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Thank god, it's going down!

The birth rate in India, thankfully, is on the decline.

The latest from the Registrar General of India shows a 0.9 per cent drop in the 1996 birth figures per 1,000 population -- from the 28.3 per cent in 1995, it came down to 27.4 per cent.

This decline is the highest recorded in recent years. Between 1994 and 1995, the birth rate had declined by 0.4 per cent, while in 1993-94 it was stationery. Between 1991 and 1992, the decline was 0.3 per cent.

The infant mortality rate, which had been stationary at 74 per 1,000 live births, too, registered a decline in 1996 -- to 72.

The current decline in birth rate has come about after the target- free decentralised planning approach adopted in early 1996.

Among the states, the highest fall in birth rate was in Andhra Pradesh (-6.2 per cent). Then came Assam (-5.3). Karnataka (-4.6), Tamil Nadu (-5.4), Punjab (-4.5), Gujarat (-4.5) and Maharashtra (-5.3).


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