Two-Child Policy in India

Jun 24, 2020

A two-children policy is a restriction, imposed by the Government, of two children allowed in each family. In India, there are many States which have provisions regarding this issue. The Rajasthan Panchayati Raj Act 1994 mentions that a person having more than two children will be disqualified from contesting the election. Similar provision is provided in The Odisha Zilla Parishad Act and the Telangana Panchayat Raj Act, 1994, as well. In 2005, the Gujarat Local Authorities Act was amended where similar laws were added. Madhya Pradesh Civil Services (General Condition of Services) Rules mentioned about having three children where it is provided that one of the children will become ineligible for government service. Therefore, there have been attempts made by the States in order to limit the population growth. 

The increase in the growth of population has taken a toll on the country and the environment as well. Hence, population control is the necessity of this hour. Due to the alarming rate of the population, the overall resources of the earth are getting exhausted at an alarming rate. Therefore, it becomes a mandate to preserve the natural resources on the earth in an effort to save it for the future generation as well. Thus, population control plays a vital role in order to maintain a balance and preserve the resources from future generations as well.

To curb this issue, there have been State laws with respect to this but the Union had no contribution per se until the ‘The Population Regulation Bill, 2019’, was introduced by Member of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha on July 12, 2019 which further mentions about the two child policy and punitive action taken against people with more than two living children. the bill provides for aids and benefits to those couples having only one child and willingly undergo sterilization which includes preference to the admission in the institutes of higher education and as well as selection in government job and such other benefits. Also, if the couple is living below poverty line, such couple in addition to benefits of the above section, shall be entitled for payment of sixty thousand rupees, if the child is a boy or one lakh rupees if the single child is a girl, from the central government. It also states that if a couple has more than two children, such couple shall be disqualified from contesting elections or getting promotion in government services. Two child policy should be executed in India to control the population which is an important step for a developing country. One of the main reasons of this upsurge is the discernment among the Indian couples. Some believe that if the children are more in number, the family would be more secured in terms of income or their future. Due to this, more importance is given to the male child thereby treating the girl child like a burden. Consequently, this puts pressure on the couple to keep trying till they get a male child. Hence, the role of women becomes just child bearers and housewives. The above approach of curbing the population growth can also be achieved with education as studies have shown that the fertility rate of couples automatically decreases with their education. If women or men are sufficiently educated, they would be able to manage their family. Although, this entire process will take a lot more time to be effective. Hence, the requirement of such legislation is a mandate and thus, this Bill, if passed, would have a very positive impact on society. 

Also, in February 2020 a private member’s bill was proposed by Rajya Sabha MP Anil Desai, which further encouraged a two- child rule. The proposal was to amend the Constitution of India. The amendment was to incorporate a new provision, 47A stimulating the two-child policy. It said that the State shall have the authority to encourage the people to keep small family by offering tax concessions, priority in social benefit schemes and school admissions etc. and at the same time , it shall limit them from producing more children or limiting the size of their family by retreating tax concessions, levying heavy taxes or by making other disciplinary provisions for violations. 

The intent of this legislation is pious and essential in the present context in order to control and reduce the surge in population growth in our country. 

The incentive plans may be considered to be positive or reward incentives. However, they all would be extremely costly and would require a staggering administration to implement. The proposed policy also seeks to withdraw the benefits from the families having more than two children. But a number of sociological problems are attached to such a negative incentive plan as well. The wealthy and affluent families could afford to ignore the penalty, but the poor would definitely have to bear the impact and thereby be forced to adhere to these provisions. Also, it would be practically impossible to control the voluntary pregnancy. 



Though this initiative has both positive and negative aspects, it is a necessity at this hour. If executed, the impacts would be positive like – the government schemes would be implanted more efficiently and effectively, availability of natural resources for coming generations as well, tax distribution would then be in a very systematic manner, elimination of poverty and misery. Also, the amendment to the Constitution is sought in order to empower the citizens of India through limiting the family size with an intention to promote self-sufficiency, peace and harmony.