Convocation address

IIPS Newsl. 1993 Jul;34(3):2-4.


PIP: The Union Deputy Minister of Health and Family Welfare in India addressed the 35th convocation of the International Institute for Population Sciences in Bombay in 1993. Officials in developing countries have been concerned about population growth for more than 30 years and have instituted policies to reduce population growth. In the 1960s, population growth in developing countries was around 2.5%, but today it is about 2%. Despite this decline, the world will have 1 billion more individuals by the year 2001. 95% of these new people will be born in developing countries. India's population size is so great that India does not have the time to wait for development to reduce population growth. Population needs to be viewed as an integrated part of overall development, since it is linked to poverty, illiteracy, environmental damage, gender issues, and reproductive health. Despite a large population size, India has made some important advancements in health and family planning. For example, India has reduced population growth (to 2.14% annually between 1981-1991), infant mortality, and its birth rate. It has increased the contraceptive use rate and life expectancy. Its southern states have been more successful at achieving demographic goals than have the northern states. India needs to implement efforts to improve living conditions, to change attitudes and perceptions about small families and contraception, and to promote family planning acceptance earlier among young couples. Improvement of living conditions is especially important in India, since almost 33% of the people live in poverty. India needs to invest in nutrition, health, and education. The mass media and nongovernmental organizations need to create population awareness and demand for family planning services. Improvement in women's status accelerates fertility decline, as has happened in Kerala State. The government needs to facilitate generation of jobs. Community participation is needed for India to achieve its health and population goals.

MeSH terms

  • Asia
  • Demography
  • Developing Countries
  • Economics
  • Goals*
  • Health Planning
  • Health Planning Guidelines*
  • Health Services Needs and Demand*
  • India
  • Organization and Administration
  • Population
  • Population Dynamics
  • Population Growth*
  • Public Policy*
  • Social Change*