“Forced population control can have dangerous consequences, can create gender imbalance” says EAM S Jaishankar

Gandhinagar: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Sunday that India’s population is declining due to education, social awareness and prosperity.

At an event in Gujarat, where he launched the Gujarati translation of his book, “The India Way: Strategies for an Uncertain World”, he spoke about the Indian population and said: “The growth rate of Indian population is declining. The reason is education, social awareness and prosperity. The size of the family between each of us, with the passage of time, is small”. “Forced population control can have very dangerous consequences, it can create gender imbalance,” Jaishankar added.

Since independence, India has experienced a huge change in its demographic structure. It experienced a population explosion (1951 census) and also experienced a drop in the synthetic fertility index. The United Nations World Population Prospects (WPP), 2022 predicts that India will become the most populous country by 2023, overtaking China, with a population of 140 crores. India currently has 17.5% of the world’s population. India is projected to reach 150 crore by 2030 and 166 crore by 2050. In 2021, India’s Total Fertility Rate (TFR) fell below replacement fertility level (which is 2.1 children per woman) to two.

Mr. Jaishankar also highlighted India’s independent foreign policy which was transformed under Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “For political reasons, we had to restrict ourselves to strengthening our relations with Israel. Prime Minister Modi was the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Israel. Gone are the days when we used to set aside the national interest for the politics of voting banks,” Mr Jaishankar said.

Welcoming Prime Minister Modi’s foreign policy initiative, he said: “I will envy the person who is foreign minister in 2047, but I will tell you one thing, to be the foreign minister in the government of Narendra Modi is also a great force. There are fundamental beliefs, trust and attitude, and the world recognizes that.” Foreign policy during the first term of Prime Minister Modi’s government performed extremely well. “There have been hardly any missteps,” Mr. Jaishankar added. “Overall, starting with the idea of ​​the ‘Neighborhood First’ policy and the idea of ​​building strategic partners, the Prime Minister Modi, and his personal approach to reaching out to different stakeholders, has paid huge dividends, Mr Jaishankar said.