TODAY -

Fifth child, no Government job

Free Thinker *



I read somewhere that the 8th billionth child will be born on 15 November 2022. And India is to beat China demographically in 2023. In recent years India’s contribution to global population growth is extremely commendable. We are contributing more than China in the last few decades. Next year China will be number two and India will be number one in terms of human resources. China will be below India – Ha, Ha.

Manipur as part of India is also contributing its share of the population. When we beat China, nobody can ignore our contribution. Only UP or Bihar can’t take the credit. We are also one of the highest contributors (ratio-wise). One leader claims that there was a demographic growth of 153 percent in the hills of Manipur from 1971 to 2001 and it further went up to 250 percent between 2001 and 2011.

This kind of population surge has perhaps never happened in human history. Such an overwhelming growth of population would be an interesting area of study for scholars. Malthus’s geometrical growth has been badly traumatized here.

Thomas Malthus an English economist believed that rapid population growth will outrun the food supply (resources) and so, no betterment of human kind is possible without strict limits on reproduction. I think our State Government is perhaps under the influence of Malthus Saab; so the Government wants to control the population to match with the available food or resources.

Thus a few days back it took a thrilling decision saying that if you have four kids you will be deprived of the benefits of Government schemes and jobs. This decision was taken in the Cabinet Meeting held last Friday. The decision was taken perhaps to strengthen the economy.

At present many politicians and leaders are having 3 children on an average; I am talking about the present-day situation. The majority of them are having 3 or 4 kids; which means they are in the safe zone; in other words, they will be eligible to enjoy the benefits of all the Government schemes and programs including jobs.

A prominent Government Minister made a statement saying that if a man produces more than four children, no Government benefits will be extended to him and his family.

To check huge population growth such a step is taken up; it is a good step and it is really appreciated in various quarters. But the issue is, can we really punish the children for the follies of the parents, if we have to deprive the entire family of Government benefits, for not following the State population norm ?

‘Hum do aur Hamare do’ is a policy for Family Planning for years together. It is not mandatory for any couple to have only two children. However, there are many benefits to accepting this policy of the Government of India. Those who had undergone a family planning operation (wife or husband) if he/she is a Government employee he/she gets an extra increment.

Maternity or paternity leaves are given only up to two children. For the third child, you are not getting paternity or maternity leave. Even in schools, sibling admission benefits are extended not beyond two.

China, which is the biggest demographic country, had the one-child family norm - adopted and enforced for years together. As they started facing the problem of the aging population a few years back in 2016 they changed their policy - allowing two children norms; perhaps their latest policy allows up to 3 children per couple.

Our National Population Policy (NPP) 2000 contemplates fulfilling the needs for contraception, healthcare infrastructure, and health personnel, and providing integrated service delivery for basic reproductive and child healthcare.

The medium-term objective of NPP is to reduce the Total Fertility Rate. The long-term objective is to achieve a stable population by 2045, at a level consistent with the requirements of sustainable economic growth.

Perhaps considering NPP the State Cabinet had also taken a decision to set up the State Population Commission. It may also relate to a Private Member Resolution passed by consensus in the State Assembly on population control. That private Member resolution was brought by Kh Joykisan (MLA) who had raised the issue of the humongous population jump, particularly in the Hills.

Prof Rakesh Sinha, BJP Rajya Sabha MP, and RSS ideologue brought a similar Private Member Bill in Parliament a few months back, on population regulation and also to incentivize smaller families.

Perhaps Shri Biren is on the same page – however, incentivization and positive discrimination must be acceptable to all and sundry. Again, if this policy is implemented retrospectively (though bad in law) we will certainly get some extra Government jobs. No joke.

In order to check the population explosion, such a policy is formulated. Logically it is a good step to tackle the extraordinary population growth but is it Constitutionally tenable, particularly in the context of Government jobs ?

A question is hovering around in my mind. Can we stop the fifth child of a citizen from applying for a Government job ?


* Free Thinker wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was webcasted on October 17 2022 .



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