on our national heritage – the historical monuments that have made India proud for centuries. A classic example of the air pollution effect is the Taj Mahal in India. The sulfur dioxide in the air because of the pollution caused by the neighboring industries mixes with atmospheric moisture and settles as sulfuric acid on the surface of the tomb, making the smooth white marble yellow and flaky, and forming a subtle fungus that experts have named “marble cancer” (Central Pollution Control Board, Internet). Trying to save the monument might mean closing down several industries in the neighborhood. However, this means that several thousands of people would lose their jobs, resulting in eventual poverty. This again brings us to the same problem that is the root of all the problems – population increase.
One of the major issues that have lately been bothering environmentalists all over the world is global warming. Like glass in a greenhouse, gases like carbon monoxide admit the sun's light but tend to reflect back downward the heat that is radiated from the ground below, trapping heat in the earth's atmosphere. This is called the greenhouse effect.
Water Pollution:
Air pollution is not the only environmental damage being done by the increasing population. Nowadays water pollution is also one of the increasing problems due to the population explosion. Water is considered the essence of life. There is no life without water. One might think that 70% of the earth is covered with water, so, why worry about the water problem? In fact, 3 sides of the Indian subcontinent is surrounded by water.
Some of the major types of pollutants are:
Petroleum products required for automobiles, cooking, and other such human activities.Pesticides and herbicides used for agriculture by the Indian farmers.Heavy metals from industries, automobiles’ exhausts and mines. Hazardous wastes.Excessive organic matter like fertilizers and other organic matter used by farmers.Sediments caused by soil erosion produced by strip mines, agriculture and roads.Thermal pollution caused by deforestation.
One of the classic examples of water pollution in India is the river Ganga.    As we can observe, the increased population size is leading to increased pollution, which in turn is leading to a more hostile environment for human beings themselves.
Unemployment and Illiteracy:
Resources of all types are limited, even employment, especially in India. India, being a developing country, has a limited number of jobs available. Due to the increasing number of people, the competition for the most menial jobs is also tremendous. According to EconomyWatch.com, in 1972-73, unemployment rates in rural areas were 1.2 for males and 0.5 for females, and in urban areas, it was 4.8 for males and 6.0 for females. This unemployment rate rose to 2.3 for males and 1.5 for females in rural areas and 4.9 for males and 8.2 for females in urban areas in 1998-99. With the increasing population, unemployment rates are bound to rise even further. Several highly educated people with Bachelors and Master’s degrees in India sit at home, because they cannot find jobs.    Unemployment, or underemployment, further leads to poverty. This again starts the vicious cycle of poverty and population explosion discussed above. Poverty leads to an increase in the population, because poverty leads people to produce more children to increase the earning members of the family. This increases the population size of India, which further increases the unemployment rate and lack of educational facilities leading to poverty that started this whole cycle.
Food Resources
Resources are always limited. And in a developing and highly populous country like India, resources are even scarcer. Population explosion results in the shortage of even the most basic resources like food. According to an article by World Bank Group, “…more than half of all children under the age of four are malnourished, 30 percent of newborns are significantly underweight, and 60 percent of women are anemic.” Resources are limited everywhere. Thus, unless we can develop a technology that would enable us to live on just one grain of wheat, the population increase remains a serious problem in India. India spends approximately $10 billion each year on malnutrition (World Bank Group), and even then the government of India cannot provide the everyday nutritional requirements to everybody in India. If you walk on the street of Calcutta or Delhi, you would notice several children fighting with each other for a small piece of bread that they found in a dumpster. While this might be shocking to most people, this is a daily routine and the only way to survive for many people in India. Survival of the fittest finds its true meaning on the streets of the urban cities of India. Just writing this, brings tears in my eyes remembering the scenes I have seen all my life on the streets of India. Something like food that most of us consider as a basic necessity, is a privilege for most of the children of India who are homeless because their parents cannot give them the basic necessities of life. I was raised in a well-to-do family, so I never had to think about food. As long as I was living in India, it was normal for me to see poor people fighting for food. But recently when I went back to India, and noticed the difference between the streets in the U.S. and India, one major difference struck me. That difference was not the pollution on the streets, but the kids who were only begging for food and nothing else, and the ones who were fighting next to the garbage cans for food. If the population continues to increase at the rate it is currently increasing, then the future of India is what we see today on the street of the country. Is this what we want for our children?

1 comment:

  1. Very Informative and good blogs .
    Thanks for share with us knowledge about
    Pollution Control Management