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A day after the Uttar Pradesh Law Commission shared a draft population control bill to incentivise the two-child norm, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Sunday released an ambitious new Population Policy 2021-30, indicating how serious he is in addressing the matter.

The new population policy aims to bring down the gross fertility rate from 2.7 now to 2.1 by 2026 and 1.9 by 2030. The policy also has provisions to ensure healthcare for all and to pay special attention to pregnant women, infants, sick newborns and children who are severely malnourished.

Launching the ‘Population Stability Fortnight’ he said there should be adequate gap between births of two children to control population growth. If the gap is not adequate, their nutrition will be affected and the infant mortality rate and maternal mortality rate will be very difficult to control, he said. UP’s fertility rate was 3.3 in 2016 when the national average was 2.6.

Due to sustained efforts, the state’s fertility rate has come down to 2.7, while the national average is at 2.2. “Earlier efforts have yielded good results; further push is needed,” he added. Under the new policy, efforts will be made to make contraceptives more accessible and provide a proper system for safe abortions.

“The new population policy is not only concerned with stabilising population growth, but also providing a path to prosperity for every citizen,” he claimed. The state’s maternal mortality rate, too, is down to 197 as against 258 in 2016, he pointed out.