Uttar Pradesh—India's Most Populous State, Proposes Population Control Bill
Uttar Pradesh, India's most populous state with one-sixth of the country's population reels under stressed facilities.
Subsidised house loans, increments, government jobs wait for those who adhere to Uttar Pradesh's new draft population control policy. However, those who flout the same can expect to be barred from government jobs or from contesting local elections. Uttar Pradesh—the country's most populous state—has proposed a bill by which it seeks to incentivise population control and impose strict measures for those couples who have three or more children.
At 19 crores (according to the 2011 Census), UP constitutes one-sixth of the country's population. The state's law commission has placed the draft of Uttar Pradesh Population (Control, Stabilisation, and Welfare) Bill, 2021 in public domain late Friday night inviting suggestions from the public at large till July 19.
Couples who have a maximum of two kids can expect to be rewarded with cheaper home loans, insurance, and free education. However, all these perks seem to be incumbent on either of the couple undergoing voluntary sterilization.
Couples who have more than two children will not be given promotions, ration cards are limited to four units per family, and will not be allowed to stand for elections.
The draft population-control bill comes ahead of the assembly poll elections slated in UP next year. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who heads the most populous state in the country, is also likely to announce the government's new population policy for 2021-2030 on 11 July, World Population Day.
The bill will be applicable to heterosexual married couples only where the man is not less than 21 years of age and the woman is not less than 18 years of age. The draft bill will also apply to those who follow polygamy and polyandry as allowed under personal laws.
Considering the limited ecological and economic resources at hand, the bill aims to control and stabilize the state's population for sustainable development with more equitable distribution.
Special incentives for those with up to two children
Couples who opt for a two-child policy can expect a rebate on utilities, nominal interest on home loans, and one-year maternity/paternity leave with full salary and allowance.
A single child born to a couple will get free education till their graduation, free health care facility and insurance coverage to the single child till he turns 21 years old, preference for admissions in all educational institutions, including but not limited to Indian Institute of Management (IIM), All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS), etc., and preference in government jobs. The girl child can expect scholarships for higher studies. Additionally, the girl child will also get a scholarship for higher studies.
Government officials have been offered multiple incentives to follow the two-child norm.
According to section 4 of the draft bill, government officials can expect:
a) two additional increments during service
b) subsidised purchase of plot/house
c) soft loan at nominal interest rates for construction of house
d) rebate on utilities charges including house tax
e) One-year maternity/paternity leave with full salary and allowances
f) 3 percent increase in employer's contribution Fund under national pension scheme
g) Free health care and insurance coverage to spouse and such other benefits and incentives
Over and above the perks listed above, those officials who opt for one child can additionally expect:
a) two additional increments (a total of four additional increments) during the entire services
b) free health care facility and insurance coverage to the single child till they turn 20 years
c) preference to the single child in admission in all educational institutions, including but not limited to Indian Institute of Management (IIM), All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS), etc.
d) free education up to graduation level, scholarship for higher studies in case of a girl child
e) preference to the single child in government jobs; and such other benefits and incentives, as may be prescribed
Special benefit to couples living below poverty line
According to section 7 of the draft bill, BPL couples who have one child will get a one-time lump sum amount of Rs 80,000 for a boy child and Rs 1 lakh if it's a girl.
Restrictions for those who flout the law
The government proposed to limit the issuance of ration cards up to four units per family. Any person who flouts the two-child will be barred from contesting in local body elections. Those who flout the policy will be ineligible for government jobs. However, disincentives are not applicable to those persons who are already working for the state. These state government employees who have more than two children at the time of the commencement of this act, will have to furnish an undertaking stating that they will not flout the policy.
Policy flouters will be barred from promotion in government services and will not get government subsidies.
Exemptions to the policy allow for a total of three children
Any person who has multiple births from their second pregnancy is not said to be flouting the law.
A couple who adopts their third child in accordance with the law is also exempt.
Couples can have a third child if either or both of their first two children suffer from a disability.
Couples can have a third child in the event of the death of either one or both of their children. However, the couple will be in contravention of the law if they have a fourth child (or multiple births from the third pregnancy).
Married couples expecting their third child within a year of the commencement of this Act are exempt.
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