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Shankar Acharya: Malthus at the heart of India

Six states hold the key to India realising the demographic dividend

Shankar Acharya

Robert Malthus wrote his famous An Essay on the Principle of Population in 1798. In that book his basic thesis was that population growth would likely swamp increases in production (mainly food) so that mankind would remain trapped at low standards of living, held back by hunger, famine and disease. In different forms the spectre of the "Malthusian Trap" held sway over the 19th century and much of the 20th (Remember Paul Ehrlich's dire warnings in his The Population Bomb in 1968?). In fact, of course, these same two centuries witnessed unprecedented advances in science and ...