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Seminar by Prof.S.Irudaya Rajan and Prof.U.S.Mishra: 4 Oct. 2019

A seminar on ‘Fairness in Resource Allocation to States: Exploring the Population Dynamics,’ was held at the Joan Robinson Hall on 4 October, 2019. The seminar was presented by Professor S. Irudaya Rajan, Professor, CDS. The seminar was chaired by Dr T.M. Thomas Isaac, Hon’ble Finance Minister, Government of Kerala and Honorary Fellow of CDS. Shri R Mohan, Private Secretary to the  Chief Minister and Visiting Professor of CDS was the discussant.

Abstract: Use of population count of census 2011 in place of 1971 in the allocation of resources has generated fears among states ahead in the process of demographic transition to become looser as against those states behind in accomplishing population stabilization. While Fifteenth finance commission is mandated to use 2011 census count of population for the purpose of allocation, this is not without consideration of varying degrees of socio-economic, health and demographic achievements.   Such a consideration involves acknowledgement of states with positive accomplishment in its demographic front and reward them for their efforts and commitment towards realizing the target of population stabilization. At the same time, special attention should also be given to those states which lag behind in accomplishing the demographic goal of replacement level of fertility. These necessitate scientific and evidence-based strategies for resource allocation, planning and policy implementation. In this paper, we put forward a suitable approach to allocate resources based on the states’ demographic achievements, particularly based on progress made towards realising replacement level of fertility. On examining the population growth differential across states during 1971-2011, it is observed that migration has shaped growth more than the pattern of natural increase. Designating the states as dividend and dependent states based on a comparison of dependency against the national scenario, it is noticed that three to four most populated states continue to be in the category of dependent states as against others becoming dividend states. Examining the quantum of migration to urban areas in adjustment to its quality component plays a major role as the gaining and loosing states with a mutual distance. Given this understanding of population dynamics, the raw population share is adjusted with need-based dimensions of population dynamics like share of child population and elderly as well as the stage of demographic dividend for designing population based weights for resource allocation that moderates the gap between demographically advanced states and the states yet to catch up. An alternative proposition of designing such weights accounting for the population count and share together also serves towards weights that moderates the differences between states otherwise obtained based on raw population shares alone.