This address delivered to the 40th convocation of the International Institute for Population Sciences in India in 1998 opens by noting that a shortage of jobs for youth is India's most urgent problem but that the problems that attend the increasing numbers of elderly also require serious attention. The address then notes that the Earth's population is growing at an unsustainable rate while economic inequities among countries are increasing, so that, while intellectual property is becoming the most important asset in developed countries, nutritional anemia among pregnant women causes their offspring to be unable to achieve their full intellectual potential from birth. Next, the address uses a discussion of the 18th-century work on population of the Marquis de Condorcet and of Thomas Malthus to lead into a consideration of estimated increased needs of countries like India and China to import food grains in the near future. Next, the progress of demographic transition in Indian states is covered and applied to Mahbub ul Haq's measure of human deprivation developed for and applied to the region of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, and the Maldives). The address continues by reiterating some of the major recommendations forwarded by a government of India committee charged in 1995 with drafting a national population policy. Finally, the address suggests specific actions that could be important components of the Hunger-Free India Programme and concludes that all success rests on the successful implementation of appropriate population policies.
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