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UTTAR PRADESH POPULATION (CONTROL, STABILISATION AND WELFARE BILL, 2021


Author: Rakshit Gupta, II Year of BBA.,LL.B(Hons.) From Symbiosis Law School Pune.


Introduction

A draft bill on population control has been released by the Uttar Pradesh State Law Commission. The bill, titled "The Uttar Pradesh Population (Control, Stabilisation, and Welfare) Bill, 2021," was introduced just before the state's 2022 Assembly elections.


Uttar Pradesh, India's most populous state with over 200 million inhabitants, announced a new draft population policy on July 11, 2021 in an effort to lower its population. A draft measure on population control has already been posted on the website of the state law commission, and opinions will be accepted until July 19th.


The terms of the proposed legislation, named "The Uttar Pradesh Population (Control, Stabilization, and Welfare) Bill, 2021," will take effect one year after it is published in the gazette if it is passed. According to the regulation, anybody with more than two children will be forbidden from applying for government employment, seeking promotions in them, or receiving government assistance. The proposed law's overall objective is to promote the two-child policy for the benefit of the state's citizens.


As with many population-control laws, the UP-draft Bill begins with a noble goal before stating the incentives and disincentives. In India, the carrot-and-stick strategy to population control has long been popular.


Numerous policymakers have been concerned about a population increase since Paul and Anne Ehrlich published The Population Bomb in 1968. The Green Revolution was effective in making India food-independent and preventing the famines foretold in The Population Bomb. Many academics believe the authors' dread of overpopulation stemmed mostly from their fear of poverty and its manifestations, such as crowds and squalor.


The image of a population explosion is strongly engrained in our culture, and the idea of limiting couples' ability to have additional children continues showing up as a legislative solution. It appears obvious that the population will cease rising if all couples have two or fewer children. In 1979, China enacted a one-child policy, which was gradually loosened. These prohibitions were eliminated earlier this year, and China now encourages families to have more children on a formal basis.


Provisions of the UP-government’s policy include

  • The state's population strategy will prioritize initiatives to improve access to contraceptive measures given under the Family Planning Program and to establish a safe abortion procedure.

  • The rate of infant and maternal mortality will be a focus area.

  • According to the state government, the program also ensures the care of the elderly, as well as better management of health, education, and nutrition for adolescents aged 11 to 19.

  • The provisions of this legislation will applicable to a married couple with a boy and girl not less than 21 & 18 years of age respectively.


Two-child policy beneficiaries

  • Employees who comply to population control guidelines and have two or less children will receive promotions, raises, housing discounts, and other benefits from the state government.

  • As per the government's draft population control bill, "public personnel's who adopt the two-child norm will receive two additional progressions during their entire service, maternity or, as the case could be, paternity leave of twelve years with full salary and reimbursements, and a 3 percent increase in the employer's contribution fund underneath the National Pension Scheme."

  • Those who aren't government employees but nevertheless follow the two-child guideline would receive tax rebates on housing, water and home loans, et cetera

  • If a child's parent chooses vasectomy, the youngster will be entitled for free medical care until the age of 20.

  • It also specifies that all primary health centers would be equipped with maternity centers.

  • "Through community health workers, the centers and NGOs will provide condoms, contraceptive pills, raise knowledge about family planning methods, and secure compulsory registration of pregnancies, births, deliveries and deaths throughout the state," the statement stated.

  • There are restricted natural and economic resources in Uttar Pradesh. The supply of fundamental human essentials such as inexpensive food, availability of quality education, safe drinking water, adequate housing, economic/livelihood possibilities, power/electricity for household consumption, and a secured living environment is necessary and vital, according to the draft bill.

  • To accomplish the goal of population management, Stabilisation, and welfare in the state, the bill states that it is required to promote healthy birth spacing through initiatives related to increasing the accessibility, availability, and affordability of quality reproductive health care.


Who will not benefit from the Law?

People with more than two children in Uttar Pradesh will be prohibited from all government-sponsored benefit programs, will be unable to contest local elections, will be ineligible to meet the criteria for government jobs under the state or receive any kind of subsidy, will be unable to advance in a government job, and their ration card will be restricted to four members, as per the draft bill.


Providing incentives for ‘voluntary'

sterilization

The Bill is proposed to be implemented under entry 20A of the Concurrent List, which is listed in the Constitution's Seventh Schedule. The Concurrent List contains items that can be legislated by both the State and the Parliament Assemblies. At the height of the Emergency, the Indira Gandhi government laid Entry 20A into the Constitution, which deals with "population control and family planning."


The Bill's section 4 is labeled "incentives to public servants," and it stipulates that government personnel who follow the "two-child norm by undertaking voluntary sterilisation" will be eligible for a variety of perks. These incentives are also available if the government employee's spouse undertakes sterilisation.


Additional income increases, a 12-month paternity/maternity leave, housing loan aid, refunds on home tax, electricity, and water expenses, and free health care and insurance coverage for the employee's spouse are among the benefits. Section 6 allows members of the general public to receive these benefits provided that they agree to "adhere by the two-child norm" and undergo sterilisation.


It is not adequate that the public personnel in question have two children or less under these laws. It is not sufficient for the public personnel in question to promise that he or she will not have more than two children. In order to receive several benefits, public personnel must undergo "voluntary" sterilisation, regardless of whether they have two children or not.


If sterilisation is done after only having one kid, there are additional perks. Free education up to the point of graduation is provided, as well as preference in government positions for the only child of a public official or member of the public.