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Is population growth a blessing or a curse for India?
Posted Date: 20-Aug-2010
There is a debate regarding the population growth of India.Some regard it as a boon while others consider it as a bane.I have tried to put forward the views of both the sides in a simple way.
The relationship between population growth and economic development is very complex.Let us understand some of the points that aris due to the population growth.
Advantages of Overpopulation
Efficient utilization of resources
A major portion of our country's resources are lying idle or are underutilized.We need more manpower to utilize them effectively so that there is no wastage.
Expansion of Market
An increase in the total population will raise the demand for various essential as well as luxury goods.It will act as an incentive for the producers to set up more industries which will bring economic development.
Better Labor Force
The growing population will help in increasing the national output of the country and we can have the benefits of new talented minds of the younger generations.
Greater Investments and Capital Formation
The population will create a wider market.Hence it will attract the investors to invest on these items.This will lead to a net addition in the capital stock of the country.
Disadvantages of Overpopulation
Shortage of Food Grains
With the increase in the population it becomes difficult to feed all the mouths properly as the agricultural sector of our country is still not mechanized.Also the increase in the population will put a greater stress on the land leading to its fragmentation.
We are all aware about the various environmental problems that our country faces.Global Warming is one of them that results from heavy pollution from the industries.
Problem of Unemployment
There will be a huge problem of unemployment and underemployment with the increase in the population as additional jobs created could not keep pace with the growth rate.
Poverty and Low Standard of Living
Low level of per capita income reduces the purchasing power of the people making them poor.They cannot arrange for the proper education of the children resulting in the lower standard of living.
It has been seen that prices of basic food items rises due to the increase in the population.
Advantages of Underpopulation
Greater Availability of Resources
In an underpopulated country, per head availability of natural resources will be higher.Hence farmers will have a greater share in the land or the average holdings will be more.
Low rate of Pollution
Urbanization and industrialization will be minimum if the population of the country is small.Hence there will be lower levels of pollution and ecological balance along with biodiversity will be maintained.
Availability of Government funds
Government expenditure will reduce considerably and the government will be able to concentrate more on economic development.Also poor people will have a greater share in the funds and civic amenities.
Higher standard of living
An underpopulated country will be able to utilize its resources effectively with the labor saving technology.Hence per capita income shall be higher which will raise the standard of living.
Disadvantages of Underpopulation
Inadequate Labor Force
Insufficient labor forces will utilize the resources in a poor way.Country will also face shortage of labor for its developmental projects.
High Average Cost of Production
The labor cost shall be more in an underpopulated country.This will raise the average cost of production.Hence the prices of goods will also be higher.
Production may be Constrained
In an underpopulated country,production activities may depend on the immigration of the labor from other countries.Hence growth process may be hampered if the immigration is affected due to several factors.
IT IS ON US TO DECIDE WHETHER THE HUGE POPULATION IS A BANE OR A BOON.HOWEVER THE PRESENT SCENARIO CLEARLY INDICATES THAT THE HUGE POPULATION OF INDIA IS A CURSE AND THE COUNTRY NEEDS TO TAKE IMMEDIATE STEPS TO CONTROL IT.
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