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PIL to control the population: You cannot coerce family planning, says the Center to SC | India News

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NEW DELHI: The Center has told the Supreme Court that India is unequivocally against imposing family planning on its people and that any coercion to have a certain number of children is counterproductive and leads to demographic distortions. In an affidavit filed in the superior court, the Ministry of Health told the superior court that the family welfare program in the country is voluntary in nature, allowing couples to decide their family size and adopt the methods of family planning that best suit them, according to their choice and without any obligation.
The filing was made in response to a PIL filed by BJP leader and attorney Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, challenging an order from the Delhi High Court that dismissed a guilty plea seeking certain steps, including the two-child rule, to control the growing population of the country.
The ministry said that “public health” is a state issue and state governments should lead the health sector reform process in an appropriate and sustainable way to protect ordinary people from health hazards.
“The improvement in the health sector can be effectively led by the state government with effective monitoring and specific intervention to control and regulate the process of implementation of the guidelines and schemes in an adequate perspective,” he said.
“Respondent responding # 1 (ministry) plays a supporting and facilitating role in achieving healthcare reforms and outcomes. It is reiterated that respondent # 1 simply acts as a facilitator to provide accessible and affordable health care through health sector reforms, “he said.
The ministry said that when it comes to the implementation of the guidelines and schemes in the states, it has no direct role and it is the prerogative of the respective state governments to implement the schemes according to prescribed guidelines.
The ministry only allocates funds to state governments for the implementation of approved schemes, he added.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare told the high court that India adopted a comprehensive and holistic National Population Policy (PNP), 2000, with clearly articulated objectives, strategic themes and operational strategies.
The 2017 National Health Policy (NHP) provides a policy guide to inform, clarify, strengthen and prioritize the role of government in shaping health systems in all its dimensions, he said.
NHP establishes indicative and quantitative goals and objectives that include the achievement of the Total Fertility Rate (TFR) of 2.1 by 2025.
The 1994 Program of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development, to which India is a signatory, is unequivocally opposed to coercion in family planning.
“In fact, international experience shows that any coercion to have a certain number of children is counterproductive and leads to demographic distortions,” the ministry said.
India is witnessing a steady decline in TGF, the ministry said, adding that the fertility rate which was 3.2 at the time NPP was adopted has dropped substantially to 2.2 according to the Sample Registration System, 2018 .
The high court had previously requested the Center’s response to a guilty plea challenging an order from the Delhi High Court dismissing a PIL seeking certain steps, including the two-child rule, to control the country’s growing population.
The appeal has challenged the high court order of September 3, which said it was up to Parliament and state legislatures to enact laws and not the court.
The PIL said that the higher court did not recognize that the right to clean air, drinking water, health, quiet sleep, housing, livelihoods and education guaranteed by articles 21 and 21A of the Constitution cannot be guarantee to all citizens without controlling the population. explosion.
The argument in the higher court had claimed that the population of India had “marched ahead” of China, as around 20% of Indians did not have Aadhaar and therefore were not counted, and there were also millions of Rohingya and Bangladeshis living illegally in the country.
He stated that “the population explosion is also the root cause of corruption,” as well as being a contributing factor to heinous crimes such as rape and domestic violence.
He also blamed the population explosion for pollution and scarcity of resources and jobs.

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