The Uttar Pradesh government on July 11, 2021, announced a new population bill known as the Uttar Pradesh Population (Control, Stabilization, and Welfare) Bill, 2021 on World Population Day.
Prepared by the Uttar Pradesh Law Commission (UPLC), the Draft of the Uttar Pradesh Population (Control, Stabilization, and Welfare) Bill, 2021 aims at curbing the population menace in the state. Uttar Pradesh, with a population of around 220 million, is India’s most populous state.
The Draft currently available on the state government’s website is open to suggestions and comments from the public till July 19, 2021. The Bill comprises incentives for those who limit their families to two children or less and disincentives for those who defy the two-children norm laid out in the bill.
Uttar Pradesh Population (Control, Stabilization, and Welfare) Bill, 2021: Key Provisions
• Focus on increasing access to contraceptive measures as stated under the Family Planning Programme. The bill also aims at providing a safe system for abortion.
• Reduce the maternal and newborns mortality rate.
• Introduce population control as a mandatory subject in all secondary schools.
• Better management of health, nutrition, and education of adolescents aged 11 to 19 years, and care of elderly as well.
• Increments, promotions, concessions in housing schemes, and perks to those who adhere to the laws outlined in the bill.
• Government employees who adhere to the two-children norm under the bill will be given 2 additional increments during their entire service, maternity or paternity leave of 12 months, along with complete salary and allowances and a 3 per cent raise in the Employer’s Contribution Fund (EPF) under the National Pension Scheme.
• Non-government employees who assist in curbing population menace will receive rebates in taxes on housing, water, home loans, etc.
• If the parent of a child undergoes vasectomy, he or she will be offered free medical facilities until the age of 20.
• Set up a state population fund to implement the measures under the bill.
Who will be covered under the UP Population Bill, 2021?
• The bill will apply to married couples wherein the boy is 21 years or older and the girl is 18 years or older.
• The bill will be voluntary in nature. It will not be enforced on everyone.
Significance for the UP Population Bill, 2021
• The Uttar Pradesh Population (Control, Stabilization, and Welfare) Bill, 2021 has been devised keeping in mind the urgent need, amid the growing population in the state, to ensure that all citizens have access to necessities such as safe drinking water, affordable food, access to quality education, decent housing, power or electricity for domestic consumption, economic or livelihood opportunities, and a secure living.