Loading

Using a case study, explore the ways in which population growth can be controlled

To answer this question, I will discuss the case of Kerala, India. The Progressive Education Policy started in the 1960's, and is a non-birth rate control programme for curtailing population growth. It started in response to the very high population growth rates of India, which have brought its population to 1.3 billion; compared to about 500 million in 1970. One solution to the high growth rates is that of China's One Child Policy, whereby laws were put in place to ban people from having more than one child. The approach in Kerala, however, was more about encouraging people to no longer want to have as many children.
This strategy used methods such as increasing education for women, whereby 85% of Kerala's women are now literate, compared with a national average of only 50%. Better educated women are more able to understand the benefits of the use of contraception and family planning, and hence are less likely to have as many children. This is coupled with investment in social change through more widely available contraception, thus enabling families to control their birth rates more easily. They have also increased the use of medicine in the area, introducing free health clinics and vaccination for infants. This has reduced the Infant Mortality Rate, and so reduced the birth rate as families do not have as many children with the expectation that a number of them will die. Maternity leave is also provided for only the first two babies, therefore incentivising women to have smaller families. Lastly, a system of land reform has been put in place, whereby land was redistributed to ensure noone was landless. This meant no family was allowed more than 8 hectares, and enabled every family to be self sufficient, while restricting family sizes through restricting the scale of land ownership. These schemes have led to Kerala having the highest literacy rates in India (94%), and a drop in poverty rates of 47% between 1970 and 2010 which is twice as much as the rest of India, and the lowest population growth rates in India.