Q.1. What are the main causes of rapid population growth in India? Explain any three. (CBSE 2010)
Ans. India’s total population has increased from 236 million in 1901 to 361 million in 1951 to 1,028 million (approximately 1.03 billion) as on March 2001. India accounts for 16.7 per cent of the world’s population. India is the second most populous country in the world after China.
(i) Birth rates have always been high in India, which has always been the main factor behind rising population.
(ii) But due to the advent of better medical facilities and public health measures as well as with control of epidemics and infectious diseases with advancement of medical science, there has been a rapid decline in the death rate in India. The fall in the death rate has gone still further since independance because of extension of hospitals and medical facilities, decrease in infant mortality and rise in nutrition level due to better opportunities for livelihood. As natural increase in population is the difference between birth rates and death rates, high birth rates and declining death rates resulted in higher rates of population growth.
(iii) The monsoon climate of India, its rich, fertile river plains supporting high agricultural productivity, its mineral wealth have all supported huge population in India.
Q.2. Describe three methods to show how the population of a nation can be planned.
Ans. The population of a nation can be planned the through the successful controlling of birth rates along with declining death rates.
With the progress of medical science and with spread of public health measures, death rates have fallen. But these advantages should also be utilised to reduce the birth rates because rapidly rising population is a strain on limited resources and leads to social and economic problems.
The main role in planning the nation’s population has been taken up through the family planning programmes and adoption of a National Population Policy. Certain methods can be adopted in this regard :
(a) Motivation programmes to spread the knowledge of family planning through mass media like newspapers, ratio, television, films can help to make people conscious about need of limiting family size.
(b) Making contraception services accessible and affordable to all sections of rural and urban population.
(c) Encouraging delayed marrige and child bearing and strengthening legal measures to prevent child marriage.
Q.3. What is the importance of family planning? Discuss how it can help the country.
Ans. Family planning is a comprehensive and successful method of population planning. Recognising that the planning of families would improve individual health and welfare, the Government of India initiated a comprehensive family planning programme in 1952. The basic aim of family planning was to reduce birth rate through acceptance of a small family size as an ideal family by the people and providing supplies and services for birth control. It is an important population programme for a highly populated country like India. Family planning can help to successfully control the growth rate of population in a country. So, it can help to reduce pressure on our limited natural resources.
The family welfare programme has sought to promote responsible and planned parenthood on a voluntary basis. When the family size is small, people can arrange for the education of their children and for proper health care of family members. Nutrition level and standard of living improves. Health standards and literacy rates of the population improves. The government does not have to take undue burden for arranging health and welfare
Problems like poverty, unemployment, malnutrition, shortage of food supply, drinking water, sanitation and housing can be tackled with reduction of population size through family planning.
Q.4. Define the terms, age structure, death rate and birth rate. (V. Important)
Ans. The age structure or age composition of a population refers to the grouping of the population according to the number of people in different age groups in a country. The population within the age group of 0–14 years is called the child population, those within age group 15–59 years is the working population and those above 60 years in age are the aged. A age structure diagram, also called the age sex pyramid or population pyramid, is a graphical illustration that shows the distribution of various age groups in a population with the help of back to back bar graphs representing the age groups.
Death rate is the number of deaths per thousand persons in a year.
Birth rate is the number of live births per thousand persons in a year.
Birth rate and death rate are two main components of population growth and the difference between them gives the natural increase of population in a country.
Q.5. What are the main features of the National Population Policy 2000 ?
Ans. The National Population Policy 2000 is a culmination of years of planned efforts to improve the quality of population in India. It is a comprehensive programme including education, health and social improvement of the population.
The National Population Policy provides a policy framework for
(i) reducing infant mortality rate to below 30 per 1000 live births,
(ii) achieving universal immunisation of children against all vaccine preventable diseases,
(iii) imparting free and compulsory school education for children upto 14 years of age,
(iv) promoting delayed marriage and delayed child bearing for girls, and
(v) making family welfare a people-centred programme by encouraging public involvement.
The National Population Policy 2000 also gives emphasis on nutritional requirements and sexual protection of adolescents to maintain their future health.
Q.6. Write a note on the adolescent population of India. (Important)
Give one health problem which is common among adolescent girls. Explain the needs of adolescents which the National Population Policy 2000 focuses on.
Ans. The segment of population within the age group of 10 to 19 years is generally termed as adolescents. They are the would-be adults and are the most important resource of the country for the future. In India one fifth of the total population is the adolescent population. The huge size of adolescent population is a most significant feature of the Indian population because they are the potential workforce.
Nutrition requirements of adolescents are higher than a normal child or adult. But in India, the diet available to adolescents is inadequate and deficient in all nutrients. The condition of adolescent girls is worse.
Q.7. Why is the study of age composition of population important? Write a brief note.
Ans. The age composition of a population refers to the number of people in different age groups in a country. It is one of the basic characteristics of a population. To a great extent, a person’s age determines his role as a consumer and producer in the economy. As such, the study of age composition of the population is important because the number and percentage of the children, working age and aged people found in the total population are notable determinants of the population’s social and economic structure. The framing of programmes for population policies is influenced by it.
A large section of population in the working age group means greater development and prosperity. They are the economically productive and biologically reproductive section of the population. They shoulder the responsibility for the country’s progress. The percentage of children and the aged affect the dependancy ratio because they are not producers. Their food, clothing, medical care and education (in case of children) have to be provided by the working population. The government also has to spend more on welfare programmes and health care if the percentage of child and aged population is high. The proportion of population in the different age groups affects the level of development of a country.
Q.8. Discuss the factors responsible for distribution of population in India.
Ans. The distribution of population in India is not uniform. While Uttar Pradesh has a population size of 166 million, the Himalayan state of Sikkim has a population of just 0.5 million. Almost half of India’s population lives in just five states – Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh.
The main factors responsible for uneven distribution of population in India are as follows.
Climate : Areas with favourable climate and high rainfall like the coastal plain and the Northern Plains have a high population density. Heavy monsoon rains brings agricultural prosperity in these areas and support a big density of population. On the other hand, regions with harsh climate like the Himalayan region and the Indian desert have sparse population. Thus, Rajasthan, the largest state in terms of size, has only 5.5 per cent of the total population of India.
Relief : The varied relief features of the vast country has influenced the distribution of population. As such the Northern Plains with flat, fertile terrain and the coastal plains have higher population densities. The peninsular states with hilly, dissected and rocky terrain have moderate densities. While the mountainous region in the north and northeast have sparse population on account of the rugged terrain.
Soil : The fertile alluvial soil of the plains are favourable for agriculture and support large populations. Areas with shallow and less fertile soil have lesser populations.
Mineral wealth : The mining areas of the peninsular plateau attract population. Industrial centres, ports, commercial centres, metro cities have high population densities because of better opportunities of livelihood and greater facilities.
Q.9. Discuss the advantage of having a healthy population. (Important)
Q.10. Discuss the advantage of having a higher percentage of young people in a country. (Important)
Ans. Young people are the most prized resource for a country. They have the highest work efficiency and comprise a great part of the country’s workforce. They are economically most productive and contribute greatly to the economic development and prosperity of the country. In an agricultural country like India where a large number of agricultural labourers are required, a large young population helps in increasing the productivity of agriculture. They also help in industrial development as they are more active and painstaking. The younger people are more innovative and contribute to the development of new technologies for the advancement of the country. A higher percentage of young people also means social and cultural advancement in the country. The youths are more advanced and have free thinking. They are the ones to campaign against social evils and bring forward social reforms to do away with vices like child marriage, dowry, discrimination against girl child and illiteracy. The young people are biologically most productive. They bring the future human resources to the world. A higher percentage of young people in the country also means healthy population and less expenditure on health programmes.