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

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Population Challenges in India

Population Concerns in India: Shifting Trends, Policies, and Programs by Krishnamurthy Srinivasan, Delhi: Sage Publications, 2017; pp 293, ₹ 850.


Following the unparalleled decline in fertility, India’s population growth has shown signs of deceleration in the recent decades. Despite this, India will overtake China and is slated to be the most populous country in the world within the next decade. Keeping in mind the rising concerns of population scientists over the non-standard demographic transition that the country experienced, it is high time to assess the achievements and the rough paths traversed since independence. Krishnamurthy Srinivasan’s book critically studies the demographic changes in India in the context of national and international policies. It brilliantly highlights the lessons learnt from the population policies in the country.

Accroding to Srinivasan, historically, India had a lower fertility rate than the European countries (before the medical revolution in Europe). The low fertility recorded initially has been primarily due to India’s traditional social and cultural norms and practices. Srinivasan argues that India’s demographic achievements are far worse than those of China and the East Asian Tigers, despite the efforts long made by successive governments of independent India. Using this backdrop, the book discusses several aspects of population challenges from the population policy perspective. The chapters are laid out logically, beginning with a vivid narration of the shifting goalposts of family planning programmes in successive five-year plans and national population policies (NPPs). Second, a range of demographic challenges on account of the population changes are discussed. Third, the progress of different development indicators in India has been compared against the global benchmarks. Finally, major challenges on the demographic front in India have been summarised. Thus, the author tries to bring together a wide range of demographic issues in this book, making it a valuable contribution to India’s population and development research.

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Updated On : 7th Jan, 2019
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