Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad revealed that the government is focused on population stabilization and is working towards creating awareness about the need for small families.
"As per 2011 census, India's total population was 1.21 billion. As per population projection, India's population would be 1.40 billion by 2026," Azad said in his address at the 'National Dialogue for Population Stabilisation for Better Tomorrow' organised here on World Population Day.
The minister said over the next 15 years, India's population would exceed that of China, making it the most populous country in the world.
"With only 2.4 percent of the entire world's landmass to support 17 percent of the world population, the need for population stabilisation can hardly be overemphasized," he said.
He added that the focus of the government has been on creating awareness and persuade people to have small family sizes for the betterment of the health of the mother, the child and the whole family.
He hoped parliamentarians and the media would play a proactive role to create awareness about the issue.
Minister of state for health Santosh Chowdhary said the United Progressive Alliance government has marked health as the most important sector during the 12th Five Year Plan period.
"This shows the commitment of the UPA government towards building a healthy, nourished and stronger India," she said.