9th Five Year Plan (Vol-1)
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Objectives, Strategy and Perspective of Development
Introduction || Objectives of Ninth Plan || Population Growth and Demographic Profile : Perspective || Growth Target for Full employment : Perspective || Growth Performance and Poverty : Perspective || Food Requirement and Agricultural growth : Perspective || Energy and Natural Resources : Perspective || Annexures

Population Growth and Demographic Profile

1.65 Population stabilisation is an essential prerequisite for sustainability of the development process. The National Family Planning Programme was launched in 1952 with the objective of "reducing birth rate to the extent necessary to stabilise the population at a level consistent with requirement of national economy". The technological advances and improved quality and coverage of health care resulted in a rapid fall of mortality rate from 27 in 1951 to 9.8 in 1991. In contrast, the reduction in birth rate has been less steep, declining from 40 in 1951 to 29.5 in 1991. As a result the annual exponential population growth has been over 2% in the last three decades. The report and recommendations of the NDC Committee on Population gave a new thrust and dynamism to the Family Welfare Programme during the Eighth Plan period. As a result of these recommendations, the centrally defined method-specific targets for Family Planning have been abolished and decentralised area-specific need assessment to meet all the felt needs for contraception, maternal and child health have been initiated. Indeed this was the basis on which one half of the funds under the social safety net scheme was provided to districts with crude birth rate (CBR) over 39/1000 (as per the 1981 Census) to improve existing facilities for safe delivery and child care in these districts. During the Eighth Plan period the fall in birth rate has been steeper than that in the death rate; consequently annual growth rate is around 1.9% during 1991-95. The projections of the major demographic indicators for the perspective period are presented in Table 1-1. It may be seen that the rate of decline in population growth is likely to be accelerated during the Ninth Plan period and will continue to do so during the perspective.

1.66 Although the above projections made by the Technical Group on Population Projections constituted by the Planning Commission in 1996 are based on well-accepted and time-tested methodology and should have a high degree of accuracy, they are nevertheless projections. Any such exercise is based on extrapolation of past trends and behaviour, and can never adequately capture possible departures from the trend. Reproductive behaviour is affected by an extremely complex set of economic and social variables. Although it is difficult to derive precise relationships between these variables and the rate of population growth, some of the linkages are well accepted in qualitative terms. In particular, factors such as female literacy, infant mortality rates, average age at marriage and labour force participation rate for women are believed to exert considerable influence on fertility. It is quite likely therefore that the special emphasis that is being placed on basic minimum services and on empowerment of women in the Ninth Plan may lead to sharper increase in these variables and thereby to even more impressive fall in the growth rate of population than indicated in the table.

Table 1-1 : Major Demographic Indicators
                               1996     2001        2006     2011
1. Population (million)      934.22    1012.39    1094.13   1178.89
2. Urban Population (%)       27.23      28.77      30.35     31.99
3. Sex Ratio                 107.9      107.2      106.6      106.0
(males per 100 females)
                                   1996-2001     2001-06    2006-11
4. Growth rate of population(%p.a.)  1.62          1.57       1.50
5. Expectation of life
   at Birth (years) 
        Male                        62.36         63.87      65.65
        Female                      65.27         66.91      67.67

Note :
1. Population as on March 1.
2. Expectaion of life at birth is estimated from SRS based Abridged Life Tables, 1989-93, Registrar General, India.

SOURCE: Report of the Technical Group on Population Projections constituted by Planning Commission, published as: Population Projections for India and States 1996-2016, Registrar General, India (1996)

1.67 One of the features of Indian demographic behaviour which has been the cause for considerable concern has been the more or less steady decline in the sex ratio during the current century from 972 females per thousand males in 1901 to 927 in 1991. The factors responsible for this continued decline are as yet not clearly identified. However, it is well recognised that the adverse sex ratio is a reflection of gender disparity and appropriate steps to correct this trend will need to be taken during the Ninth Plan period. It is expected that the steps that are being proposed will lead to an improvement in the sex ratio to about 943 by the end of the perspective period. A major component in the reversal of the sex ratio trend would be a substantial reduction in maternal mortality. At present the longevity at birth of women is only marginally higher than that of men. However, over the next decade the difference in life expectancy between men and women is expected to progressively increase.

1.68 The average growth rate of population during the 15 year perspective period of 1.54 per cent is distributed extremely unevenly between the different states of the nation. The statewise estimates of the likely rates of growth of population are given in Table 1-2. As may be seen, there is a wide variation in the growth rates, varying between 0.89 per cent per annum in Orissa to 2.22 per cent per annum in Uttar Pradesh. As a consequence of these differential population growth rates, the share of different states in the total population of the country is likely to change quite substantially over the perspective period. In particular, the population share of northern states of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh are likely to increase substantially, whereas almost all other States would either have a constant or declining population proportion. A matter of greater concern relates to the goal of population stabilisation. In recent years, the earlier approach of using the Net Reproduction Rate of unity (NRR = 1) as the over-all indicator of the replacement level of fertility has been changed to a Total Fertility Rate (TFR) of 2.1. The projected level of the TFR for the country as a whole in 2012 is 2.52, which is significantly higher than the level required for attaining the replacement rate, and the desired rate may not be achieved until 2026. As can be seen, if the country has to attain the desired replacement rate within the perspective period, urgent measures at fertility reduction would need to be taken in Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

Table 1-2 : Rate of Growth and Share of Projected Population

States              Rate   Share of population Year by which  
                    of           to total      TFR=2.1 may
                    Growth    1997     2012    be achieved
Andhra Pradesh     1.06       7.48     6.98      2002 
Assam              1.39       2.65     2.58      2015
Bihar              1.78       9.71    10.07      2039
Gujarat            1.37       4.73     4.62      2014
Haryana            1.54       1.94     1.94      2025
Karnataka          1.24       5.13     4.91      2009
Kerala             0.90       3.21     2.92      1988
Madhya Pradesh     1.77       7.74     8.01      2060
Maharashtra        1.09       9.01     8.44      2008
Orissa             0.89       3.58     3.25      2010
Punjab             1.15       2.33     2.20      2019
Rajastan           1.82       5.20     5.42      2048
Tamil Nadu         0.82       6.17     5.55      1993
Uttar Pradesh      2.22      16.37    18.10      2100
West Bengal        1.29       7.77     7.50      2009
Rest of India      2.05       7.03     7.58 
All India          1.54     100.00   100.00      2026
SOURCE: Report of the Technical Group on Population Projections constituted by Planning Commission, published as: Population Projections for India and States 1996-2016, Registrar General, India (1996)

1.69 The important socio-economic variables which are not only related to population dynamics but also to the quality of life are given in Table 1-3. In recent years most of

Table 1-3:Important Social  and  Demographic Indicators- Major States
States     Birth    Death Infant    Couple     Total    Life     Female     Mean
           Rate     Rate  Mortality Protection Fertilty expectancy Literacy age at
          (1996)  (1996)  Rate      Rate       Rate    females   Rate     Marriage
                         (IMR)      (CPR)     (TFR)   (89-93)    (1991)  (females)
                         (1996)     (1995)     (1994)                       (1994)
(1)	    (2)      (3)    (4)      (5)       (6)       (7)       (8)      (9)
Andhra Pr.    22.7      8.3     66      46.9     2.7      61.5     33.7       17.8
Bihar         32.1     10.2     72      21.1     4.6      57.2     23.1       18.6
Gujarat       25.5      7.6     62      57.4     3.1      61.1     48.5       20.4
Haryana       28.8      8.1     68      53.9     3.7      63.7     40.9       19.2
Karnataka     23.0      7.6     53      55.6     2.8      63.5     44.3       19.4
Kerala        17.8      6.2     13      46.7     1.7      74.7     86.9       22.3
Madhya Pr.    32.4     11.1     97      47.4     4.2      53.8     28.4       18.8
Maharashtra   23.2      7.4     48      51.0     2.9      65.4     50.5       19.1
Orissa        26.8     10.7     95      39.5     3.3      55.3     34.4       19.5
Punjab        23.5      7.5     52      76.9     2.9      67.6     49.7       20.3
Rajastan      32.3      9.1     86      32.6     4.5      58.5     20.8       18.4
Tamil Nadu    19.2      7.9     54      51.7     2.1      63.4     52.3       20.2
Uttar Pradesh 34.0     10.2     85      37.2     5.1      55.1     26.0       19.5
West Bengal   22.8      7.8     55      34.2     5.0      62.3     47.1       19.5
All India     27.4      8.9     72      45.4     3.5      59.7     39.4       19.4
Source: Col. 1,2,3,5,7 and 8 SRS Estimates Col 4 Deptt of Family Welfare Col 6 SRS Based Abridged Life tables, 1989-93, RGI, India

1.70 Though the decline in birth and death rates have occurred in all states, the rate of decline was slower in some states like U.P. and Bihar; even within the same state there are substantial differences between districts. The Family Welfare Programme, therefore needs to be re-oriented to remove or minimise the inter- and intra-State differences, with emphasis on improved access and quality of reproductive and child health services through PHC-based decentralised area-specific microplanning without recourse to specific centrally fixed targets. It is imperative that adequate data-base is available at the PHC level on a yearly basis, both for need assessment and also to provide an independent mechanism for impact assessment and midcourse correction. This can be achieved only through complete registration of all births and deaths. For this, it is necessary to strengthen the Civil Registration system through involvement of ICDS workers, Panchayati Raj institutions, as well as health personnel.

1.71 Simultaneously, the Ninth Plan will launch an intensive drive to promote health education, particularly in reproductive health, so that India builds a sound foundation for a successful preventive and promotive national health paradigm. Basic principles of hygiene, sanitation, nutrition, and prevention of illness and disease will be promoted through not only the educational institutions and the adult education programme but also through the ICDS programme, through counselling offered by the health workers at all levels, and the mass media.

1.72 While demographic transition reflects quantitative and qualitative changes in the population profile, the on-going changes in disease burden is producing a major health transition as reflected in the wide difference between the present and projected distribution of disease burden expressed as a percentage of disability adjusted life years (DALYs) by broad cause group. Communicable diseases, along with maternal and perinatal morbidity, presently constitute 56.4 per cent of DALYs, while non-communicable diseases constitute less than 30 per cent. Over the next 15 years, non-communicable diseases are likely to constitute nearly half of the distribution of total disease burden, thus posing a serious future threat to the health of the population. While a decline in communicable diseases as a result of public health measures would be a welcome development, disproportionate increase in non-communicable diseases such as high blood pressure, diseases affecting the heart, diabetes and cancer would be in large measure due to the rapidly changing life styles, both in terms of quantity and quality of food consumed and increasing level of physical inactivity. Preventive and promotive measures need to be urgently initiated to avoid the projected outcomes, in addition to incorporating within the health system, community education and early detection as well as management of such diseases.

1.73 Despite the steady reduction that is expected to occur in the rate of growth of population, the biggest challenge facing the Ninth Plan, and indeed the entire perspective period, arises out of the projected age structure of the population that is emerging from the past demographic trends. These projections are presented in Table 1-4. It will be seen that the growth rate of the population between the ages of 15-60 is likely to be considerably higher than the growth rate of population. Since this is the age group which is likely to be actively seeking employment, the need for expanding work opportunities will be considerably higher than before. On the positive side, the total dependency ratio is likely to decline quite significantly over this period. This occurs through a sharp reduction in the dependency ratio pertaining to the young, with that for the old remaining more or less constant. Therefore, if gainful employment can be provided to the entire work-force, the economic conditions of the households should improve significantly faster than earlier.

Table 1-4 : Projected Age Structure of the Population as on 1st March
Year                     1997            2002     2007     2012
under 15               353.64          345.11   334.80   337.93
15-59                  532.60          610.55   692.64   758.61
60+                     63.64           71.94    84.01    98.50
Dependency ratios : 
(a) Young                0.66            0.57     0.48     0.45
(b) Old                  0.12            0.12     0.12     0.13

(c) Total                0.78            0.69     0.60     0.58
(1) dependency ratio for young is the ratio between under 15 population to 15-59 population
(2) dependency ratio for old is the ratio between 60+ population to 15-59 population
SOURCE: Report of the Technical Group on Population Projections constituted by Planning Commission, published as: Population Projections for India States 1996-2016, Registrar General, India (1996)

1.74 The details of the labour force participation rates and its likely evolution over time are given in Chapter 4. However, the likely position of labour force growth relative to the growth rate in population is given in Table 1-5. It will be seen, that the growth rate of

Table 1-5 :Population and Labour Force Growth
                     Population             Labour Force
               millions    %  growth    millions  % growth
1978            637.6           -        255.8       -
1983            718.2          2.16      286.6      2.07
1994            895.0          2.10      368.5      2.39
1997            951.2          1.85      397.2      2.27
2002           1028.9          1.57      449.6      2.48
2007           1112.9          1.57      507.9      2.44
2012           1196.4          1.45      562.9      2.06
Note: Population and Labour Force figures are based on Tables 4.5 and 4.9

labour force is likely to be highest during the Ninth Plan period and only gradually decline thereafter. As a result, any planning over the perspective period will have to have employment generation as its central focus. If adequate work opportunities are not created, there would be growing incidence of unemployment in the country and an increase in the social tensions that arise therefrom.

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