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Major Challenges To Indian Economy

I.POPULATION
As we all know, India has the second largest population with about 1.361 billion people, as of 2018,
second to China ( 1.4 Billion) .
How, do you think, can a growing population be a liability or an asset?

LIABILITY: ASSET:

An increasing population means a greater If educated and made healthy, this


number of people to support, and thus increased population, which in India
increased expenditure on health and education comprises mostly of young and energetic
of the swelling population; leading to a greater youths, can effectively work for the
strain on the government. development of the nation.

Since the resources in our country are very An increasing population means a greater
limited, overpopulation could mean a sharp labour workforce for the nation
scarcity in their availability.

Debatable.
But whatever one may say, overpopulation and overcrowding is actually a burning topic nowadays.

However, on the brighter side, the growth rate of the population is gradually decreasing; where in
1975 it was 2.4%, but today it has halved, with just 1.2%. This has happened due to increasing
awareness among the people, and various government initiatives regarding family planning.
1. The Great Transition
Look at the chart below.

1361
1221
1071

846

683
548
439
361
318
252 251 278
238

1901 1911 1921 1931 1941 1951 1961 1971 1981 1991 2001 2011 2018

What do you think, looking at the above chart, are the main points of interest in the growth of population
in India?
(P.S. Answer without turning the page 😊)

Quite a long journey, isn’t it?


HIGHLIGHTS OF POPULATION GROWTH IN INDIA:

i) Stationary population till 1921


As you can see, the size of Indian population before 1921 was moderate in nature. It remained almost
stationary. In fact, during 1921-31, there was a decline in its size, i.e. there was a negative growth of
population, owing to a deadly influenza epidemic in that period. At that time both the birth rate and the
death rate were high.

ii) 1921- The year of The Great Divide.


The year of 1921 was a turning point in the population of India because after 1921, the population went
on increasing at an alarming rate, causing it to be called the year of The Great Divide.

iii) India Post-Independence, till 1981


India experienced a massive growth in population between 1951-71; where it increased by almost 50%...
in just 20 years[1] ! The growth rate too at that time, was over 2% (like I said before). Therefore, free India,
now a developing economy, faced the problem of overpopulation.

iv) 1971-81 to Present


After 1971-81, Indian Population still grew, but with definite signs of decline in its growth rate. The
present growth rate of the population has nearly halved (again, like I said) from 2.4% per annum in 1975
to 1.2% per annum in 2018.

I don’t know if that qualifies as an asset or not… but an increased population must also mean increased
patriotism, right?
In all of this (I don’t know about you, though 😉) I see a transition. A transition from a moderately
populated country to an overpopulated one; transition from a primitive, pre industrialized country to an
industrialized and an almost developed nation… on its way to become a superpower.

And that my friends, is Demographic Transition in a nutshell.

Thus, put in other words,

.
This theory was proposed by American demographer Warren Thompson, but was expounded by A. J.
Coale and Edgar Hoover. It states that there are four stages of Demographic transition.

STAGE 1
Here, the country :

 Has high birth rates and death rates.


 Sees low population growth, as the birth rates and death rates compensate for each other.
 Is thus, an underdeveloped agrarian economy

For example: Colonial India before 1921

STAGE 2

Here, the country:

 Has high or static birth rates and a declining death rate due to improved health and medical
facilities.
 Sees rapid population growth, hence experiences population explosion.
 Is thus, a developing economy

For Example: India between 1921-1971

Demographic Transition: A general view

STAGE 3

Here, the country:

 Has declining birth rate and death rates, with birth rates reaching lowest minimum. (See above
diagram)
 Sees its population still grow, but at a slower rate.
 Is thus, a developing economy on the verge of being a developed one.
For Example: India at present, since 1971

STAGE 4

Here, the country:

 Has low birth rates and death rates, contrasting to Stage 1.


 Has a stationary population (at a low level).
 Is thus, a Developed Economy.

For Example: USA, France, the UK, etc.; India to reach this level by 2026.

To this Theory of Demographic Transition, however, a fifth stage was also added recently.

STAGE 5 NEW!

Here, the country:

 Still has a low birth rate and death rate, but with the death rate exceeding the death rate (see
diagram)
 Thus experiences Underpopulation[2].

For Example: Japan, Germany, Russia etc. have reached this stage.

2. KABOOM!
If you remember (I hope so 😉), I have referred to this term, Population Explosion , many times before,
and maybe you might have heard it from elders, news channels, or from newspapers. So what does it
actually mean?

Weird imaginations aside,


Do you think what these cartoons imply is true, or are they just exaggerations?

It’s an obvious fact that Population growth depends on how many children are born or how many people
died in a particular area, and in a particular period of time. So, in other words, Population
growth in any country is a function of its Birth Rate and its Death Rate .
Survival Rate!

Here are some more statistics to make your day! 😉

Visualisation of Population Explosion in India


60

50

40

30

20

10

0
1901 1971 2018

Birth Rate Death Rate Survival Rate


YEAR BIRTH RATE DEATH RATE SURVIVAL
RATE
1901 49 42 7
1971 37 15 22
2018 19 7 12

As one can clearly see, the birth rate in India is decreasing, and the death rate is approaching its maximum
low. The survival rate is the highest in 1971, the era when the population exploded in India.

Are there any other inferences you can deduce?


Now, If any phenomenon is seen by a critical observer, he or she will obviously to ask the following 3
queries, especially if the subject is verily disadvantageous:

I. What are the causes ?

II. What are the consequences?

III. What are the measures against it?


Let’s all now try to be some novice economists and ty to apply these queries to our subject at hand,
Overpopulation, and see where our analyses take us.

First off, the causes.

CAUSES OF OVERPOPULATION
What do you think would be the causes of this population boom? Try giving answers on your own and match
them with the chart. Also try to give your own explanations regarding the reasons underscored below!

UNIVERSAL PRACTICE OF
MARRIAGE

EARLY MARRIAGE

ILLITERACY

POVERTY

JOINT FAMILY SYSTEM

LOW STATUS OF WOMEN

TROPICAL CLIMATE
IMPROVEMENT IN MEDICAL
FACILITIES

CONTROL OVER NATURAL


CALAMITIES

IMPROVEMENT IN STANDARD OF
LIVING

AWARENESS

MODERNISATION, URBANISATION