World Population Day special: Chance a glance
Since the last 15-20 years, the International Institute of Population Sciences (IIPS) has been maintaining a signboard that indicates the estimated population of India.
This signboard is put up, off Deonar Road, near the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS). Though the figures displayed are not 100 per cent accurate, the numbers are based on population projections. IIPS director Dr F Ram says, “The board only indicates that we are really very huge and growing.
We have put it up to generate awareness. Anybody passing by will at least stand for a moment and have a look at it. We change the number just once in the day but we try to be as accurate as possible,” adding that, it is not Mumbai's population but better city planning and development, which is the most pressing issue.
IIPS Professor S K Singh believes that immediate attention should be given to the urban poor. He says, “This is the first time in the history of the Indian census that the absolute increase in the urban population is more than the absolute increase in the rural population. The growth rate has always been higher in urban areas than in rural areas. But we are talking about the absolute increase, and now the urban population is higher than the rural population.”