Saturday, October 15, 2005

Confused ? Confusing ?

The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) presented the State of World population report 2005, and highlighted the fact that as a result of India’s high fertility rates ( at 2.92 in 2005 , we have one of the youngest populations in the world ) we are at a cusp of a demographic bonus because we have a higher proportion of working age people than ever before.

A few years ago, the same population experts were issuing dire warnings about the dangers of unbridled fertility, and how having too many children would cause India to become overpopulated, and how this overpopulation would perpetuate poverty. The mantra in those years was - Family planning and ZPG - zero population growth. ( Fortunately, most Indians had the sense to ignore their words of advise !)

In a few years, everyone is now singing a completely different tune ! People are now seen to be assets, and they can be capitalised upon to promote economic growth ! I feel the take home lesson is simple - The experts are often wrong - though few of them have the courage to accept this. I wish they would at least learn from their mistakes !

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