The Banyan Shades

India’s Population: What The Future Holds

Total Fertility Rate in various states in India in 1992-93
Current total fertility rate a description of the current trend in India's population
Total Fertility Rate in various states in India in 2019-20

Contrary to popular belief, India’s population is not booming at an alarming rate. While there are strains on resources that need to be addressed, implementing coercive measures to unnaturally curtail population growth would not be a healthy approach. Throughout history, India and China have consistently had some of the highest population numbers, accounting for approximately 50% of the global population. It is for the first time, their combined population has decreased to about one-third of the world’s population. One significant factor contributing to this decline was the population boom in Europe in the last century.

India's Population - Current scenario

India’s current total fertility rate (TFR) stands at 1.79, significantly lower than the replacement level of 2.1. The declining TFR can be attributed to various factors, including increased education and awareness, urbanization, improved access to family planning services, and changing social norms. While a declining population growth rate may alleviate immediate concerns associated with overpopulation, it also poses challenges in the long run.

In the coming years, India could potentially encounter a situation where its level of industrialization might not be adequate to harness technological advancements and address the shortage of workforce needed to support the elderly and young population, particularly when demographics are not favorable. To tackle these challenges, it is crucial to explore and implement a range of strategies.

The Need of the hour

It is, therefore, crucial to ensure that future generations in India are equipped with the necessary technological skills to leverage the advancements of the future to their advantage. The rapidly evolving technological landscape demands that individuals have a solid foundation in technology and its applications. By fostering a strong emphasis on technological literacy and proficiency, we can empower our youth to navigate the digital era with confidence.

However, it is equally important to recognize the significance of humanities and social sciences in shaping society. While technology plays a pivotal role in driving progress, it is the understanding of human behavior, societal dynamics, ethics, and cultural values that ultimately guides the direction of humanity.

Encouraging interdisciplinary learning and promoting a balanced curriculum that includes both STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) subjects and humanities can foster well-rounded individuals capable of tackling complex challenges. Such an approach enables individuals to think critically, solve problems creatively, and to ensure that a path is not followed but chosen.

In conclusion, India’s population is not booming at a detrimental level, and coercive measures to artificially curtail it would be counterproductive. However, the changing demographics pose challenges for the future. By focusing on economic growth, investments in holistic education, and sustainable resource management, India can navigate these challenges and build a prosperous and sustainable future.

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