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Home / News / India /  Two-child policy on anvil in Uttar Pradesh, Assam: What have they proposed

Governments in Assam and Uttar Pradesh have proposed laws to enforce two-child policies in their respective states. Both states intend to prohibit people with more than two children from availing of government benefits and positions.

While India does not have a national two-child policy, something that China revoked earlier this year, states have formed and implemented their own versions of the norm. Uttar Pradesh and Assam are now planning to enter this list of states.

"State Law Commission has given a proposal for population control and welfare. We have proposed that any couple that follows the two-child policy will be given all government benefits. They will be able to avail all government welfare schemes," said Uttar Pradesh State Law Commission chairman Aditya Nath Mittal.

"We will have some basic schemes which will be open to all and some schemes will be open only to families with two children. There will be some big announcements in the Budget session regarding voluntary sterilisation and population control measures," Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said during a press conference on Saturday.

The common premise of the two-child policies being deliberated in the two states is that parents with more than two children will not be allowed to enjoy benefits, jobs or positions extended by the government. Let's look at what the states have proposed.

Uttar Pradesh two-child policy

Uttar Pradesh has floated the draft bill, titled The Uttar Pradesh Population (Control, Stabilization and Welfare) Bill, 2021, to control and stabilise the population of the state. The draft bill is open for public suggestions till July 19.

The proposed population control bill has provisions to debar contestants with more than two children from local polls, and prevent applicants from applying for or getting promotion in government jobs, and receiving any kind of government subsidy.

In contrast, public servants who adopt the two-child norm will get two additional increments during the entire service, maternity or as the case may be, paternity leave of 12 months, with full salary and allowances and three per cent increase in the employer's contribution fund under national pension scheme.

Under this proposed bill, the government will set up maternity centres in primary healthcare centres that will distribute contraceptives, sensitise people about family planning. They will also keep record of pregnancies, deliveries, births and deaths across the state.

The government will also introduce a compulsory subject on population control in all secondary schools.

A State Population Fund will be constituted for implementing this act, if it comes into effect.

Assam two-child policy

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has been a strong proponent of two-child policy. On June 18, the Assam CM announced that the state will undertake gradual implementation of a two-child policy for availing benefits under specific schemes funded by the state. The limitations under this proposed bill will not apply to central government schemes, but will be gradually introduced to every state government scheme, he had said.

Notably, back in 2017, Assam government had introduced Population and Women Empowerment Policy that mandated government officials to strictly adhere to the two-child norm.

Assam plans to make two-child policy mandatory for availing of government benefits, including loan waivers and other government schemes. However, members of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe communities and tea garden workers will be exempt from this norm.

Earlier this month, Sarma met 150 Muslim intellectuals to discuss population control and two-child policy.

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