Delimitation and Contempt for Politics

The Constitution mandates that boundaries of Assembly and Parliamentary constituencies be adjusted every 10 years (Delimitation), taking into account the changes in population, density and other demographic variations. This exercise should be based on the decennial census.

Making Cities Self-Reliant

Across the world there is an increasing trend towards urbanization accompanied by a shift in the nature of economy from agriculture and industry to services. Demographers project that bulk of population growth in developing countries will be in urban areas. In 2002 there were 17 mega cities with 10 million plus population in the world and this figure is expected to grow to 21 by 2015. What is remarkable is the fact that excepting for four of them, all the rest are in the developing world!

Migration and Squalor - Crisis in Mumbai

Mumbai, India’s premier city, and the nation’s financial and industrial capital is going through a crisis. The population of the city is growing at 4.5 percent per annum. Predictably, most growth is by migration from poor, rural areas. In 1960, squatters were estimated to be less than 4 lakhs in a population of 4.5 million. By 1980, their number rose to 4.5 million in a population of 9 million. Greater Mumbai is now the sixth largest mega city in the world, with 16.4 million population.

Crisis of Confidence

While the world revels in finding a solution to every problem, we relish in identifying a problem for every solution.

Regional Disparities Pose Danger to Unity

One of the great challenges confronting contemporary India is the growing regional disparities. Prof. Amaresh Bagchi and NJ Kurian point out that the percapita income (1996-99) of Maharashtra is Rs 19,248 and that of Bihar is Rs 5,465. This maximum / minimum ratio was 1.87 in 1960-63, 2.50 in 1970-73, 3.28 between 1987-90 and is now at 3.52. The high-income states of Goa, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Punjab and Haryana, with a population share of 20% account for 33.8% of NSDP. Their share of NSDP was 27.6% in 1970-71.

A Young India – Problem or Opportunity?

Some of you might have seen the recent media hype about the Goldman Sachs report, which projected India to become one of the 6 largest economies in the World along with Brazil, Russia and China by the year 2050. The report projects that among the current members of the G-6 only Japan and the US will remain in the top six by that time.

Absence of Risk and Reward System

An acquaintance once remarked, “If anybody came up to me and said ‘India’s problems can be solved if the population is reduced by half’, I am willing to die”.

It doesn’t require such a great sacrifice to set India right. Nor does that kind of sacrifice guarantee things will be right in the end. Wasn’t our population half the present size only a few decades ago? Haven’t we managed to bungle? Far from any guaranteed success, we would have the additional problem of disposing off 500 million bodies!

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