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

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Is Contraceptive Prevalence Declining in India?

This study investigates the quality of the National Family Health Survey-4 data on contraceptive use by estimating investigator-induced bias. An outlier-bound approach was used to detect investigator bias, and contraceptive use was re-estimated adjusting for the bias in six study states. The findings suggest investigator bias at two levels: over-reporting of women as “never users” of contraception and a tendency to report sterilised women as current non-users and as cases of hysterectomy. Re-estimation of contraceptive use confirmed a declining trend in contraceptive prevalence in four study states. While the effect of the bias was moderate at the state level, it can potentially distort district-level estimates to a great extent.

Family, State, and Ideal Populations

Reproductive Politics and the Making of Modern India by Mytheli Sreenivas, Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2021; pp 274, ` 2,250 .

Two-Child Norm and Panchayats

The Haryana legislation, now upheld by the Supreme Court debarring those with more than two children from contesting panchayat elections, is a serious misreading of the relationship between population and resources and an egregious assault on the process of democratisation. The law selectively affects socially and economically deprived groups, given that it is they who register higher fertility rates.

Recency of Birth as Marker of Future Fertility

The persistence of high growth rates of the population in a number of states is calling to question the wisdom and feasibility of integrating family planning programmes in a larger reproductive health package as recommended in the National Population Policy 2000. There is an apparent inconsistency between the needs of the state governments to regulate population growth and fertility levels as part of developmental strategies and the requirements for implementation of family planning programmes as a part of a larger reproductive health package. In this article an attempt is made to reconcile this inconsistency through a birth-based approach to contraception which is feasible, humane and effective in terms of its fertility impact. The data from NFHS-2 are used to empirically validate the approach.

Population Policies: States Approve Coercive Measures

With states evolving independent policies which appear to be contradicting the National Population Policy's core statement regarding the government's commitment to a target-free approach to family planning, the World Population Day saw the launch of a broad-based campaign of protest.

Curious Decision

Some things never change. In a typically nonchalant move, ignoring past debate, medical and social facts, the health ministry has recently announced plans to introduce Net En, an injectable contraceptive on a trial basis in select medical colleges around the country. This is, no doubt, is a prelude to introducing it in the public health system, a move that the health ministry has long contemplated but has hesitated to make for a variety of reasons, not least of all, the opposition to it by women's and health groups....
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