Strength In Numbers - Eastern Mirror
Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Strength in Numbers

By The Editorial Team Updated: Apr 23, 2023 8:26 pm

Instead of solely viewing India’s growing population as a matter of concern, the country should use the tag of being the most populous nation to its advantage, especially as 68 per cent of the country’s population is aged between 15 to 64 years. With such a huge working population, India can lead the world in the coming decades by creating job opportunities and channelling this vast workforce. India has already worked it to its advantage by making good strides in the service sector, which has begun to contribute more than 50 per cent of GDP. In this regard, credit should be given to India’s endeavour to spread literacy across the country by putting a thrust on education and vocational training, which many countries including neighbouring nations have failed to emulate.

India becoming the most populous nation of the world was not a surprising revelation. However, the prediction made by the UN made some people unhappy, as they viewed the large population as a burden and not an asset. They argue that for India to make progress it should keep its population under check. But demographers have argued differently. They believe that people should focus on utilising the rising population, rather than being worried about it. In this context, they put stress on proper planning, adequate infrastructure and opportunity creation. Moreover, the arguments against population growth are based on unproven assumptions as is evidenced by the failure of the one child policy in China.

Successfully managing a huge population is a big challenge as failure in doing so will definitely create social tension and political discontentment. To avoid such a situation we need to ensure job creation, which is possible only with diversified growth and equal distribution of wealth. At present, India is facing serious challenges on these counts as development in the country remains lop-sided, which threatens to weaken the social fabric of our society by creating one India for the rich and another for the poor. So providing equal opportunities to all sections of society will be the greatest challenge India will be faced with as the population keeps rising.

India’s progress in the coming days will be decided by the manner in which the country manages its population. India should not attempt to prevent the population from increasing as China did, as at present death rates are higher than birth rates. India should not fall into this trap and instead find ways to use its vast population. In this regard, our priority should be to create infrastructure and jobs to prevent discontentment from creeping in the minds of citizens. The need of the hour is to make big investments in the infrastructure sector and erase the rural-urban divide at the earliest, along with ensuring the fruits of modern technology reaching every nook and corner of the country. An educated, empowered and passionate working population will help not only India but the entire world to grow.

By The Editorial Team Updated: Apr 23, 2023 8:26:00 pm
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