Flights Of Fantasy
[ M Panging Pao ]
The recently conducted 5th National Family and Health Survey (NFHS) carried out by the government between 2019 and 2021 has revealed few astounding figures. The survey found that for the first time women’s population has overtaken the population of men in India. In a nation traditionally dominated by men, it was found that India now has 1,020 women for every 1,000 men. These figures indicate a big increase in women population from figures of 933 females to 1000 males in 2001 and 940 females per 1000 males as per census 2011. In comparison, 2021 gender ratio in the world is 101.68 males per 100 females.
The survey also found that India’s reproductive rate had dropped to an average of two, which is the first time it has been below replacement fertility levels. In urban areas, it was even lower at 1.6.
These figures reveal that not enough children are being born to replace the older generation, suggesting that India’s population of close to 1.4 billion may be near its peak. These figures also mean India, being the second highest populated nation behind China, would stagnate in terms of population and may not overtake China as the most populous nation of the world anytime soon.
Traditionally, birth rates and sex ratio are also linked to higher literacy rates. The literacy rate of India has risen from 64.8 percent in 2001 to 74.04 percent in 2021. More educated and literate people tend to understand these basic problems better and tend to follow family planning dictums.
As per the same reports, the world has more women than men aged above 50 years. In the age group 60-64 years, there are five fewer men per 100 women. Women outnumber men by a ratio of 2-to-1 in the age group 90-94 years and 4-to-1 for centenarians. That means that most women outlive men in this world.
Regarding Arunachal Pradesh, the sex ratio has improved from 893 females per 1000 males in 2001 to 938 females per 1000 males as per census 2011. This gender ratio would have improved further by now. Readers also know that there are many Arunachali men with multiple wives; bachelors are very few in our communities. This would mean that the women’s population should have been more than men in Arunachal. Another important figure is that Arunachal Pradesh recorded 1,084 females born per 1000 males which is the highest in the country. That means more female children are born to Arunachali women as compared to male child.
As per these numbers, maybe it is time for more women leaders to emerge in India and Arunachal.
Like many other European nations, India and Asia may also be headed towards women ‘superior’ nations. (The contributor is retired Group Captain, Indian Air Force)