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Population can't be controlled only by framing a law: Nitish

Patna: Population growth can't be controlled just by bringing legislation, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar said on Monday to set the cat among the pigeons days after Union minister Prahlad Singh Patel of BJP said the Centre would soon introduce a law to make adherence to family planning norms mandatory. 
"Everyone knows how I have worked on population control and brought down Bihar's total fertility rate to 3 from 4.3 (in 2005)," said Nitish in response to a question at his weekly Janata Darbar.
"Educating girls is more important. We did a detailed study in 2012-13 and concluded that where women are educated, TFR is low. In the study, we also found that when a wife is matriculated, TFR is 2. When she is intermediate pass, TFR is even lower."
Citing China as an example of how population control couldn't be linear, the CM pointed out that the communist country has had to go back and forth in terms of strategy for various reasons.
"First, it framed the one-child norm and then the two-children norm. Now, it is going to raise the two children norm. This proves that only introducing a law won't bring about the desired result," Nitish, who heads a coalition government with BJP in Bihar, said.
Prahlad had said at an event in Chhattisgarh's Raipur on May 31 that like many "strong and big decisions" taken by the Centre already, a population control law would become a reality.
Nitish said it was advisable to execute strategies in such a way that people would make a habit of adopting family planning norms without being forced to.
"My opinion is to create a consensus among people and awareness on the issue. People should be made aware of how an economically weak state like Bihar brought down its TFR. If we continue to follow the same pattern, we will bring down the TFR to 2 in the next five to seven years."
Nitish's cabinet colleague from BJP, Neeraj Kumar Singh, had only last week demanded a strict population control policy in the state.
"A caste-based headcount is fine, but now there is a need to enforce a policy in Bihar in view of the population explosion," he said.

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