Guwahati, Sep 15 (PTI) People who violate the legal age of marriage will not be eligible for Assam government jobs, says the ‘Population and Women Empowerment Policy of Assam’ which was presented in the state Assembly today.

For participation in government the policy states that “persons both male and female, who violate the legal age of marriage will not be eligible for any employment or employment generation schemes of the government.”

It also said that “candidates having two children only will be eligible for employment in the government.” The policy states that government employees are to strictly follow the two children family norm to serve as role models for the society.

The policy was to ensure safe motherhood, achieve gender equality, provide health care and welfare services for elderly and differently abled, increase public awareness of population and reproductive health issues, said Health, Finance, Education minister Himanta Sarma while moving the policy in the House.

The policy also aimed to promote responsible adolescent and youth behaviour besides promoting the economic benefits of migration and urbanisation while controlling their adverse social and health effects, Sarma said.

Pointing out that Assam with one of the most complex demographic scenarios in the country is facing a demographic challenge today, it said, “the population of Assam increased to 3.12 crore (2011 Census report) from 2.66 crore (2001 census).

“Although there is a decline in the decadal growth of population, the rate of growth as 17.07 is at an unsustainable level.”.

On the specific challenges faced by the state, the policy said, “Assam represents a highly diverse demographic canvass with people of different linguistic, ethnic and religious backgrounds inhabiting this ancient land.” “Customary laws, social practices and traditions pertaining to child births and marriage, and behavioural patterns in each of these communities vary. Underage marriage and polygamy are practiced in certain communities.” Stating that Assam Government is committed to the objectives and goals set out in the National Policy on Population and National Policy for Women s Empowerment, the policy said, “the government also recognises that rapid population growth could severely derail progress in reaching our primary goal to achieve a high quality of life for all our population in Assam that is sustainable with available resources.”

It said “the government therefore proposes a policy that incentivises families to optimise family size and allows them the freedom to aspire for higher standard of living.

“Its goal is that every family in Assam should have access to quality education, health care and employment opportunities.”

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.