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Last Updated: Saturday, 23 July, 2005, 15:11 GMT 16:11 UK
Indians 'to choose family size'
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said forcing people to restrict the size of their families is not the way to control population growth in India.

He said state governments should focus on empowering people through improving education and health, rather than on laws favouring restricted families.

Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss said the push for two-child families had resulted in cases of infanticide.

He and Mr Singh were addressing the National Commission on Population.

A BBC correspondent in Delhi says the central government now proclaims it a fundamental right for Indian citizens to choose the number of children they have.

Our correspondent says population policy in India has been a matter of intense political debate, going back to a programme of forced sterilisations in the mid-1970s.

India has a population of more than one billion.


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