The Central government has filed its affidavit in a plea filed by Advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay before the Supreme Court seeking population control and strict implementation of the two-children norm, calling the plea misconceived and devoid of merit.
“The family welfare programme in India is voluntary in nature which enables couples to decide the size of their family and of the family planning methods, best suited to them. In fact, international experience shows that any coercion to have a certain number of children is counter-productive and leads to demographic distortions”, the Centre has asserted in its affidavit before the Supreme Court. Filing its response to a petition filed by BJP leader and lawyer, Ashwani Kumar Upadhyay seeking enactment of law to control population and enforce family planning, the MoHFW(Ministry of Health and Family Welfare) avers that the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development, 1994, to which India is a signatory is unequivocally against coercion and family planning.
The Central government has submitted that India has adopted a comprehensive and holistic National Population Policy 2000. The Family Welfare Programme in India is voluntary in nature which enables couples to decide the size of their family and adopt the family planning methods, best suited to them, according to their choice without any compulsion. The Centre’s programmatic interventions and their impact has begun to yield dividends with India knocking at the door of achieving replacement level fertility and making remarkable improvement in reducing maternal and child mortality.