ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Population Programme in Ninth Plan

P H Reddy The Approach Paper to the Ninth Five-Year Plan (1997-2002) has identified the three factors that contribute to population growth as: the large population in the reproductive age, higher fertility due to unmet need for family planning and high wanted fertility due to high infant mortality rate. How much do these factors contribute to population growth? Although the paper recognises the need for promotion of mate participation in family planning, no strategy is spelled out. Other issues like the need to promote spacing methods, incentives and disincentives, family planning targets, demographic goals, etc, are not even mentioned in the Approach Paper The preferred strategy to bring down the birth rate to be adopted is far from clean INDIA is often cited as the first country in the world to have started an official family planning programme as far back as 1952. But the family planning programme began to be implemented vigorously from the Third Five-Year Plan (1961-66), In the Third Plan document, the planning patriarchs started thinking in terms of "the objective of stabilising the growth of population over a reasonable period". In pursuit of this objective, policy-makers began to set family planning method-specific targets for various states and union territories and demographic goals for the entire country. Much has been said about the tyranny of targets'. But not many people know the sad saga of demographic goals.

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