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Population Growth Rate in IndiaFor many years concern has been voiced over the seemingly unchecked rate of population growth in India but the most recent indications are that some success is being achieved in slowing the rate of population growth The progress which has been achieved to date is still only of a modest nature and should not serve as premature cause for complacency Moreover a slowing of the rate of population growth is not incompatible with a dangerous population increase in a country like India which has so huge a population base to begin with Nevertheless the most recent signs do offer some occasion for adopting a certain degree of cautious optimism in regard to the problem One important factor which is responsible for viewing the future with more optimism than may previously have been the case has been the increase in the size of the middle class a tendency which has been promoted by the current tendency to ease restrictions on entrepreneurship and private investment It is a well-known fact that as persons become more prosperous and better educated they begin to undertake measures designed to eliminate the size of their families ThePage 2obvious exception would be families like the Kennedys who adhere to religious strictures against artificial birth control but the major Indian religions have traditionally lacked such strictures Ironically the state of Kerala which had long had a Communist-led government had for many years represented a population planning model because of its implementation of programs fostering education and the emancipation of women The success of such programs has indicated that even the poorer classes can be induced to think in terms of population control and family planning through education but increased affluence correspondingly increases the pressure for the limitation of family size for parents who enjoy good life want to pass it on to their children under circumstances where there will be enough to go around In contrast under conditions of
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