NITI Aayog & PFI Meet to draft roadmap to stabilise population, birth rate & family planning

New Delhi: NITI Aayog is organising a national consultation titled ‘Realizing the vision of population stabilization: leaving no one behind’ on 20 December at NITI Bhavan, New Delhi.

The consultative meeting, organised in partnership with Population Foundation of India (PFI), will bring together senior officials, experts and subject matter experts to discuss ways and means of strengthening India’s population policy and family planning programmes.

The recommendations from the consultation will contribute to a NITI Aayog working paper to help achieve India’s vision of attaining population stabilization, as voiced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 15 August this year.

The working paper is expected to address key gaps in India’s family planning programmes. It 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.

The meeting is expected to make key recommendations on increasing the basket of contraceptive choices, with greater focus on spacing methods and helping women make informed choices about delaying pregnancy and spacing between children.

Addressing social determinants of health such as age at marriage and sex-selective practices, the meeting will also analyse strengthening the quality of care, including counseling services, managing side effects and family planning support.

Increasing budgetary allocations for family planning, to align with the unmet needs of India’s young people who constitute nearly 30% of our population, and addressing existing socio-cultural barriers towards contraception by investing extensively in innovative behaviour-change communication strategies will be recommended.

The meeting will also discuss treating population stabilisation and family planning as a national priority, fostering inter-departmental convergence, and ensuring multisectoral participation and integration.

India, with a current population size of 1.37 billion, has the second largest population in the world. The country is also at a stage where birth rates are falling but the population continues to grow due to the fact that more than 30% of the population is young and in the reproductive age group.

Nearly 30 million currently married women in the age group of 15-49 years within this critical cohort of young people 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.

Family planning is considered universally as the smartest development investment. 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, stated the NITI Aayog in a Press communication.

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The ID Staff

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