NATIONAL

NITI Aayog seeks ideas on population policy

Government think tank NITI Aayog will hold a national consultation on population stabilisation on Friday to explore ways to strengthen the country’s population policy and family planning programmes.

The event, being held in partnership with the Population Foundation of India, will include government officials from the Centre as well as seven States — Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Assam, Kerala and Tamil Nadu — and experts on the subject. “The conference will contribute to a NITI Aayog working paper to help India in its vision for attaining population stabilisation as voiced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 15, 2019,” said a press statement from NITI Aayog.

Speaking from the ramparts of Red Fort about population explosion, Mr. Modi said keeping families small is “an act of patriotism.” The officials will brainstorm over recommendations such as treating population stabilisation and family planning as a national priority and ensuring inter-governmental convergence and multisectoral participation, increasing budgetary allocations for family planning, enhancing the basket of contraceptive choices, addressing existing socio-cultural barriers towards contraception as well as social determinants of health such as age at marriage and sex-selective practices, the statement added.