Private Member Bill for Two-Child Policy Norm
Private Member Bill for Two-Child Policy Norm
Why in News
- Recently, a Private Member’s Constitution Amendment Bill has been introduced in the Rajya Sabha proposing incentives in taxation, education and employment for people who limit their family size to two children.
- The Bill is likely to be discussed when Parliament meets for the second half of the Budget session.
Highlights of the Bill
- It suggests that people with more than two living children should be “disqualified” from being chosen as an MP, MLA or a member of any body of the local self government after the commencement of the Act.
- It says those government employees who have more than two children on or before the commencement of the Act should be exempted.
- It suggests that government employees should give an undertaking that she or he will not procreate more than two children.
- Other penalties include reduction in subsidies on loans and interest rates on savings instruments, reduction in benefits under the public distribution system, and higher than normal interest rates for availing loans from banks and financial institutions.
- The provisions of the Bill also list out several benefits for Central and public sector enterprise employees who adopt the two-child norm “by undergoing sterilization operation himself or of the spouse”. Private Member Bill for Two-Child Policy Norm
Current Status | Private Member Bill for Two-Child Policy Norm
- Presently, six states including Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh have made the two-child norm mandatory for all panchayat members.
- In 2018, 412 panchayat members in Rajasthan had been removed from their posts because they failed to comply with the two-child norm.
- The Supreme Court has upheld the provision in several states that debars members with more than two children from contesting and holding panchayat posts.
Need for Two-Child Policy Norm
- India’s population has already crossed 125 crores and India is expected to surpass the world’s most populous nation-China in the next couple of decades.
- Despite having the National Population Control Policy (2000), India is the second-most populous country in the world.
- Thus, India’s natural resources are extremely over-burdened and facing over-exploitation. Private Member Bill for Two-Child Policy Norm
Criticisms Related To Two- Child Policy
- India is a country with a booming technology industry, one that relies on young people. There is fear that, by restricting the number of children that can be born, there will not be enough educated young people in the next generation to carry on India’s technological revolution.
- Critics also argue that the population growth of India will slow down naturally as the country grows richer and becomes more educated.
- There are already well-documented problems with China’s one-child policy, namely the gender imbalance resulting from a strong preference for boys and millions of undocumented children who were born to parents that already had their one child. These problems risk being replicated in India with the implementation of their two-child policy.
- By interfering with the birth rate, India faces a future with severe negative population growth, a serious problem that most developed countries are trying to reverse. With negative population growth, the number of old people receiving social services is larger than the young tax base that is paying for the social services. In this case, taxes must be increased and young people risk contributing way more than they will receive in the future. Private Member Bill for Two-Child Policy Norm
- The law related may also be anti-women. Human rights activists argue that, not only does the law discriminate against women right from birth (through abortion or infanticide of female fetuses and babies), but divorce and familial abandonment are at risk of increasing if a man with a large family wants to run for political office. In addition, women in India are, by and large, uneducated and illiterate and, as such, are often unaware of the two-child policy.
- A legal restriction to two children could force couples to go for sex-selective abortions as there are only two ‘attempts’. A significant proportion of such women, especially those from lower socio-economic strata, would be forced to go for unsafe abortions because of issues of access and affordability. Besides being inhumane, this is bound to create gender imbalances.
What is a Private Member’s Bill?
- Any Member of Parliament (MP) who is not a minister is referred to as a private member.
- The purpose of the private member’s bill is to draw the government’s attention to what individual MPs see as issues and gaps in the existing legal framework, which require legislative intervention. Thus it reflects the stand of the opposition party on public matters.
- Its introduction in the House requires one month’s notice.
- Its rejection by the House has no implication on the parliamentary confidence in the government or its resignation.
- The last time a private member’s bill was passed by both Houses was in 1970.
- It was the Supreme Court (Enlargement of Criminal Appellate Jurisdiction) Bill, 1968.
- 14 private member’s bills have become law so far.
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