India was the first nation to launched a family planning programme in 1952. Though the birth rate started decreasing, it was accompanied by a sharp decrease in death rate, leading to an overall increase in population.The early concept of population policy covered both mortality and fertility and did not exclusively focus on fertility. There was also a recognition of the need to improve the quality of life of the people by lowering the burden of disease or morbidity, promoting universal primary education and eradicating illiteracy, exploitation and poverty.
The current high population growth rate is due to:
(1) the large size in the reproductive age-group (estimated contribution 60%);
(2) higher fertility due to unmet need for contraception (estimated contribution 20%); and
(3) high wanted fertility due to prevailing high IMR (estimated contribution about 20%).
In 1976, the first National Population Policy was formulated and tabled in Parliament.
The intent of National Population Policy-NPP-2000 is to eliminate unmet contraceptive needs by providing high quality reproductive healthcare. In particular, the NPP-2000 aims to address flaws in healthcare infrastructure and to achieve a total fertility rate of 2.1 births per woman by 2010. Main objectives of NPP-2000 are:-
- Converge service delivery at village level
- Empowering women for improved health and nutrition needs for family welfare services
- Child health and survival
- Meeting the unmet needs of the under-served population groups
- Use of diverse health care providers
- Collaboration with and commitments from the non-government sector
- Mainstreaming Indian systems of medicine and homeopathy
- Contraceptive technology and research on reproductive and child health (RCH)
- Providing for the older population x. Information education and communication
Population Growth Rate in India has reduced substantially which is evident from the following:-
- The percentage decadal growth rate of the country has declined significantly from 21.5% for the period 1991-2001 to 17.7% during 2001-2011.
- Total Fertility Rate (TFR) was 3.2 at the time when National Population Policy, 2000 was adopted and the same has declined to 2.3 as per Sample registration Survey (SRS) 2013 conducted by the Registrar General of India.
Main Plans of Family Welfare Programs are:-
- To reduce infant and under five mortality and morbidity so that there is a reduction in desired level of fertility.
- In all states reduction in peri- natal and neonatal mortality will be achieved through universal screening for risk factors during pregnancies, labour and neonatal period, identification and referral of ‘at risk’ mother and neonates to facilities where appropriate care could be provided.
- Simultaneously efforts will be made to reduce IMR due to infections and under nutrition by appropriate interventions