Indian state moves toward 'two child policy'

Xavier Symons
April 22, 2017
Reproduced with Permission

The Indian state of Assam may enact a strict 'two child policy' in response to concerns about rapid population growth in the region.

Regional authorities are seeking public feedback and recommendations on draft population polic y that would prevent citizens of the region with more than two children from applying for particular civil service and government jobs.

Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma was reported as saying that, "Persons will not be eligible to apply for government jobs, and for that matter any kind of government service including that of becoming members of the panchayat and civic bodies." "Assam is facing a dangerous population explosion, and this is one of the several measures we have proposed in the draft population policy", he said.

According to census data quoted in a preamble to the draft policy, there was a population increase of close to 5 million in the period 2001-2011, taking the region's total population to 31.2 million at the time of the census.

Some commentators believe that the proposed policy will fail to address deeper economic issues facing the region of Assam.

"Assam's poor don't need population control programs", wrote Jonathan Abbamonte of the Population Research Institute . "They need roads and bridges to get their agricultural goods to market, access to secure housing, and better educational opportunities to help lift them out of poverty", Abbamonte argued.