The UP government has, in the past, been unconventional with its governance measures. As other state governments had watched rioters burn public property, the UP government had not only identified the rioters through CCTV footage, but had also sent them notices to pay up for their damages, failing which their properties would be confiscated. Now Uttar Pradesh could be set to enforce another legislation that has broad popular support, but few state governments have shown the resolve to implement.
Those with more than two children in Uttar Pradesh may not be allowed to avail benefits of the state government’s welfare schemes or contest panchayat elections, reports Times of India. The Yogi Adityanath government is working on a new population policy which could have these provisions.
Health minister Jai Pratap Singh said on Wednesday that the new policy was on the anvil. “Population policy of different states is being studied and the best from them is being culled out for our state which is the most populous in India,” Singh said, adding that a group of experts is reviewing a draft of the policy. UP’s population policy was last revised in 2000.
UP will not be the first state to implement a population control policy. In late 2019, Assam had passed a similar law which mandates that people who have more than two children aren’t eligible for government employment. Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh have laws which prevent those from more than two children from fighting panchayat elections. Some states do not reimburse school fee allowance to those with more than two children.
UP’s population problem is particularly severe. Not only is it India’s most populous state, with a population that’s greater than all but five countries, but its population is also growing at an alarming rate. India’s fertility rate is 2.3, which means that the average woman has 2.3 children, but the corresponding number in UP is 3, which is much higher than the national average.