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India’s Growing Population, It’s Impact on Our Economy,Politics,Society,Environment

1947 -345 million, 2009 -1.2 billion and still rising.That day is not for when india would indeed be most
populous country in the world.Some indicate it might be as early as 2025 when we overtake China. This colossal population though once seen as a burden on our progress, today is backbone of our economic progress.Since more than 75% of population is below 35 years of age, the demographic dividend we are likely to yield from it , if the human resources and skills are effectively tapped and developed respectively would act as a trigger for our economic growth in the coming decades.Lets’s try to analyse india’s population under 4 catogeries of sustainability, Economically,Politically,Socially,Environmentally.

Economic Sustainability:- With technological progress and innovative ideas , we can certainly cater to the needs of this mamoth population of billion plus, food is not a problem anymore in india , thanks to high productive agricultural states of north india ,our food production is in excess every year , which means even in years of severe drought like 2009, our strategic reserves can provide for deficiency encoutered.And so is the case with consumption goods and producer goods.Because of such a large consumer base there is space for a large number of private entrepreneurs , big multinationals to seize market shares in their respective spheres of production.That is why whole world is betting high on india to get rich so that they can reap benefits from it.India’s consumption which accounts for 55-62 % of the Gross Domestic Product, a share comparable to U.S.A and Japan , would infact be the driver for growth of export based economies of the developed, developing world.Contrary to China which is a export based economy hence a low consumer itself ,it’s GDP growth rates depend on whether west is eating away it’s exports in large volumes or not.In short China’s growth depends on western consumers.Whereas in India’s case in future decade, western growth would depend on india’s consumers.And perhaps not only western(Capital Equipment,machinery), African nations(natural resources), S.E.Asia(electronic products), Russia(Oil and Gas), Middle East(Oil), South America(raw materials), all of them would experience higher growth rates once indian consumers expand and spend.So those who say india’s population is not economically stable, they will be proved wrong , once we can lift our poor into middle class and middle class into riches.

But still the big question is whether such a big population is politically, socially and environmentally sustainable?- The answer is no at present.

Political sustainability:-Decline of INC due to it’s inefficiency in management of growth(Hindu Rate of Growth), food deficiency of 1960’s, Emergency rule of 1976, etc lead to emergence of regional politics in India.Since 1990’s there hasn’t been a single part in power at the centre with absolute majority.Though one migh say coalitions era has seen india achieve higher growth rates ,but it isn’t due to coalitions ,but due to reforms that were unleashed, it’s not due to politics of government but due to intelect of private.Coalition governments are usually unstable.Some coalitions have failed within 2 years of governance ,and this means stability of the country in it’s policies has been inconsistent.Bigger the population base, more is the opportunity for political parties to tap respective vote banks on the sides of religion, caste, status .More active have sessionist movements become in J&K , more violent has the Maoist menace grown, more difficult it has become to control rioting and so on. Political problems have grown many a fold due to large population.And unless population growth stops and stagnates itself ,it will be difficult times ahead for governments at the centre ,given the trend of emergence of regional and issue based politics.

Social Sustainability:-800 million living under Rs 50 a day($2), immense poverty, nutritional deficiency , illiteracy , diseases is what their life is .This breeds chaos, pessimism about our growth, social and political and economic unrest.Maoists in eastern india are a product of this immense poverty.Dalits are a subject of social discrimination , women are regarded as no equal and problem of female foeticide has led to sex ratio fall to dangerous levels.Religious and communal tensions created by political parties to get votes, result in riots, immese damage to public property.Our roads are congested, Power is scarce to cater to needs of people,And if population keeps on growing , our growth might reduce the %age of poor, illiterate in terms of total population, but in absolute figures they will grow larger and larger.
(i.e 26% of population(1.2 billion say) is under poverty line in 2009 and that equals 300 million. Now even if growth reduces %age of poor by 2030-2040 to 16% say, and population as projected then be 1.8 billion , the number of poor will equal approximately 300 million, hence no reduction in number of poor in absolute terms.)

Environment Sustainability:-Can an area 4% of world provide a living space to population 16% of the world?.If it can somehow it will be at extreme cost of environment.Future of india would scarcity of water, housing, forests, fishes. Pollution and waste would cause massive degradation of our rivers, our air and our soil.Poverty if not checked would lead people to live in more slums because of high land costs in urban areas.We have to change , and that change must come fast.We have to build proper housing , perhaps leave the idea of individual farmlands and flats and move into Sky scrappers which could house 10-15 families in same area.We have to clean our rivers and build reservoirs for better harvest of rain water.Pollution and CO2 emissions should be controlled and reduced and we should move towards renewable energy as our main source of power.Forest area should be expanded and reserved.
Environment degradation would be the biggest challenge our country would face if we don’t change our ways.

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