Can conditional welfare and a two-child policy go hand-in-hand?

Policy Making Aug 04, 2021

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Prerequisite knowledge

Welfare conditionality: It states that access to certain fundamental welfare programmes and services given publicly must rely, first and foremost, on an individual agreeing to meet specific commitments or behavioural patterns.

The Uttar Pradesh Population Policy 2021-2030 was launched by CM Yogi Adityanath on World Population Day. The policy sets five key objectives: controlling the population; stopping curable; ending curable infant mortality and providing improved nutritional status maternal mortality and illnesses; improved information and facilities for young people relating to sexual and reproductive health.

Understanding the Policy

Families that have two or fewer children are encouraged by providing incentives while families failing to meet the two-child standard in Uttar Pradesh leads to disincentives.

Benefits:

  • The state government will issue promotions, bonuses, housing discounts and further advantages for employees who comply with population control standards.
  • Those who do not serve in the government sector and nevertheless follow the two children policy will receive benefits in discounts on water, housing, domestic loans etc.
  • The maternity, or paternity leave incorporates full compensation and stipends for as long as a year; two extra endowments during their administration.

Disincentives:

  • An individual who breaks the policy will be suspended from getting the benefits from government-supported welfare programmes or any sort of subsidy provided by the public authority.
  • The individual will be precluded from applying to any State government services. Moreover, Individuals who won't comply, would not be allowed to contest in local elections.
  • Pre-existing government employees who break the policy would be denied a promotion.

Brow-raising issues with this Policy

  1. All population control policies are focused on command over a lady's body and are started on a forswearing of a women's reproductive freedom. This violates reproductive rights and breaches the couple's privacy. In India, the male-centric structure is additionally reinforced by sex-specific tests and early terminations of female babies.
  2. In the Bill, Clause (8) and its different sub-conditions suspend all advantages from the government schemes; they accommodate refusal of government jobs and even promotions, in this manner disregarding labour laws.
  3. A particular sub-clause expresses that rations will be limited to just four individuals. This is a clear infringement of the Food Security Act. To evade this and other comparative issues, the Bill has an upsetting proviso that it "supersedes some other law in power."

Conclusion

Women's reproductive limit must be converted from an object of population control to an issue of women empowerment to practice individual self-rule concerning their sexual and contraceptive wellbeing inside their social, monetary and political standing.

Governments should quit utilizing criminal law to control individuals' sexuality and reproduction. Additionally, People ought to be motivated to settle on their own choices about their bodies which they carry on with their lives without interference, especially from governmental authorities who often can't distinguish human life from statistics on graphs.

Finally, Countries ought to refrain from using any type of psychological pressure on sensitive issues which must be attended to through a series of cautious and persuasive awareness programmes.

This article has been written by Apurva Kale for The Paradigm.

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