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The Red Triangle

Kamala Gopal Rao

By Dr. Surjit Kaur
Sterling Publishers, New Delhi, 1976, 50.00

By P.L. Bhattacharjee and G.N. Shastri
Vikas, New Delhi, 1976, 30.00

By N. Bhaskara Rao
Vikas, New Delhi, 1976, 20.00

VOLUME II NUMBER 2 March-April 1977

The population phenomenon initially recognized by Malthus two centuries ago has today assumed global dimensions. In his classical essay, Malthus essentially focused on the relationship between population growth and food supply. But, since Malthus, the different dimensions of the population problem have grown so large that a recent issue of the populat­ion reports identified no less than 22 of them. These include such varied aspects of life that are affected by population growth and change like literacy, recrea­tional areas, pollution, inflation, food, housing, crowding, income, urbanization, political conflict, health services, water, unemployment, individual freedom, etc. Despite long-term interest in the pheno­menon of population growth, its system­atic study as a discipline is of fairly re­cent origin. Problems of population growth start­ed attracting the attention of scientists and administrators alike in the mid-­twenties when differences in population growth rates between developing and de­veloped countries and the significance of such differences were increasingly recog­nized. Such differences attained a shar­per focus while analysing the impact of population growth on social, cultural, economic, political and individual deve­lopment. It was realized everywhere that the fertility behaviour of couples and families over a period of time can compound itself to a national problem that can be solved only by macro-level policy approaches with simultaneous eff­orts to promote the concept of planned families and the use of contraception. This brought forth the urgency of formu­lating policies and launching programmes for population control. Simultaneously the need to study population phenomena in all their aspects was acutely felt. The quanti­tative study of population problems throu­gh measurement of population size, rates of growth, composition and fertility levels formed the primary concern of demogra­phers, while the social scientists have been more keen on examining the social, cultural and psychological determinants and consequences of family size. More recently, economists, ecologists, political scientists, urban planners and even forestry experts have been seriously concerned with the consequences of population growth. Truly enough, the implications and consequences of population growth cut across several disciplines. Thus, the complex problem of population deserves very sustained and serious study. The World Population Conference held in Bucharest in 1974 is a landmark, representing a forum in which there was a dia­logue between developing and developed countries on the subtle relationship bet­ween population and development. India's stand was clear that 'Development is the Best Contraceptive....

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