Headline : Assam announces two-child limit for jobs in govt
- In a revolutionary move, the Assam Cabinet has approved Two Child norms and Prohibition of Child Marriage Act norms for entry and continuation in government service.
- The move comes two months after Prime Minister flagged the issue of “population explosion” in his Independence Day speech.
- The move claims that it recognises that rapid population growth could severely derail progress in reaching the primary goal to achieve a high quality of life for everyone in Assam.
- A resolution on the Population and Women Empowerment Policy of Assam had been passed in the state assembly in 2017.
- Last year, Assam had passed the Assam Panchayat (Amendment) Act, 2018, according to which those contesting panchayat polls cannot have more than two children.
- Other states with similar norms for local body polls include Uttarakhand, Odisha, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan.
Population Statistics of Assam
- The population of Assam increased to 3.12 crore (Census 2011) from 2.66 crore (Census 2001). Further, the state’s population density is 398 as per 2011 census as against 340 in 2001.
- Although there is a decline in the decadal growth of population, the rate of increase of 17.07 is at an unsustainable level.
- While, Assam’s TFR of 2.3 is on par with the national rate, Assam’s average family size is 5.5, which is above the national average.
High Mortality rates
- Assam’s MMR ratio is the worst amongst all states in India at 300.
- The State’s infant mortality rate (IMR) is also considerably high with 54.
- Assam tops the chart, in under-5 child mortality rate with 73 per 1,000 live births against the national average of 49.
- Those who have a child after two children will not be eligible for a government job after January 1, 2021.
- After January 1, 2021, action can be taken against those in government jobs who have a child after two children.
- While, twins will be treated as one unit in the second child category.
- Moreover, these rules are applicable to permanent government jobs only.
Similar provision in Other states
- For government jobs, candidates who have more than two children are not eligible for appointment.
- The Rajasthan Panchayati Raj Act 1994 says that if a person has more than two children, he will be disqualified from contesting election as a panch or a member.
- However, the previous government relaxed the two-child norm in case of a disabled child.
- The state follows the two-child norm since 2001. Under Madhya Pradesh Civil Services (General Condition of Services) Rules, if the third child was born on or after January 26, 2001, one becomes ineligible for government service.
- The rule also applies to higher judicial services.
- MP followed the two-child norm for candidates of local body elections until 2005, when it was discontinued by the then government after objections were raised on the ground that such a rule was not applicable in assembly and parliamentary elections.
Telangana and Andhra Pradesh
- Under Telangana Panchayat Raj Act, 1994, a person with more than two children shall be disqualified from contesting election.
- However, if a person had more than two children before May 30, 1994, he or she will not be disqualified.
- The same sections in the Andhra Pradesh Panchayat Raj Act, 1994, apply to Andhra Pradesh, where a person having more than two children shall be disqualified from contesting election.
- In 2005, the government amended the Gujarat Local Authorities Act.
- The amendment disqualifies anyone with more than two children from contesting elections for bodies of local self-governance — panchayats, municipalities and municipal corporations.
- The Maharashtra ZillaParishadsAnd Panchayat Samitis Act disqualifies people who have more than two children from contesting local body elections (gram panchayats to municipal corporations).
- The Maharashtra Civil Services (Declaration of Small Family) Rules, 2005 states that a person having more than two children is disqualified from holding a post in the state government.
- Women with more than two children are also not allowed to benefit from the Public Distribution System.
- The state government had decided to bar people with more than two children from contesting panchayat elections and had passed a Bill in Vidhan Sabha in this regard.
- But the decision was challenged in the High Court by those preparing for village pradhan and gram panchayat ward member elections, and they got relief from the court.
- Hence, the condition of two-child norm was applied to only those who contested the elections of zila panchayat and blocks development committee membership.
- The Karnataka (Gram Swaraj and Panchayat Raj) Act, 1993 does not bar individuals with more than two children from contesting elections to local bodies like the gram panchayat.
- The law, however, says that a person is ineligible to contest “if he does not have a sanitary latrine for the use of the members of his family”.
- The Odisha ZillaParishad Act bars those individuals with more than two children from contesting.