India is the largest democracy and the second most-populous nation of the world with a population of 1.3 billion people. While 69 per cent live in rural areas, 31 per cent reside in urban areas. In terms of whole world, there are more than 7 billion people on earth right now, but how often do you stop to think about what that really means? The population growth tells us story of the issue which is faced by many countries of the world. The population was recorded five billon in 1987 and the day was called Five Billion Day. Five Billion Day was meant to acknowledge the date that the world’s population reached five billion people, which supposedly happened on July 11th that year (hence the annual date). This day is also called World Population Day. The day was established by the United Nations as an outgrowth of the massive interest people had in Five Billion Day in 1987. Population issues range from family planning to gender equality to environmental impacts to human rights concerns.
It is to mention here that the inspiration for this special ‘awareness day’ came when world’s population reached by 5 billion and hence became the serious concern about exploding population. Therefore, the world population day has to be initiated to overcome the issues of our growing population and to raise this awareness in public regarding the knowledge and skills of the people worldwide for their reproductive health and family planning.
The World population day is one of the most important awareness days celebrated annually on every 11th of July. This great awareness event is to bring population explosion awareness globally as well as breaking sleep of all the deeply slept people to pay their full attention and help in combating this population issue.The aim of celebrating world population day is to spread awareness about the issues of the global population and the importance of reproductive health. The theme of the world population day 2019 is “let’s vow to fulfil the commitments made in Cairo in 1994, beginning with a serious investment in international family planning assistance, and let’s work to prevent — through voluntary, rights-based fertility decline — the addition of another 2 billion people over the next 30 years”. Few aims and the objectives of celebrating the world population day are:
World population day is celebrated to protect and empower youths of both gender like girls and boys. This day offers knowledge about the sexuality and delay marriages till they become able to understand their responsibilities. It also educates youths to avoid unwanted pregnancies by using reasonable and youth friendly measures. Also, aware people to remove the gender stereotypes from society. This day also aware about the pregnancy related illnesses to raise the public awareness about dangers of early childbirth and educate about sexually transmitted diseases (STD) to get prevented from various infections. It also demands for some effective laws and policies implementation in order to protect girl child rights. It also makes them sure about the access of equal primary education to both girls and boys. It also makes sure the easy access of reproductive health services everywhere as part the basic primary health for each couple.
The World Population Day calls for global attention to the unfinished business of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development. The twenty-five years have passed since that landmark conference; where 179 governments recognized that reproductive health and gender equality are essential for achieving sustainable development. The above mention aims and objectives are now linked with sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). All UN member countries signed up to an ambitious package of goals in year 2015 that called “Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”. This agreement commits UN members, including our nation, to make greater efforts to end poverty and hunger, protect the earth, defend human rights, and promote equality between men and women. The package contains a total of 17 goals that are to be achieved by 2030.
The Sustainable Development goals are: (1) End poverty (2) Zero hunger. (3) Good health and wellbeing (4) Quality education (5) Gender equality (6) Clean water and Sanitation (7) Affordable and clean energy (8) Decent work and economic growth (9) Industry, innovation and infrastructure (10) Reduced inequalities (11) Sustainable cities and communities (12) Responsible consumption and production (13) Climate change (14) Life below water (15) Life on land (16) Peace, Justice and Strong institutions and (17) Partnerships for the goals.
As we know that Sustainable Development goals are addressing three dimensions of development namely social, economic and environmental development. The first six goals of sustainable development are for social development which is linked with various schemes and programs of the Centre and state governments. There are different Central and state government schemes and program for development and wellbeing of the population. Almost all population related schemes are now linked with Sustainable Development Goals with commitment to achieve target by 2030.These targets are to be evaluated through statistical indicators for each goals. Some of the goals are:
Population growth, population ageing and decline, as well as migration and urbanization, affect virtually all development objectives that are on top of national and global development agendas. They affect consumption, production, employment, income distribution, poverty and social protections, including pensions; they also complicate our efforts to ensure universal access to health, education, housing, sanitation, water, food and energy.In world scenario, the population trends today are characterized by an increasing divergence across countries and regions. Whereas many of the poorer countries continue to be characterized by rapid population growth, others that are more advanced in their demographic transition are experiencing rapid population ageing and even population decline in some cases. Furthermore, the world is witnessing increasingly complex international migration patterns and many countries continue to experience very high rates of urbanization.
Thus, the challenge of the century is to solve the problem of meeting the increasing needs and expectations of a growing population while at the same time modifying the current production and consumption patterns to achieve a more sustainable development model and address the links between development and rapid population change. Population growth also, in particular, places increasing pressures on the planet’s resources such as water, forests, land and the earth’s atmospherecontributing to climate change and challenging environmental sustainability. However, population dynamics do not only affect critical development objectives but also affected by social, economic and environmental changes.
In today’s world there is no place for coercive measures of population control or for setting demographic targets. Such policies are contrary to the respect for human rights, and experience has shown that such measures are likely to be counterproductive in the long run. Here I want to share population dynamics of Netherlands where we found many innovative, society-oriented and reliable models officially during Mid-Career proagemme for Indian Statistical service (ISS) officers March 2019 to Statistics Netherlands. The Netherlands have much better living standard as compared to other nations in the world. This is due to the follow of Sustainable Development Goals with targets and having update statistical indicators.The Netherlands is doing very good for the national development and wellbeing for the people and society. In our country we are also trying very hard to achievetargets ofSDGs for development and wellbeing by 2030 to be committed in the he 70th Session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly held on 25th September 2015 and adopted the document titled “Transforming our World”.
As we know that the SDGs addressed not only the root causes of poverty but also the universal need for integrated social, economic and environmental dimensions of development. Countries have the primary responsibility for follow-up and review, at the national level with regard to the progress made in implementing the goals and targets by 2030 agenda. No doubt there is various challenges to achievetargets of social development indicatorswhich have no method of estimation for better implementation.
As we know that data is to measure the progress of SDGs which are base forquality and for measuring country’s performance. Although some progress has been made in strengthening the statistical system in many countries in the world including our country, but this progress is uneven and continues to develop strong and uniform statistical systems for population trends. The requirements nowadays are good governance and accountability. These are tools for evaluating government performance and having increased demand for reliable Statistics for population related issues.
(Author is ISS Director, Field Operations Division (FOD) of National Statistical Office, Srinagar)