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Niti Aayog to hold consultation on population policy and family planning programme

Niti Aayog will hold a national consultation on Friday with top policy makers, experts and specialists to brainstorm on ways and means of strengthening India’s population policy and family planning programme. The Aayog has partnered with the Population Foundation of India to bring the best minds together for discussion.

The proposals will form part of the NITI Aayog working paper that will outline the roadmap to helpa achieve India’s vision of attaining population stabilization, as voiced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Independence Day speech this year.

“The working paper is expected to address key gaps in India’s family planning programmes,” Niti said in a statement on Thursday.

The paper will offer constructive recommendations to address regional disparities in outcomes by focusing on adolescents and youths, inter-departmental convergence, demand generation, access to contraceptive services and quality of care, it said.

The Aayog is hoping that the discussion will address some of the key issues like increasing the basket of contraceptive choices, addressing social determinants of health such as age at marriage and sex-selective pracoces, strengthening quality of care, including counseling services, managing side effects and family planning support, increasing budgetary allocations for family planning, besides addressing existing socio-cultural barriers towards contraception and fostering inter-departmental convergence, making population stabilisation a national priority.

India, with a current population size of 1.37 billion, has the second largest population in the world. Though birth rates are falling in India yet the population continues to grow as over 30% of the population is young and in the reproductive age group.

The Aayog is of the view that nearly 30 million currently married women in the age group of 15-49 years have unmet needs in family planning, which limit their ability to delay or avoid pregnancy by not having access or the agency to use contraception.

“For India to realize its sustainable development goals and economic aspirations, it is important to ensure that people have informed access to contraception and quality family planning services,” it said.

Source: Economic Times