28th Annual Conference of IASP Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala,

On Emerging Social Sector Programme Environment Evolving Role of Population Scientists

June 3 7-9 2006


Summary Proceedings of the Annual Conference at the Centre for Development Studies Trivandrum during 7-9 June 2006


The XXVIII Annual Conference of the Indian Association for the Study of Population (IASP) was inaugurated by Dr. Thomas Isaac, Hon’ble Finance Minister of Kerala at the auditorium of Centre for Development Studies(CDS), Trivandrum on June 7th morning 2006. The main theme of conference is “Emerging Social Sector Programme Environment: Role of Population Scientists”. Dr. K.Narayana Nair, Director, CDS welcomed the participants to the conference. In his inaugural address Dr. Thomas ISSAC gave a critical view on the newly started National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) and discussed the role of state policies and programmes pertaining to health, ageing etc. His address had set the tone for the conference. In his presidential address Prof. S.C. Gulati explained the background of the Conference and the main theme. He further brought out some issues of national importance like family planning ageing and urbanization: which should have been duly emphasized in the NRHM document. He cautioned that the importance of family Planning should not be lost in the euphoria of the New Population Programmes like NRHM and RCH. Dr. S. Irudaya Rajan, the Organizing Secretary of the conference, had briefed the audience on the IASP and its activities. Dr. Pradeep mishra, Treasurer, IASP has given the introduction of the conference for the benefit audienceand participants. Shri CVS Prasad proposed the vote of thanks on the inaugural session.


Briefings on Plenary Sessions and Parallel Sessions on sub-Themes:


Prof. K. Srinivasan chaired the first Plenary Session on “ Population and linkages with Health, Nutrition and Environment in India” wherein 4 Panelists presented their Papers. Shri C.V.S Prasad in his paper on “Socio Economic Determinants of Fertility in India” explained the role of the Asset Index and Education in influencing fertility with the help of  Census/SRS data for all the states as well as district level (for Uttaranchal and Tamil Nadu states). This was followed by Prof. Arvind Pandey’s presentation on “Does ICDS offer an opportunity for Preventing Micronutrient Malnutrition among children? – An Assessment of Impact of food Fortification in Seclected States in India”.  Dr. Pandey dwelt on role of ICDS in bringing down micronutrient malnutrition among children. He concluded that the intervention of fortified food by ICDS has led to decline in levels of anemia and VAD (Vit. A. Deficiency ) in the experimental block. The 3rd panelist Prof. Chaurasia presented a Paper on “Mortality Transitions in Urban India from 1970-2002”. His analysis showed that female life expectancy is rising rapidly than that of males . The changes have occurred  mostly in young and old age , while the working age group’s remained unchanged . The fourth speaker , Prof. S.C. Gulati focused on “ Fertility, MCH-Care and Poverty in India”. Prof. Gulati through his simultaneous structural analysis relationships among the variables and MCH and Contraception variables come out strongly. He emphasized the need for contraception in the present Population Programmes. After these presentation, the participants have raised questions and sought clarifications from the panelists, which were clarified by the panelists.


In the afternoon of the 1st day, 3 parallel sessions were held on the sub-theme. 


I: “Population and Linkages with Health, Nutrition and Environment in India”


In all 14 papers were presented and fruitful discussions had taken place in these sessions.


On the evening of the inaugural day Prof. Mari Bhat gave the Geroge- Simmons’ Memorial Lecture on Childlessness and Infertility in Different States of India using recent Census and NFHS Data. In an absorbing deliberation Prof. Mari bhat has explained that childlessness and infertility is higher in Andhra Pradesh , Tamil Nadu and Orissa. He further pointed out that these states are historically having this phenomenon.


On the second day (June 8, 2006), began with the II Plenary Session of the Sub-theme “ Population and Linkages with Migration , Urbanization and Urban Health”. Prof. Gulati chaired this session and there were four panelists. The first panelist, Dr. Shanti Johnson presented paper on “Ageing and Health” using the data from Kerala Ageing Survey. In her analysis , she showed that the elderly are increasing globally. She felt that ‘ Longer Life is a Prize and Penalty’ due to double burden of disease and disability. This was followed by Dr. Siddarth Agarwal’s presentation on “Urbanization, Urban Poverty and Health of Urban Poor”. Explaining that urbanization is likely to be doubled in next 25 years. Dr. Agarwal dwelt on 6 Challenges and 7 Action Policies . The next panelist, Dr. K.M. Sathyanaarayana presented a paper on “Urban Planning Prospects in India”. Dr. Sathyanarayana showed that about 2/3 of urban people live in class I cities, which is askewed urbanization. Touching upon INNURM and PURA, he maintained that basic services should be provided to urban poor. The last panelist, Dr. K. Pushpangadhan presented a paper on “ Drinking Water and Well-being in India”. He has made use of the census data on sources  of drinking water and explained that Kerala has distinct advantage because of handling of water by boiling. After all these presentations, the participants have raised some queries and sought clarification for which the panelists clarified.


After this panel session, 2 parallel scientific sessions were held on the Sub-theme II: Population , Urbanization and Urban Health”. 12 papers were presented in these two sessions wherein most of the young demographers presented their ongoing/ recently completed research findings were presented as papers, which were followed by mind-blowing discussions.


In the afternoon, of the 2nd day, the 3rd Panel Session was held on the Sub-theme III: “ Population and Gender Issues”. Prof. Mari Bhat chaired this Session and there were 5 Panel Speakers, Firstly , Dr. Usha Ram presented a paper on “ Gender and Population Change”,  wherein she dwelt with the conceptual framework of gender empowerment, autonomy and equity . The second speaker, Dr. C.P.Prakasam presented a Paper in “ Gender selection in Accepting of Family Planning in South India”. Dr. Prakasam’s analysis points out that gender selection has an impact  on the acceptance of family planning in South India. He also mentioned about the female infanticide in general and also about the sex selective abortion in Salem district  of Tamilnadu in particular. The third panelist, Dr. Mala Ramanathan spoke on the need for  Incorporating Gender and Ethics in Population Research. She earmarked demographers studied gender diffierentials assuming the roles of women. The next panelist, Dr. Sudesh Nangia presented  a paper on “Population and Gender – The Indian Perspective”. Dr. Nangia gave a comprehensive sketch of the gender related priorities through all the Five Year Plans of India. The fifth speaker of the Panel, Dr.James presented a paper on “Demographic Transition and Pattern of Migration in Kerala”. He explained that there was large-scale migration in 1980s and 1990s and it is perpetuating. He also showed that there is concentration of migration from only two districts. The session came to an end, after a fruitful discussion amongst the participants and the panelists.


After this panel session, one scientific session was held on the Sub-theme II: “Population and Gender Issues” and another Scientific Session was a Special one on Kerala. While 6 papers were presented in the former one, 5 papers were presented in the latter one. Absorbing discussions among participants and paper presenters followed both the sessions.


In addition to the academic deliberations, in the evening of 2nd day, the members of IASP met in its General Body to discuss the administrative and management issues in an elaborate manner. A cultural programme wherein the glimpses of Bharathanatyam and Mohiniattam were performed followed this. All the participants have enjoyed these greatly and gave a thunderous applause and appreciation for the artists.


The third and final day (June 9, 2006) started with the Plenary Session on “Population and Education & Employment” which was chaired by Prof. S.C. Gulati. These speakerspresented their papers in this session. Firstly, Prf. K. Srinivasan presented a paper on “Non-workers seeking work in India- Trends and Differentials”. Based on the analysis of data from 1991 an 2001 Censuses, Dr. Srinvasan has explained that there is an increase of unemployment  and those seeking work among non-workers (SWNW) has risen by four folds. He lamented about the swelling numbers of graduate unemployed. The second speaker of the panel . Dr. Bhagat presented paper on “Change in Structure of Workforce in 1990s”.  He analyzed the data from 55th round of NSS and 2001 Census and thereby, came to the conclusion that the growth rate of employment has decreased in the post-reform period. He also dwelt on the paradox of increase in employment of urban females and also the unemployment of this category. The third speaker on this panel, Dr. Audinarayana presented his views on “ Does Government Health Facilities Losing their Charm in Extending MCH Servicing? A Critical Review of Studies from Tamil Nadu”. Based on the studies conducted in the recent past, he came to the conclusion that people in Tamil Nadu are slowly leaning towards private health facilities, in spite of they are costlier. This is because of perceived quality of services and grater satisfaction derived by using services from private health centres. All the papers were well received and there was a fruitful discussion. At the end of this session, 2 more presenters made their presentations on the Sub-theme IV: “ Population and Education and Employment” . Both the papers were interesting.


One of the important aspects of this Conference was organization of a Special Plenary Session on Kerala under the chairmanship of Dr. K.C. Zachariah. Four scholars presented their papers in this session. Firstly, Dr. Vijayanunni highlighted the Demographic and Socio-economic Background of Kerala in addition to transport, pollution, water shortage, resources, dependency ratios, etc. Next presentation was by Dr. C. R. Soman on “ Demographic Changes and Disease burden in Kerala”. Based on astudy of cause of death among people of selected panchayat in Trivandrum around 2001 he concluded that by and large, the life style diseases are on increase. He supported this contention with some data for the diseases like hyoertension, heart attacks, diabetes, cancer, etc. Dr. Devika, presented her views on “Child Rearing Practices in 21st Century in Kerala”. She highlighted child rearing has become now a days as Child Crafting. The last presented of this session, Dr. Ajit Kumar, focused on “HIV in Kerala”.  He broadly presented the HIV scenario in Kerala followed by economic cost of HIV. Migrants are the major ones to spread HIV rather than sex workers. This session came to an end with an absorbing discussion of participants.


At the end of the Special Plenary session on Kerala, another Special Scientific Session on Kerala was held wherein 4 concise presentations have been made by young scholars from Kerala state.


In the afternoon of June 9,2006, Valedictory Session had been conducted for which the Chairperson was Dr. M. Vijayanunni, Former Secretary, Govt. of Kerala and the Guest of Honor  was Dr. K.C. Zachariah. Dr. S.C Gulati in his opening remarks pointed out that the three-days conference had been conducted successfully with the funding from UNFPA, New Delhi, Dept. of Family Welfare, Govt. of India and with the co-operation of the Centre for Development Studies. Trivandrum. Dr. Vijayanunni gave his Valedictory address, Later Dr. N. Audinarayana presented the Summary of Proceedings of the Conference. This session came to an end with the Vote of Thanks by Mr. CVS. Prasad, General Secretary, IASP. In all, the three-days IASP Annual Conference had been organized very well and Conference had been made successful and fruitful for the programme managers and policy  makers as well as for researchers and academicians.