Live and Express

Live and Express


#India to beat #China in #Population by 2022; Child #Adoption process getting simpler

Life is a mixed bag.

Last week, two significant headlines hit the news. The first is about the estimate that the India Population is going to exceed China by 2022which is a bad news, as we had expected it to happen by 2028 earlier.  The other is about the child adoption process in India is getting faster, easier and transparentwhich is a good news, as more people including NRIs can adopt in a simpler way moving forward.

One is a problem, and other is a potential solution. While some even neglect to think that the child adoption is a potential solution to the population problem (and say that adoption is emotional, the child and parent should connect well, one cannot adopt ANY child, etc, which are all reasonable), many consider it as a viable solution.  Here is an example of a parent who thinks so.

The Central Adoption Resource Agency has created a database of children that are waiting for adoption, and it has linked the adoption agencies to the database.  This way quick access to children to be adopted is available to the agencies.  Potential parents can now register online for them to be considered.  The guidance will be effective by August 2015, is what the post says.

With these updates, the urban folks of India now have a choice.  We have written several blogs before encouraging urban parents to adopt and why.  Several things have changed from the past, and attitude of the young generation is changing too.  With limited resources that India has, population has to be kept under strict check, and adoption is one way out – to give life to an existing child rather than creating another which will add additional burden to the country – burden may be a strong word, but yes, that’s how it is – with population increasing 1.6% in India every year!

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Is #Sterilization the solution to #India #Population?

This article was posted in Reuters yesterday, and it talks about how sterilization is the major means of India population control.

It’s really sad to hear that even in the days of Information Technology, social networks, smart phones, cloud, and reach-ability to the masses, to the rural masses in particular through startup apps., these kind of measures are required.

India technology evangelists and entrepreneurs should invest in making awareness creation solutions to not to have babies.  Most of the work will be done mentally, when we plant these ideas of other options available rather than to have babies, and physical measures like sterilization will come down.

If you look at India broadly, 70% is rural and 30% is urban/semi-urban.  Solutions like ‘Make In India’ which are destined to boost the Indian economy, should focus on the rural areas where the unemployment is the most, and generate job opportunities, such that people don’t generate babies for labour.

And the urban folks have the adoption option.  The Ministry of Women and Child Development, India under the able leadership of Mrs. Menaka Gandhi, is streamlining the CARA process and making adoption easy and hassle-free.  If only people can reject the stigma surrounding ‘It’s not MY child!’, things will be a lot better.

So, good work is being done, but we need to invest in data gathering, sharing and awareness creation.  Will the India tech. entrepreneurs take note?

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The value of family and life – #India #Population

I write about India Population. And it’s a very unpopular topic.

Sometimes you need the steel heart to read the personal attacks that emanate from people who think that their rights are being violated when asked to consider not to give birth to children.

Here are some of the feedback received from very well known members of the community:

‘You look like you have lived your life well. How can you ask us to not to have babies? I am an unmarried woman in my twenties, and I want to have my family’.

‘Have you ever given birth and raised children?’

The first comment is because they fear the system/government will prohibit having babies.

The second comment is tricky.  If I answer ‘Yes, I have had children’, then they will blast me ‘You advice something for the world, and you do things differently. Hypocrite!’  If I answer ‘No, I have not had children’, then they will blast me ‘See? How will you know the value of having a family? You should never advice!’

Let’s look at it objectively.

The moment your child gets out into the streets of India, they become one in the 2.72 billion people. And the family safety net that you provide is lost.  In the streets, today, people don’t even see each others faces and smile at strangers. They are all driven by their own missions of getting to office and coming back. So, the ‘value’ that you are talking about in your ‘own’ child just vanishes in the society.

More so with these huge numbers of people. As the numbers increase, tolerance to fellow human beings will naturally reduce. All the push-pulls that happen in the public transport, and the politics that happen at the work places will increase as there are more number of people, because, everyone has to take care of their survival.

If you are not objective, and take care of managing the no. of people that this nation can hold (by the way, we are 17.5% of world’s population in 2% of world’s land!), then nature will be cruel.  By nature, I don’t mean just the land, water, air, etc, but also all the life forms including human.

Our nation has been a very tolerant one in general. ‘Please adjust’ has been our mantra. But that will break with a population growth of 1.6% every year, as per the latest reports. People will start being cruel to each other. Like buying illegal software through an IRCTC official and booking 36 tickets at once illegally!

Just take a look around, and see if we really more children. How are we going to educate and give jobs to all these population? What about drinking water, food, space to live? For God’s sake, how about experiencing the pleasantness of life with some space instead of always being jam-packed?

If one really values life and family, they will understand it’s being cruel to everyone to add more. And probably adopt children who have no one to care for.

Someone said ‘There will come a time when the government will start asking to produce babies’. That would be a golden day to live when we are all joyful, and want to make copies of ourselves.

But right now, we are over-crowded and miserable. Let’s stop!


India Population, rural unemployment and #MakeInIndia

Indian Government has initiated the #MakeInIndia campaign to harvest the workforce of young Indian population, increase employment through private ventures, increase foreign capital and thus boost Indian economy.

This is a great initiative.

Employment, literacy, population, labor, economy, and internal migration are all inter-twined areas.

When I started studying India population and collecting data, I was also interested in finding out why there is so much of population.

When the illiterate rural family who does not have the skills (be it white-collar, blue-collar or any other skills) is unemployed, their mindset works like ‘If I generate many babies, those children will grow up, earn money for the family, and we will all live happily’.  Since they themselves are unable to support the family through their employment, they think their children might help.

If the rural people have jobs and if their basic essentials are taken care of well, they will stop producing babies for labor.  This will significantly slow down the population growth. They will also stop migrating to far-off states and urban cities in look for employment. They will stay at their origins, sustain their culture and live well. And that should be the goal of any employment initiative – to bring employment close to the home of the people.

With this in mind, I collected information about the rural districts where the unemployment is huge.  Thanks to the Census 2010, this information is readily available from India Census web-site.

There are hundreds of rural districts with millions of people unemployed.  The most unemployed rural districts fall under just three states: Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal.  These three states constitute 47 out the 50 top rural districts in non-working population!  And not a coincidence, these are the three big states in which the population & population density are the highest!

Indian Government should first implement the #MakeInIndia in these rural districts and create jobs.  This will reduce the huge burden of unemployment, and tremendously help in containing population through economic empowerment, which will reduce the stress on the natural resources, and thus protect the environment too.  This will also reduce the stress on the other states/cities which are affected by migration from these states.

Given below is the list of the top 5o rural non-working population districts of India (Source: Census 2010) :

State District Non working
WB S 24 Parganas 3869583
WB Murshidabad 3695310
Bihar P. Champaran 3073465
UP Azamgarh 2966814
WB P. Medinipur 2932972
Bihar Muzaffarpur 2923198
UP Allahabad 2861171
Bihar Samastipur 2811017
UP Jaunpur 2804774
WB Pur. Medinipur 2787352
WB Barddhaman 2770069
Bihar Madhubani 2738744
WB N 24 Parganas 2719493
UP Sitapur 2690613
Bihar Saran 2649028
UP Gorakhpur 2506676
WB Nadia 2438125
Bihar Darbhanga 2436689
UP Kheri 2434230
UP Sultanpur 2412975
UP Hardoi 2393945
Bihar Gaya 2326032
UP Kushinagar 2324939
Bihar Vaishali 2265128
Bihar Siwan 2263918
UP Moradabad 2247849
UP Ghazipur 2217015
AP East Godavari 2203869
Bihar Patna 2184567
Bihar P.Champaran 2174799
Bihar Sitamarhi 2174714
UP Bahraich 2135098
WB Maldah 2113423
UP Budaun 2109749
UP Gonda 2104821
UP Pratapgarh 2020511
WB Hugli 2017615
UP Muz.Nagar 2008744
UP Ballia 2007207
UP Deoria 1990563
UP Rae Bareli 1988497
UP Bareilly 1985597
WB Bankura 1939987
UP Bijnor 1929865
Kar. Belgaum 1892472
WB Birbhum 1884465
Bihar Purnia 1878404
Bihar Katihar 1860824
Mah. Pune 1849639
UP Bara Banki 1841041
Total 118857595

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Hydro-power from Bhutan – a good source but only temporary relief

In a welcome move, India has started partnering with Bhutan for getting low-cost, clean, hydro-energy. According to the reports, these plants have capacity to deliver around 6750 MW power daily by 2016-17, when every project is finished. Totally, 10 projects have been planned, out of which some have already started delivering.

Now, let’s look at the demand situation. The neighboring Indian states which have huge population density are Bihar and West Bengal. While Bihar says it is going to generate surplus energy in the coming years, it has to be seen. Currently it has an energy requirement of around 3000 MW every day. As a state, it has the largest population density, and it remains to be seen how it would tackle the increase in population vis-a-vis the supply of power.

West Bengal is claiming that it has 15 to 20 percent of surplus energy. But, industrial demand of energy, which amounts to 40% of the total requirement, has increased only 4% in the near past, because of industrial slowdown. This situation is going to change, and industry is going to pick-up across India, because of the new Central Government. In this case, additional energy will be required.

While power from Bhutan will definitely take some load off of at least two states near Bhutan, one has to look and plan for the far future.

Out of the 4 Indian states (apart from the Union territories) which have the highest population density, 3 of them are in the north-central-east region (Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal).  This corridor (starting from West Bengal to the National Capital Region of Delhi) has been having the maximum population density and also the highest railway traffic and movement of human beings (as can be verified from railways maps).  Power has been and going to be a big problem if population is not contained by policies, with focus on these three states. The other state is Kerala, which needs attention too.

Indian Ministry of Home presumably is well-aware of this situation, and hopefully taking the right strides in containing India Population.

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Optimum population density – Where does India stand ?

In this blog, I will introduce you to the concept of Population Density. It’s the number of human beings per sq. km. Naturally, one would be curious to know how many human beings can live well without ecological and resource issues within a This is called the Optimum Population Density.

There had been quite a lot of debates about how the ‘Optimum Population Density’ should be calculated, and whether it made sense. Several parameters were discussed, and several reasons were quoted to argue that such a parameter does not make sense. The culture and ways of living of each region varies, and thus it is not logically correct to pin-down the number, is what the gist of the argument was.

But, eventually, an organisation called ‘Population Matters‘ in UK, came up with a way of measuring the density, taking into consideration the ecological and biological constraints.  And here is what they found :

Population Overshoot Index while taking into consideration ecological and biological constraints

Note that this data is as of 2007, and we are now in 2014.  The India Population has increased another 0.2 billion.


If you look at the report closely, India Population is at 68th position in terms of the overshoot.  Overshoot is how much of population is in excess to the sustainable population, based on the eco and bio considerations. How the eco and bio parameters are considered and derived is explained well in the introduction section of the report.

Given the India’s total area of 3,287,590 sq. kms, and given the sustainable population of 0.650 billion as per the report, the average population density per turns out to be 197 persons / But, when I was looking at the Wikipedia article on India population, these are the densities of the topmost states (leaving alone places which are union territories) :

Bihar: 1,102 persons /   West Bengal: 1,030 /   Kerala: 859 / sq. km   Uttar Pradesh: 828 / sq. km

Even if we account for the ‘Thoda adjust kar lo bhai’ (Can you please adjust a bit?) attitude of India, 10 times overshoot of the living standards of the rest of world is very troublesome, don’t you agree?

So, what are we going to do? We got to do something different, not do the same thing of reproducing more and more, but a bit different than how we saw things in the past, and change our attitudes – because, at the current rate, we not only cannot live well, we are going to be cruel to each other – in a country where people don’t respect the concept of queues!



1. India Population : What can I do?

2. Google search : India Population

3. Adoption? It’s so difficult! – Well, may be not anymore!