While concern about the size of India's population has been shown by the intelligentia right from the beginning of the present century, active interest in the study of population became pronounced only with the launching of planning for economic and social development after independence. The First Five Year Plan, 1951-56 duly recognized population as an important parameter requiring careful consideration in the planning of development effort and emphasized the need for undertaking population research oriented to developmental policies and programmes. This was followed up during the Second Five Year Plan by the establishment of several demographic research centres under the then Ministry of Health and Family Planning (now the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare) and a Demographic Training & Research Centre (now known as International Institute for Population Sciences) at Bombay under the joint sponsorship of the United Nations, Government of India, and Sir Dorabji Tata Trust. Since then population matters have received increasing attention of scholars from both social and bio-medical sciences and the number of those specializing in population research and studies has steadily increased.
The First Five Year Plan, 1951-56 duly recognized population as an important parameter requiring careful consideration in the planning of development effort and emphasized the need for undertaking population research oriented to developmental policies and programmes.
By 1963, when the first Asian Population Conference met in New Delhi, the number of scholars with active interest in population had become quite sizable. The large group of Indian participants who had gathered in New Delhi for this Conference had in their informal discussions expressed the need for a professional organization of Indian demographers like those operating in several social science disciplines like economics, sociology, geography, statistics, history, etc. This need was more forcefully reiterated in 1969 at the informal meeting of the Indian demographers which was held in London at the time of the General Conference of the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population.
It was in response to such repeated expressions of the need for a professional organization of those engaged in population research that the group of demographers located in Delhi/New Delhi took. a lead in the matter in 1970 with the encouragement and active support of Professor Asok Mitra and late Shri A. Chandra Sekhar, successive Registrar Generals and Census Commissioners of India. A small preparatory committee, formed for the purpose, discussed the steps necessary to establish the organization and delegated the responsibility of drafting the Memorandum of Association together with its Rule and Regulations and that of making necessary arrangements for its registration under the Societies Act to a subcommittee comprising Shri S. P. Jain and Shri R. P. Goyal. Finally the Association was registered in February, 1971 under the name of Indian Association for the Study of Population (IASP).