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Assam proposes two-child norm from Panchayat to MP-level

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Guwahati | Thursday, May 4 2017 IST
The Assam government today proposed to debar persons with more than two children from contesting any election in the state, right from the panchayat level to MP-level.

While proposing to bring laws to bar people with more than two children from contesting election for panchayat, municipal and other statutory bodies and committees at the state level, Assam government will take up the issue with the Central government for its implementation in case of MLAs and MPs from the state.

Addressing a press conference while releasing second draft of a state population policy, state Health minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sharma said, "We have made some changes in the first draft population policy after receiving feedback. Some minor changes could be incorporated later and placed before the next state Cabinet meeting. We will, then, place the final draft policy before the state legislative assembly in August."

Stressing on the need to 'lead by example', the minister said the new draft has proposal for making it compulsory to adherence of two-child norm for MLAs and MPs from the state and the state government will approach the Centre for suitable amendments in the relevant acts to enforce it for Assam.

The first draft policy had already mooted a strict two-child policy for government servants and elected/nominated representatives of panchayat, municipal and statutory bodies, with the second draft taking it a step further to include MLAs and MPs from the state.

Dr Sharma, however, added that there could be relaxation or exemptions in specific instances on a case-to-case basis.

The name of the draft population policy has been changed to 'draft population and women empowerment policy of Assam', as a result of the feedback received that the provisions in the first draft could have negative impact on women and lead to discrimination against women.

"The focus will be equally on empowering our women folk through education, skill development and employment as on awareness on population control measures. Women empowerment and family planning are intricately linked and we hope to work together on these two aspects," Dr Sharma said.

The second draft policy contains measures for thrust on women education, legal framework for protection of women's rights and special schemes for widows/single women/divorcees, especially belonging to economically and socially backward sections and Muslime women divorcees (triple talaq).

It also moots reservation of 50 per cent government jobs for women and adequate representation of women in elected bodies from village level onwards.

The second draft also proposes for intensive educational and publicity campaign on family planning, especially in the 11 districts of the state where the rate of population growth is higher than the state average rate.

It has been proposed to include education on reproductive health and sex in textbooks from class VII onwards.

Further, it has been proposed to ensure free distribution of quality and uninterrupted family planning supplies in all areas of the state and enhancing financial packages for undergoing family planning procedures.

The first draft of the population policy was released on March 27 last and feedback sought from the general public, on the basis of which the second draft has been formulated.

Feedback in the form of 89 emails, 600 messages through social media, 37 editorials and articles and TV channel debates was received and considered for making the modifications. UNI SG AKM 1533

-- (UNI) -- C-1-1-DL0213-879983.Xml

 
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