According to the recently released Sample Registration System (SRS), India’s Maternal Mortality Ratio has declined from 130 per 1 lakh live births in 2014-16 to 122 per 1 lakh live births in 2015-17. This is of significance as it means that about 2,000 maternal deaths have been prevented each year. This may be due to the improving accessibility and affordability to healthcare and also due to increasing awareness about the benefits of the public health system.
Many efforts taken by the Indian government and various other organisations in recent years are not addressing the problem of the startling decline in India’s sex ratio since 2011. Many are alarmed that it would be reflected in India’s child sex ratio in the 2021 Census report.
India’s forest cover has increased by 3,976 km2 since 2017. For the second successive time since 2007, the India State of Forest Report (ISFR) has shown an increase in the forest cover. Given the pressure on the forestland and the natural resources, these figures may give a positive outlook but it does not tell how India continues to lose some of its natural forests since this report is including plantations and invasive species under the forest cover.
Since 2018, India’s working-age population has grown larger than the dependent population consisting of children and senior citizens. This youth bulge is going to last for 37 years. However, the current economic slowdown has led to layoffs, growth decline in various sectors and joblessness. Necessary steps like policy support and reforms must be taken to make full utilisation of India’s demographic dividend to promote the growth and development of the economy.
In the next decade, India is bound to become the most populous nation in the world, surpassing China. However, compared globally, India remains one of the lowest spenders on public health, despite the government’s commitment to expanding the funding. This makes healthcare service unaffordable and inaccessible to many. Therefore government intervention in this regard is a need of the hour.