Model Question and Answers for APSC | Critically examine whether the growing population is the cause of poverty OR poverty is the main cause of population increase in India.
Critically examine whether the growing population is the cause of poverty OR poverty is the main cause of population increase in India.
Ans: According to the United Nations poverty entails more than the lack of income and productive resources to ensure sustainable livelihoods. Its manifestations include hunger and malnutrition, limited access to education and other basic services, social discrimination and exclusion as well as the lack of participation in decision-making. Various social groups bear a disproportionate burden of poverty.
The growing population is the cause of poverty:
- In his book Theory of Population Malthus argued that human populations tend to grow at a much faster rate than the rate at which the means of human subsistence (specially food, but also clothing and other agriculture-based products) can grow .
- Therefore humanity is condemned to live in poverty forever because the growth of agricultural production will always be overtaken by population growth.
- Overpopulation also leads to pollution other resources like water, air etc leading to disease induced poverty cycle
- Over population also burdens the government leading to low per capita investment in social infrastructure like health and education which are also tools of poverty alleviation.
Poverty is the main cause of population increase in India:
- Early Marriage which is, in part, caused by poverty leads to high Total Fertility Rate (TFR) among women
- Poverty and Illiteracy: Another factor for the rapid growth of population is poverty. Impoverished families have this notion that more the number of members in the family, more will be the numbers to earn Illiteracy is thus another cause of overpopulation
- Sons are the bread earners of the families in India. This age- old thought puts considerable pressure on the parents to have children until a male child is born.
However despite increasing population India has significantly reduced the percentage of people living in poverty since independence. At the time of Independence the incidence of poverty in India was about 80% or about 250 million. When poverty numbers began to be counted seriously in 1956 BS Minhas of the Planning Commission estimated that 65% or 215 million Indians were poor (with annual income of Rs 220 ). In 2017, the number of people below that same poverty line of 2,200 calories a day is about 269 million, though the incidence has fallen to about 21.92%.