Mahmood Mamdani's book on The Myth of Population Control in India demonstrates that the problems of population can never be understood without understanding the problems of people first. Mahmood Mamdani, an Indian studying at Harvard, journeyed to Manupur, India, central village of the Khanna Study, India's first major field study in birth control. It was initiated by Harvard University and financed by the Rockfeller Foundation and the Indian Government. The study found that the majority of people had large families because they need children to work for the family. Children are also old age insurance for the poor. Voluntary family planning will not be accepted until technological change reduces the need for family laborers and until a change in social structure brings about a change in the pattern of land ownership.
Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs comprises more than 70 full-time faculty and more than 200 adjunct faculty, scholars, and practitioners. All have distinguished themselves in research and leadership in the policy world, and have produced scholarship in a wide variety of subjects, including international relations, democratization, elections, demography, and social policy.