Prelims level : Governance - Policies Mains level : GS-II Government Policies and Interventions for Development in Various Sectors and Issues Arising out of Their Design and Implementation
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Why in News?

  • A Private Member of our parliament has recently introduced a Constitution Amendment Bill in the Rajya Sabha which proposes incentives in taxation, education and employment for people who limit their family size to two children.
  • Thus, the bill introduces disincentives to the families with children more than two in the above factors.

Key Features of the Bill:

  • The Bill proposes for the incorporation of a new provision — Article 47A (Duty of the State to promote small family norm) — in Part IV (Directive Principles of the State Policy) of the Constitution.
  • The Bill also intends to offer incentives in taxes, employment, education and priority in social benefit schemes and school admissions to people who keep their family limited to two children.
  • The proposed insertion of Article 47A intends to withdraw all concessions from people who fail to adhere to the ‘small-family-norm’.

India’s Present Scenario:

  • Presently, six states including Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh have made the two-child norm mandatory for all panchayat members.
  • The Supreme Court has also upheld the provision in several states that debars members with more than two children from contesting and holding panchayat posts.

Why such a norm has been Proposed?

  • India’s population has already crossed 125 crores and is expected to surpass the world’s most populous nation-China in the next couple of decades.
  • The growing population is also expected to cause burden on the already over-exploited natural resources of India.
  • National Population Control Policy (2000) has been introduced, but its success has not been seen on ground.
  • The National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution, headed by M.N. Venkatachaliah had also recommended for Article 47A to be inserted into the Constitution to control population explosion

Shortcomings of the Two-Child Norm:

  • The problems like gender imbalance, undocumented children, etc. faced by China (as a result of the one-child policy) might be experienced by India.
  • India’s birth-rate is slowing down to sustainable levels. In 2000, the fertility rate was still relatively high at 3.2 children per woman. By 2016, that number had already fallen to 2.3 children.
  • The restricted child policy will create a shortage of educated young people needed to carry on India’s technological revolution. India might also lose its advantage of Demographic Dividend.


  • Entry 20-A in List III (Concurrent List) of the 7thSchedule deals with population control and family planning. This provision was added through the 42nd Constitutional Amendment 1976. Thus it empowers both Centre and state to frame policies in such matters.
  • Any Member of Parliament (MP) who is not a minister is referred to as a private member. A bill introduced by such a member is known as private Member Bill.14 private member’s bills have become law so far in India.
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