Total Fertility Rate in India on decline

The government said that the Total Fertility Rate (TFR) across the country had declined to 2.6 in 2008 from 2.9 in 2005.

"While 14 states or Union Territories out of 35 states have achieved the replacement level of TFR of 2.1, four states, viz Daman and Diu, Orissa, Jammu and Kashmir and Tripura have TFR of 2.2-2.5 and seven states have TFR between 2.6-3.0," Minister of Health and family Welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad told the Lok Sabha said.

"Ten states (Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Dadra and Nagar Haveli) have TFR between 3.0 and 3.9," Azad told the House in a written reply to a question.

The Total Fertility Rate (TFR) of a population is the average number of children that would be born to a woman over her lifetime.

He said that a meeting of National Commission on Population was held under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on October 21.

"The discussions focused on assessment of the population situation and the strategic required to increase the Contraceptive Prevalence Rate, reduce the unmet need and making Family Planning Services available in a reliable manner to eligible couples," the Minister said.

In reply to another question, Azad said, "Government is contemplating introduction of Health Insurance Scheme for the Central Government employees and pensioners on pan India basis after obtaining requisite approvals, if found feasible, it may be offered to accredited journalists also."

However, no time frame can be given at this stage for its introduction, he added.

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