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India got a right way of population control

In the song Road Not Taken, Robert Frost described the dilemma of standing at the intersection of two divergent paths. Both looked inviting, but he had to choose one. “I took the one less travelled by/And that has made all the difference,” he wrote.

Half a century ago, India and China stood at a similar point. Their fertility rates – at 5.6 and 5.5 children per woman – were neck and neck and way more than what is regarded as replacement level fertility of 2.1, at which the population stabilises. They also faced similar social and developmental challenges as they sought to build their nations after suffering the devastation of long colonial and imperial humiliations and war.