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Balancing Political Representation & Fiscal Equity in India



  Oct 06, 2023

Population and Political Representation:North-South Divid



What is the issue related to political representation and population control in India?

A: The issue revolves around the political representation of Indian states and how population growth and control are impacting it.

How does political representation work in India?

A: Political representation in India is based on the number of Lok Sabha constituencies in each state, which should ideally be equalized by the size of the population.

What has been the historical approach to population-based representation?

A: Historically, the number of Lok Sabha constituencies for states was determined based on the 1971 Census and was frozen for several years.

How have population growth rates differed between northern and southern states in India?

A: Between 1971 and 2011, the northern states witnessed an increase in population, while the southern states saw a decline.

What are the implications of enforcing equal-sized constituencies by population today?

A: If enforced today, the southern states would lose seats, and the northern states would gain, leading to a disparity in political representation.

Why is using population size for constituency delimitation not considered essential by some?

A: Using population size for delimitation doesn't always ensure fair representation, as the "winner takes all" system can result in MPs being elected with relatively few votes.

How has population control been achieved in the southern states?

A: Population control in the southern states has been achieved through both family planning programs and social change led by societal leaders.

How does population affect fiscal transfers in India?

A: Population is a key factor in determining the share of each state in the Union government's tax revenue, impacting fiscal transfers.

What has been the recent change in the use of population data for fiscal transfers?

A: The shift to using the 2011 population data in distribution formulas has led to reduced financial transfers for the southern states.

What are the implications of using the current population for both political representation and fiscal transfers?

A: Using current population data is seen as retribution for the population control efforts of southern states and an accolade for the higher population growth rate in northern states.

What is the suggested solution to address these issues?

A: The article suggests freezing the distribution of seats among states based on the 1971 population until population stabilizes in all states as a fair approach to tackle the problem.

What should be the focus when determining political representation and fiscal transfers?

A: The focus should be on creating a balanced system that considers both population and other relevant factors to ensure fair representation and equitable fiscal transfers among states.


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