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Would India's Population Growth Problems Be Resolved from Adopting a Birth Planning Policy Such as China's one Child Policy? a Comparison Between China and India's Population Growth Problems.

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1. Introduction to Population Growth Problems in China and India

Currently, one out of six people on in the world live in India and it is second after China with regards to population. ("The World Fact Book") India is tipped to rise by 350 million in the next 25 years, at an alarming rate twice as fast as China. (Prabhudesai) Both nations share a common trait - rapid population growth rate, which itself brought along other problems.

Firstly, based on the Solow Growth Model, the economic legacy of high population growth in a developing country is the aggravation of low national output and income problem due to capital dilution. Next, globalization coupled with high population growth, have led to rising inequality between the rich and the poor. Statistics have shown increasing Gini coefficients and skewed income distribution between the top tenth percentile and bottom tenth percentile in China and India. (Winters, & Yusuf, 2007)

China had greatly reduced the problems caused by population growth with its One Child Policy in 1978 and in this report, an examination of China's One Child Policy in the context of India's population growth problems will be conducted. The analysis will deduce the suitability of this preventive check on a country facing a different set of economic constraints.

2. China's Population Growth in the Past, Present and Future

In 1949, China's population was approximately half a billion people. ("Issues and trends,") Under Mao Ze Dong's Great Leap Forward campaign, the Chinese population grew, as Mao believed that a larger population equates to a more powerful country. Fortunately, the population growth was slowed down in the 70s with the implementation of the One Child Policy. Today, China's population stands at 1.33 billion, the largest in the world.

2.1 One Child Policy

In 1978, the new government led by Deng Xiaoping designed the One-child policy to curb the fertility and population growth rate. The campaign advocated abortions, birth control pills and modern contraceptive methods. It also promoted the notion of having two or fewer children per household in view of pertinent economic problems caused by large population growth. Under the policy, families with one child were granted incentives such as preferential access to better houses, schools and health care services. On the other hand, larger families were discouraged through the imposition of taxes on each additional child and disincentives such as curtailing career prospects for those holding government jobs. Contrary to many beliefs, various parts of China actually rolled out 'Care for Girls' program through subsidies and education, to eliminate discrimination against girls in rural parts of China. (Taylor, 2005)

On hindsight, this policy is not without its flaws. One of the most salient examples would be the inflation of the Age Dependency Ratio. ("Age dependency ratio,") People who were born during the population boom are now in their late fifties and beyond and are living on retirement funds. Their saving rates have dropped and cumulatively, this poses a huge financial drain on the economy as this means less investment and less output for China. In addition, the enactment of the policy had also created the phenomenon of 'missing girls' with cases of abortions and infanticides.

2.2 Future Expectations

New studies have suggested that due to the hidden momentum of population growth, China's population will peak sometime between 2025 and 2030 and this corresponds to population figures somewhere between 1.46 billion and 1.60 billion. (Michael, Todaro, Smith, 2009) After which, the growth rate will be stabilized for several years before it starts to decrease.

3. India's Population Growth in the Past, Present and Future

After independence, as like many other developing countries, India's population raised rapidly. Since 1947, India's population tripled from a mere 350 million. In May of 2000, India's population has crossed the 1 billion mark. By 2008, India's population stood at 1.15 billion, making India's population the second largest after China (Google Public Data, n.d.).

3.1 Birth Control Policies in India

India launched the national family planning program to control population growth in 1949. The total fertility rate then was 6 per woman (Google Public Data, n.d.). The family planning program was not complemented by aggressive efforts in limiting family sizes and usage of contraceptives. The program was deemed ineffective and by 1970s, India's population growth rate is still on a rapid rise.

In the 1970s, Minister Indira Gandhi implemented drastic population control measures known as voluntary sterilization program. There were then reports of many coercive measures under this program, resulting in much displeasure among the Indians. During the free election in 1977, Indira Gandhi was voted out of office. Since then, no other Indian government dared to implement any further serious population

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