Guwahati: Assam Health and Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Wednesday said the minority population in Assam needs to have fewer children for its development and progress. He was reacting to the Assam government’s ‘Two-child norm’ approved by the state cabinet on Monday, which will ensure that after after January 1, 2021, people with more than two children are not eligible for government jobs. The decision was made in pursuance of the government’s population policy passed in the state Assembly two years ago.
“This policy is not about the majority and the minority, but about government employees. It is wrong to assume that the minority community will always have more children — it is bad to make such assumptions. Instead of encouraging them to have more children, it is our collective responsibility to educate them, we should work with the minorities and try to impress upon them to have fewer children,” said Sarma.
“You cannot remain poor all the time. If you want the minority population to progress, their children to have education, then they should be made aware of not having more than two children,” he added.
Stating that the new rules will encourage government employees to be “role models for society”, the minister said any government employee marrying before the legal age will also face disqualification. Besides specifying that only candidates with two children will be eligible for government jobs, the policy called for existing government employees to strictly adhere to the two-children norm.
“No government employee will have more than two children — during the time of appointment or during the period of employment. As a government employee, you have to be a role model for your people. If you go to a village and tell them to have two children, but you yourself have six, who will listen to you?” he asked.
The state government has already incorporated provisions of the policy in the electoral process and no candidate with more than two children has been allowed to contest the municipal and rural elections. Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra already have a two-children norm in place for government jobs.