Cause & Effects of Population Growth in India

Demographic transition explains a form of relationship between population and economic development. In the western countries it has been found that they have moved from a condition of high birth and death rates, to a condition of low birth and death rates which led to a slow rate of growth of population. This demographic change is known as 'Demographic Transition'. in other words, demographic transition describes the passage through which countries move from high birth and death rates to low ones. This has been the experience of countries going through a process of modernizing economic and social development.
The growth rate of population is a function of migration, birth rate and death rate in a country. The change in population caused by net migration as a proportion of total population of the country is almost insignificant and, therefore, can be easily ignored. That leaves us with birth rate and death rate. The difference between the birth rate and the death rate measures the growth rate of population. The high population growth rates are due to high birth rate and fast declining death rates due to better sanitation and health facilities. However, the capacities to absorb increasing manpower are much weaker. Furthermore, the process of economic development tends to be more capital intensive under modern technological conditions, and hence, has less potential of employment generation in the short run. Since the total size of the population is already large, there is urgency for speedy achievement of demographic transition from high birth rate to low birth rate resulting in lower population growth.

Effects of the rapid population growth in India . They are:
Providing employment to growing population: This is so because in developing economies majority of the population is illiterate. The burden of school age population has already shown signs of becoming unbearable. The proportion of children in schools is increasing fast and, vast numbers are still not covered. The absolute number or illiterate persons increases every year. This is only an indication of the wastage of human resources for want of appropriate development opportunities.

Problem of utilisation of manpower: Better educated manpower aspires for occupations of greater prestige, which are opened up by the new development efforts. Because of its capital intensive nature, the ability, of the new economy for employment generation becomes restricted. Simultaneously, it renders many of the old occupations out of day and redundant. As a result, under-employment and unemployment, including unemployment of educated persons, increases. There is thus wastage of even developed human capital.
Over-strained infrastructure: Facilities such as housing, transportation, health care, and education become inadequate. The worst symptoms of congestion in every aspect of living conditions are manifested in the urban areas. In countries such as India, a situation of "over urbanisation" prevails which puts unbearable strain on urban amenities. Overcrowded houses, slums and unsanitary localities, traffic congestion and crowded hospitals have become common features in the developing countries.

Pressure on land and other renewable natural resources: Common properties such as forest and water are over-exploited. This results in deforestation and desertification with permanent damage to the renewable resources. 

Increased cost of production : Human ingenuity and technological advancement makes it possible to increase production of goods and services. But, it must be kept in mind that, the cost of production of the basic necessities of life, such as food, increases when the population is growing fast and worse lands are brought into cultivation with costly irrigation etc.

Inequitable distribution of income: Both at the international and national levels income disparities increase. The increase in gross national product (GNP) is greatly reduced in per capita terms on account of the rapidly growing population. In the face of a rapidly growing population, the major concern of a developing country tends to be focused more on economic growth as such. Considerations of unequal distribution of income are pushed to background. So inequalities within the country tend to widen further.
The rapid population growth in many third world countries and persistence of poverty has given rise to the view of over-population possibility. There is, therefore, a major move throughout the world to bring down the growth rate of population. Development experience of recent years shows that there is a long run trend towards slow growth of population in a country. This is secured by balance between birth and death rates. Before the commencement of modern economic development, countries were in the first stage of demographic transition. At that time countries had slow population growth because of a balance between high birth and death rates. But, as a result of economic development, developed countries have again attained slow growth in their population. Birth and death rates in these have become quite low. Such features have been noticed during the third stage of demographic transition. However, the balance between birth and death rates is upset during the second phase of demographic transition because of the death rates declining faster than the birth rates.
The present day developed countries faced the problem of explosive increase in population which has been put under the second phase of demographic transition. It happened more easily because of congenial circumstances such as vast sparsely inhabited areas existing in those times. But today's developing countries are experiencing a much faster growth in their population under conditions different than those faced by the developed countries. Thus they are faced with huge problems of imparting education, employment, urban development and environmental degradation. The need to tackle these problems has led to the necessity a clearer understanding of the relationship between population and development.
The major problem faced by the developing countries is to bring down their birth rates, i.e. fertility. Therefore, understanding of the relationship between development and fertility becomes very significant. There are experts who think that unless fertility is first restricted, sustained economic development is not possible. At the other extreme there are others who assume that fertility is dependent upon economic development. This means that we should concentrate our efforts on development planning, which would, in turn, reduce fertility. Thus, it seems that the nature of the relationship between fertility and development is reciprocal. As the exact nature of this relationship is yet to be fully established, the proper course for a developing country would be to follow integrated policies in regard to both population and development. 



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