Yes, that's correct. As if the most recent census was not enough for us to sit up and take notice, there comes a rather bold prediction from the multilateral organisation, The United Nations (UN).
According to population projections released by the independent body, our population is projected to peak at 1.7 bn in 2060! Needless to say, this will make us the most populous nation on earth and that too by far.
Thankfully, our share in world population will not keep on rising till that long. If UN's projections hold well, India's share in world population will peak in 2030. The same will then start declining with the growth in world's population from then on being fuelled by Africa.
Indeed, comparison with China is our favourite pastime and even more so when it comes to population. Hence, it becomes important to know what will happen of the dragon nation a few decades from now on the population front. As per UN, China's population will peak just five years before ours and will stand at 1.4 bn people by the time the year 2025 draws to a close.
And now here comes the startling fact. When China would have peaked, India would have already surpassed it in population! What more, by the turn of the century, there is a strong likelihood that India's population, though declining, will be almost double that of China.
We hope Indian policymakers are listening. For the kind of pressure the population will put on India's finite resources can only be imagined. First and foremost, we will have around 40% more mouths to feed a few decades from now and hence, ensuring food security should be the topmost priority for the Government. Sadly, very little is being done on this front. Even after so many years of independence, food production still ebbs and flows with the availability of rainwater. And the Government rather than doing something about increasing the productivity of our agricultural land continues to dole out subsidies whose utility does not extend beyond a year.
Thus, forget providing education and jobs to our prospective brethrens, if we are to have any chance of seeing them hale and hearty, it is time we thought seriously about bringing about another Green Revolution. For without the same, there is very little chance our much higher population will prove to be an asset in nation building.