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Problems and Issues Facing India


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Title: Problems and Issues Facing India

Problems and Issues Facing India
Major problems Issues in India today
  • Overpopulation ? 1 billion climbing.
  • Economic development.
  • Hindu-Muslim tensions.
  • Gender issues ? dowry killings.
  • Caste bias ? discrimination against untouchables
  • The Kashmir dispute and nuclear weapons.
  • Political assassinations.

India and the Subcontinent
  • Conflict over Kashmir India Pakistan
  • Irrigation
  • Pride
  • Nuclear Weapons India Pakistan
  • Flood control India Bangladesh
  • Humanitarian Aid India Bangladesh

Urbanization and Poverty
Daily life in India is centered around cities,
villages, and religion.
  • Cities
  • Two largest citiesMumbai (Bombay) and Kolkata
  • Bangalore and Mumbaiuniversities, research
    centers, and high-tech businesses
  • Most people struggle to earn a living in the
  • Villages
  • Most Indians live in rural areas.
  • Most villagers work as farmers and live with an
    extended family.
  • Paved roads and electricity have only recently
    reached many Indian villages.
  • Religion
  • Plays a key role in Indian daily life
  • Most practice Hinduism.
  • Many follow other religions (Islam, Buddhism,
  • Millions practice Sikhism and Jainism.
  • Religious celebrations are important.

Daily Life
  • About 7 out of 10 Indians live in villages and
    farm for a living.
  • Houses belonging to more prosperous families in a
    village are made of better materials than those
    of poorer villagers, most of which include only a
    charpoy, or wooden bed frame with knotted string
    in place of a mattress.
  • For religious and economic reasons, Indians
    follow a mostly vegetarian diet, and most Indians
    eat some form of rice every day.

70 Rural 600,000 villages
Economic Improvements
  • Farming methods have improved, but few families
    own enough land to support themselves.
  • Many farmers have set up cottage industries to
    add to their income.
  • India is a leading industrial nation, and
    advances have been made there in technology and
    consumer industries.
  • The growing middle class forms the market for
    consumer goods.

Poverty Abounds
Four of every ten people in India struggle to
live on the equivalent of less than 1.25 /day
Comparative Statistics for Selected Countries in
South Asia
Arable Land Pop. Density /km GDP PPP Literate Life Exp. Poverty Rate
India 49 392 2,800 61 70 yrs 25
Pakistan 24 199 2,600 50 65 yrs 24
Nepal 16 226 1,700 49 65 yrs 31
Bangladesh 55 1165 1,500 43 60 yrs 45
Poverty is a tremendous problem in South Asia
Consider these indicators of poverty for the
countries of South Asia
Today India faces many challenges, including a
growing population and economic development.
  • Population
  • India is the worlds second most populous
  • Indias huge population places a strain on
    Indias environment and resources.
  • Urbanization is taking place. Urbanization is
    the increase in the percentage of people who live
    in cities.

  • Many of Indias people live in small or
    medium-sized towns, which are larger and livelier
    than rural villages.
  • Indias cities are very densely populated, as
    evidenced by Mumbais population density of
    714,000 inhabitants per square mile.
  • Despite the extreme crowding and poverty, cities
    offer more opportunities for work and education
    than do rural areas.

Urbanization trends in India
Total population
Urban Population
  • Year
  • 1800
  • 1950
  • 2000
  • 2008
  • 2030
  • 2
  • 30
  • 47
  • 50
  • 60

In million
Source UN, Urbanization prospects, the 1999
Urbanization Growth
  • If India does grow rapidly, one would expect
    about 75 of Indias population would be
    urbanized by 2050
  • Urban population in 2050 75 of 1.6 billion
    1.2 billion
  • Urban population today 28 of 1.002 billion
    280 million
  • Urban population would increase by 920 million by
    2050 (almost 20 million new urban residents a
  • Can India cope with such rapid urbanization, or
    will it stymie Indias growth?

Urbanization Trends and Patterns-2
  • 286 million people in India live in urban areas
    (around 28 of the population)
  • The proportion of urban population in India is
    increasing consistently over the years
  • From 11 in 1901 to 26 in 1991 and 28 in 2001
  • Estimated to increase to 357 million in 2011 and
    to 432 million in 2021
  • After independence
  • 3 times growth - Total population
  • 5 times growth - Urban population
  • Census of India 2001

  • In 2003, India was one of the least urbanized of
    the large in population countries of the world,
    given that only 28 percent of the country's
    population resided in urban areas.
  • Although the proportion classified as urban is
    small, in absolute numbers India had 299,208,000
    people residing in urban centers.
  • Mumbai (formerly Bombay), with 11,914,398 people,
    is the largest city of India in terms of
    population. Delhi ranks second with 9,817,439
    followed by Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) with
  • 11 Indian cities have populations in excess of
    one million inhabitants.
  • The largest metropolitan area populations of
    India are
  • Mumbai 16,368,084
  • Kolkata 13,216,546
  • Delhi 12,791,458

Dharavi is the largest slum in Asia
Location Mumbai, India
How would they describe Dharavi to a tourist?
  • Dharavi is described as a slum of hope
  • Dharavi is described as a slum of despair

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Demographics in South Asia
70 of South Asians live in rural areas, in
villages, yet South Asia has some of the worlds
largest cities
  • Mumbai- 16 million
  • Kolkatta- 13 million
  • Delhi- 13 million
  • Dhaka- 13 million

  • Indian urbanization is accelerating, and urban
    India is today growing more than twice as rapidly
    as the country's overall population.
  • Attendant problems include poor sanitation,
    street dwellers, and riots.
  • In 1984, riots between Hindu and Moslems in
    Mumbai left hundreds dead.
  • Reasons for migration to cities (internal
  • Loosening of ties between poor peasants and their
  • Widespread establishment of village men or "caste
    brothers" who encourage friends and relatives to
    move to the cities.

Reasons for migration to cities
  • Higher salaries
  • Business opportunities
  • Anonymity and individualism
  • Rise in caste status
  • Agricultural modernization (reduces rural incomes
    and jobs)
  • Population pressures
  • Refugees of drought or flooding

  • Increased family size-limited agricultural
  • -Land use Pattern
  • -Irrigation facilities
  • Better income prospects
  • Better educational facilities
  • Better Life style
  • Basic amenities health, transport,water,
  • Victims of natural/manmade calamities-Refugees

  • Many of Indias people live in small or
    medium-sized towns, which are larger and livelier
    than rural villages.
  • Indias cities are very densely populated, as
    evidenced by Mumbais population density of
    714,000 inhabitants per square mile.
  • Despite the extreme crowding and poverty, cities
    offer more opportunities for work and education
    than do rural areas.

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  • Population densities in urban centers are very
  • Kolkata (Calcutta) averages 13,900 persons per sq
    km (36,000 persons per sq mi) for its entire area
    of 1036 sq km (400 sq mi).
  • By comparison, New York City averages 1544
    persons per sq km (4,000 persons per sq mi).
  • In Kolkata (Calcutta), an estimated 200,000
    residents are known as street people and sleep
    under bridges, railway overpasses, in doorways or
    wherever they can find a spot.
  • Slightly better off are the residents of the
    bustees, hovels made of cardboard, burlap, or
    other scrap material.
  • An estimated 2,000,000 people live in bustees.

  • Indian urbanization reveals several regional
  • The northern heartland, the west (wheat growing
    area) is more urbanized than the east (where rice
    forms the main staple crop).
  • In the west urbanization may be as much as 40
    in the east only about 10 of the population
    resides in urban centers.
  • India's larger cities (more than 100,000) are
    concentrated in three regions
  • (1) the northern plains from Punjab to the Ganges
  • (2) the Bombay-Ahmadabad area
  • (3) the southern end of the peninsula, which
    includes Madras and Bangalore
  • Large cities(more than one million) outside these
    regions include centrally positioned Nagpur and
    Hyderabad (capital of Andhra Pradesh).

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Cities of India
  • Mumbai, on Indias west coast, is the countrys
    busiest port and its financial center, while
    Chennai and Kolkata are major centers of commerce
    and shipping on the east coast.
  • New Delhi is the countrys capital and center of
  • Varanasi, on the banks of the Ganges, is regarded
    by Hindus as their holiest city, and devout
    Hindus hope to visit the city at least once
    within their lifetime to wash in the sacred
    Ganges River.

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  • Overcrowding
  • Mushrooming of slums
  • Unemployment
  • Poverty
  • Physical mental stress
  • Family structure-Nuclear families
  • -Single males

Unhygienic conditions
Stretching of overburdened systems
Communicable diseases
Non-Communicable diseases
Mental illness
Life style modification
A scene which makes every Indian feel shameful
Slums of India
  • In the last decades, the total urban population
    in Indias 3 largest metropolitan areas has
    increased to nearly 400 million people.
  • In 2011, Indias slum population was estimated
    to be 90 million. T
  • his rapid urbanization has brought unique
    challenges to those calling Indias cities home.
  • Planning practices left over from Colonial times
    have created city structures characterized by
    unequal distribution of public services,
    especially access to clean water and sanitary
    waste disposal.
  • Government agencies, as well as Non-Governmental
    Organizations, are working to provide access to
    clean water and sanitation for Indias slum
    dwellers through crisis intervention,
    infrastructure construction, and education on
    water quality standards and womens issues1,2

  • Under section 3 of the Slum Area and Improvement
    Act (Improvement and Clearance Act) (Act No.96,
    1956) an area is legally considered a slum if
    competent authority reports that any areas are
  • a)In any respect unfit for human habitation
  • or b) are by reason of dilapidation,
    overcrowding, faulty arrangement and design of
    such buildings, narrowness or faulty arrangement
    of streets, lack of ventilation, light,
    sanitation facilities or any combination of these
    factors which are detrimental to safety, health
    and morals
  • More males than females
  • Vast majority is part of the working age group
  • Caste System continues to play defining role

Factors Affecting Health in Slums
  • Economic conditions
  • Social conditions
  • Living environment
  • Access and use of public health care services
  • Hidden/Unlisted slums
  • Rapid mobility

Agarwal S, Satyavada A, Kaushik S, Kumar R.
Urbanization, Urban Poverty and Health of the
Urban Poor Status, Challenges and the Way
Forward. Demography India. 2007 36(1) 121-134
Double Burden of Diseases
  • Overcrowding and related health issues
  • Rapid growth of urban centers has led to
    substandard housing on marginal land and
  • Outbreaks of diseases transmitted through
    respiratory and faeco-oral route due to increased
    population density
  • It exacerbates health risks related to
    insufficient and poor water supply and poor
    sanitation systems
  • Lack of privacy leading to depression, anxiety,
    stress etc

Double Burden of Diseases
  • Upsurge of Non-communicable diseases
  • The rising trends of non-communicable diseases
    are a consequence of the demographic and dietary
  • Decreases in activity combined with access to
    processed food high in calories and low in
    nutrition have played a key role
  • Urbanization is an example of social change that
    has a remarkable effect on diet in the
    developing world

Double Burden of Diseases
  • Traditional staples are often more expensive in
    urban areas than in rural areas, whereas
    processed foods are less expensive
  • This favors the consumption of new processed
  • This places the urban population at increased
    risk of NCDs
  • In India, chronic diseases are estimated to
    account for 53 of all deaths and 44 of
    disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) lost in


Operational Challenges
  • Lack of standards for
  • Provision of safe water and sanitation
  • Housing and waste disposal systems
  • No public health bill for setting up and
    regulating these standards
  • Lack of understanding of recent demands of urban
    health care delivery and poor planning/implementa

Operational Challenges
  • Lack of infrastructure for setting up of primary
    health care facilities
  • Many slums are not having even a single primary
    health care facility in their vicinity
  • Multiple health care facilities/bodies but
    without coordination
  • Lack of community level organizations/slum level
    organizations and lack of adequate support to them

Infrastructure Issues
Disparate Taxation
  • Only 35 million people pay income tax to the
    federal government.
  • Formal Sector
  • Over 1 billion pay NO federal taxes!
  • Informal Sector
  • Largely agricultural or village based

Lacking Infrastructure
  • Major cities are not connected at this point by a
    highway system.
  • Golden Quadrilateral Highway Project will
    eventually connect New Delhi-Mumbai-Bangalore-Chen
    nai-Kolkata. - 12 billion
  • Currently only 3,700 miles of highways!!!
  • 40 of farm produce goes to waste as a result of
    poor transportation

Infrastructure Issues
  • Irrigation Water Pollution Narmada Valley
  • Building of 30 major 3,000 minor dams
  • Electric power will be created
  • Bhopal Accident American chemical plant
    accident, killed 2,000
  • Modernizing vs. Environmental Protection

Scheduled Improvements
  • New 430 million Bangalore International Airport
    to be completed by April 2008. (European built
    and operated)
  • Roads to the airport are uncertain
  • Vallapardam Ship Terminal in Kochi (southwest
    coast of Kerala) to be completed by Dubais DP
    World at a cost of 555 million

Population Issues
  • How To Handle Them

  • India had 1,068,600,000 people in 2003 (17 of
    the world total), the world's second largest
    country in population after China.
  • India has a rate of natural increase of 1.7
    (compared to a 1.3 world rate) and a projected
    population of 1,363,000,000 by 2025.
  • At this rate, it is only a matter of time before
    India becomes the world's most populous country.
  • The largest clusters of the Indian population are
    found in the Gangetic plains in the north and the
    coastal areas of the country. These are the most
    fertile parts of India.

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South Asia is one of the most densely populated
areas on earth.
  • India has a population growth rate of 1.6
    percent, which will lead to the doubling of the
    nations population in 36 years.

  • In India, population arithmetic density (in
    2003) was 325 persons per sq km (842 persons per
    sq mi) physiological density (in 2000) was at
    557 persons per square kilometer (1442 persons
    per square mile).
  • In neighboring Bangladesh the arithmetic density
    is approximately 2.5 times as high, 1,040 persons
    per sq km (2,639 persons per sq mi).

More than one-third of Indias population is
under the age of 15 years old.
Indias natural increase rate 1.5 (2009
est) Chinas natural increase rate 0.6
Indias population is expected to exceed Chinas
by 2020.
Each year India adds 18 million people. To
accommodate this, each year India would have to
  • 127,000 new village schools
  • 373,000 new teachers (at 50 students per teacher)
  • 2.5 million new homes (with 7 people per home)
  • 4 million new jobs
  • 180 million new bushels of grain and vegetables

CASE STUDY Slowing Population Growth in India
  • For over 50 years, India has tried to control its
    population growth with only modest success.
  • Two factors help account for larger families in
  • Most poor couples believe they need several
    children to work and care for them in old age.
  • The strong cultural preference for male children
    means that some couples keep having children
    until they produce one or more boys.
  • The result even though 9/10 Indian couples have
    access to at least one modern birth control
    method, only 48 actually use one.

Family Planning as National Policy
  • In 1952, the Indian government adopted family
    planning as a national policy.
  • By 1961, there were 4,165 family planning
  • As a part of the government campaign to limit the
    number of children, the government has put up
    billboards with the following slogan "four is a
    family, five is a crowd."
  • In 1976, a national population policy was adopted
  • the increase of the age of marriage for females
    to 18 years and for males to 21,
  • tying financial grants from the federal
    government to the state governments to their
    performance in limiting births,
  • provision of sex education in schools,
  • expansion of compensation for voluntary
  • and use of incentives by governments to encourage
    people to limit their family size.
  • In 1977, this policy was made voluntary following
    the collapse of the Indira Gandhi government.
    Only 8 of federal assistance was tied to
    performance on birth control by states.

South Asia has been trying to reduce births since
India began its population programs in 1952.
mid-1960s they opened camps for mass
insertions of IUDs. 1970s Vasectomy camps
10 million men were coerced into sterilized by
vasectomies during the Emergency Drive for
family planning in the 1970s. Backlash against
family planning and distrust of govt 1998 the
Indian government abandoned targets for
sterilizations and contraception. Focus on
Family planning poster from India
Why only a boy? family planning poster from
How is it that population continues to boom even
with declines in fertility?
  • Significant part of population is in early
    reproductive years
  • Poor, rural, uneducated people see children as
    their only source of wealth.
  • Because there is little access to healthcare,
    infant mortality rates are high (67/1,000 live
  • View sons as more beneficial than daughters.

Pollution Issues
  • All the ills of urban development exist in this
    one city, New Delhi.
  • The environmental problems of developing
    countries are not the side effects of excessive
    industrialization but reflect the inadequacy of
    development (Gandhi)
  • Indira Gandhi 1968 UN pollution conference

Double Burden of Diseases
  • Air pollution and its consequences
  • Due to increase in the numbers of motorized
    vehicles and industries in the cities of the
    developing world
  • Problems of noise and air pollution
  • Air pollution can affect our health in many ways
    with both short-term and long-term effects
  • Short-term air pollution can aggravate medical
    conditions like asthma and emphysema
  • Long-term health effects can include chronic
    respiratory disease, lung cancer, heart disease,
    and even damage to other vital organs

Indoor Air Pollution
  • Fuel wood, animal dung and crop residues fuel
    (Smith 2000).
  • Arsenic other toxins
  • 560 villages arsenic-affected
  • More than a million people are drinking arsenic
    contaminated water
  • 200,000 people are suffer from arsenic-related
  • Result chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and
    acute respiratory infections.
  • Most common COD for children under 5 in India
  • Low birth weight, increased infant and prenatal
    mortality, pulmonary tuberculosis, nasopharyngeal
    and laryngeal cancer, cataract, and, specifically
    in respect of the use of coal, with lung cancer
    and asthma.

Waste Disposal
  • Increase in MSW (municipal solid waste)
  • Rapid population growth
  • Modernization
  • Mumbai population grew from 8.2 million in 1981
    to 12.3 million in 1991
  • MSW 3200 tons per day to 5 355 tons per day
  • Municipality competition
  • Land scarcity for dumping sites
  • Burning Most common CFC emissions
  • Recycling difficult to implement

Access sanitation
  • Only 33 can get rid of there garbage others
  • So that leaves them with nasty garbage to live
  • So they have to find a way to get rid of all that

This is what has happened in India
  • Water conservation can help solve this problem

The problem in India
  • India has the worlds second largest population
  • The population in India is too big. This is part
    of why India is in a water crisis.
  • Some of the diseases are being spread because,
    many people cannot wash their hands correctly
    with such little water.
  • Disease is also spread through drinking-water.

  • India has 86 improved water sources that leaves
    14 with dirty water.

Water Pollution
  • 3.7 Million depend on basic well system
  • hydrocarbons, phenols, cyanide, pesticides, major
    inorganic species, and bacteria.
  • Yamuna River can no longer support life
  • Garbage cascades down its banks, giving off a
    fetid stench. And half of the city's raw sewage
    flows into its waters.
  • "The river is dead, it just has not been
    officially cremated"
  • Govt. spending 500 million
  • River pollution has doubled since 1993
  • Unplanned Communities
  • 80 pollution due to raw sewage
  • -4 GDP due to lost productivity (Gupta)
  • Technology can improve nullahs

Double Burden of Diseases
  • Water and sanitation problems
  • Due to increasing urbanization coupled with
    existing un-sustainability factors and
    conventional urban water management
  • Nealy 1.1 billion people worldwide who do not
    have access to clean drinking water and 2.6
    billion people i.e. over 400 million people, lack
    even a simple improved latrine
  • Can lead to increased episodes of diarrhea and
    economic burden
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