Fertility rates of the poorest sections of the population of any state are impacted by the quality of educational and health services, and gender differences in regard to health and educational outcome indicators, not religion. https://thewire.in/economy/pm-eac-muslim-population-increase-research 

Historically, the role of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council has been to conduct research and advice the government of India on economic matters of national import. The current government decided to create an EAC-PM in late 2017, almost as an afterthought, over three years after it came to power. Its role, since then, has been to write sundry research papers on miscellaneous topics, regardless of whether they have much to do with economic issues of national import.

This month, a sensational claim is made in a EAC-PM paper – that the Hindu share of India’s population has fallen between 1950 and 2015 by 7.8%, while that of Muslims has increased by 43% over the same period.  

he claim is based on the paper authored by Shamika Ravi, et al, which is fraught with many logical and methodological fatal errors. It has used survey data published by the Association of Religion Data Archive (ARDA) consisting of 2,34,520 observations only. There is no mention of the estimated population size of religion-wise communities (The observations provide data on the population and percentages of surveyed people belonging to different religious categories in each country).

An informed reader looks for the coverage, authenticity and accuracy of the data source that has been used to make a claim.

by Santosh Mehrotra and Bir Singh

15/05/2024