What is the Population Control Bill? Know its legal challenges and constitutional roots

Indian Population Control Bill: On July 22, 2022, Ravi Kishan, the leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) turned actor, said he was going to introduce a population control bill to an MP in the Lok Sabha. Apparently the BJP leader said that we can only be Vishwa Guru when the population control bill is introduced and it is important to control the population. The latest statement has again sparked a debate about the Population Control Bill, whether the law will be implemented, what effect it will have on citizens and whether it will also be related to the employment or other government benefits.

Let us understand in detail what the Population Control Bill is, what are its legal challenges and its constitutional roots.

What is the Population Control Bill?

While the United Nations reports that India has over 1.4 billion people, making the country the second most populous country in the world, the world population review predicts that India will overtake China. as the most populous country in the world by 2030.

India’s Population Control Bill of 2019, which was withdrawn in 2022, proposed a two-child-per-couple policy and aimed to encourage its adoption through educational benefits, better job opportunities, free health care, tax cuts and home loans.

Objective

India’s proposed population control bill aims to deter couples from having more than two children. The bill states that policy couples with more than two children should be made ineligible for government jobs and subsidies on various government-provided facilities and goods.

However, India’s two-child policy has been tabled in parliament almost three dozen times but has not received a green signal from either house.

Indian Population Control Bill: What Does the Constitution Say?

Article 22 of the 1969 Declaration on Social Progress and Development, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in a resolution, guarantees that couples have the right to choose freely and responsibly the number of children they will have. ‘they will have.

Policies, such as the Population Control Bill, aimed at controlling and regulating the number of children violate constitutional rights such as Article 16 (equal opportunity in public employment) and l 21 (protection of life and liberty).

Indian population control bill: what is the constitutional challenge if the law is introduced?

The Population Control Bill or the Two Child Policy has been introduced in the Indian Parliament 35 times since independence. If enacted, the population control bill would have to take into account the rights of divorced couples as well as the Islamic religion.

Bills that were introduced earlier to introduce the two-child policy lacked these features and were heavily criticized by the general public and opposition parties.

What position have the states taken on the population control bill?

The Assembly of Assam in 2017 passed the ‘Population and Women‘s Empowerment Policy of Assam’, which stated that candidates with two children would only be eligible for government employment, and Existing government employees had to follow the two-child family standard.

In 2021, Assam’s policy was changed to make government jobs prohibited for people with more than two children.

Similarly, in 2021, the Uttar Pradesh Law Commission came up with a proposal that anyone with more than two children will be barred from getting government grants. The draft bill is still under consideration.

Indian Population Control Bill: What are the ramifications of such a law?

Coercive population control measures such as the introduction of the Population Control Bill will further encourage sexual selection and unsafe abortion due to the collective desire to have a male child. Women will seek more abortions as an alternative, compromising their health and increasing illegal practices.

Population control bill in other countries

  1. China has taken the initiative to institute a strict one-child policy for families. It is the most populated country in the world.
  2. Kenya has launched a family planning campaign with the aim of matching population size to available resources.
  3. Russia, on the other hand, is experiencing a population decline due to high death rates which are likely due to factors such as alcohol and drugs.

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