Amendment to Registration of Birth and Death Act, 1969

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    In News

    • The Bill to amend the RBD Act, 1969 was recently proposed by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
      • The Bill is likely to be tabled in the upcoming winter session of the parliament. 

    Major Provisions of the draft Bill

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    • Making Birth Certificates a mandatory document
      • The Central government proposes to make birth certificates a mandatory document for admission in educational institutions, inclusion in the voter list, appointment in Central and State government jobs, issue of driving licence and passport. 
    • Data storage and linking to electoral rolls 
      • The centrally-stored data will be updated in real time without any human interface required leading to addition and deletion from the electoral roll when an individual turns 18 and after death respectively. 
    • Death certificates
      • It shall be mandatory for hospitals and medical institutions to provide a copy of all death certificates, stating the cause of death, to the local registrar apart from the relative of the deceased.
    • Making the registration mandatory
      • Though registration of birth and death is already compulsory under the RBD Act, 1969 and violating it is a punishable offence.
      • The government intends to improve compliance by making the registration mandatory to avail basic services such as admission in schools and registration of marriages. 

    Data/ Facts

    • According to the Civil Registration System (CRS) report: (CRS is an online system for registration of births and deaths under the operational control of the RGI.)
      • The registration level of births for the country increased to 92.7% in 2019 from 82.0% in 2010.
      • Registered deaths increased from 66.9% in 2010 to 92.0 % in 2019.  
    • State wise assessment
      • Several States such as Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal are already registering all births and deaths through CRS. 
      • States such as Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Punjab, Nagaland, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Kerala, Karnataka, Goa, Arunachal Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh have their own system or use the portal partially.
    • UT assessment
      • Union Territories such as the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu register through the central portal but others such as Delhi, Lakshadweep, Puducherry and Jammu and Kashmir have their own system in place. 

    The Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1969

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    • Objective
      • The Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1969 regulates matters concerning the registration of births and deaths and matters connected therewith.  
    • Role of Registrar-General
      • The position of Registrar-General is filled by a person appointed by the Central Government of India.
        • The Government can also appoint a person with such designation, as it thinks fit for the purpose to carry out works under the supervision of the Registrar-General.
      • He has the power to issue general directions concerning the registration of births and deaths in the territories covered by this Act.
      • They also coordinate and unify the activities of the Chief-Registrars and submit the annual report regarding the works concerning and related to this Act, to the Central Government. 
    • Role of Chief-Registrar
      • They are appointed by the Central Government.
      • He is responsible for carrying out the execution of the provisions of this Act.
      • He remains the chief executive of a state only and carries out the execution of rules and orders subject to the directions of the state government.
    • District-Registrar
      • They are appointed by the State Government for each revenue district.
    • Role of Registrars
      • They are appointed by the state government for each local area, which may include land under the jurisdiction of a municipality, panchayat, or other local authority, as well as any other area, or a combination of two or more of them. 
      • The Registrars are supposed to keep themselves updated about every birth and death that takes place within their jurisdiction. 
    • Penalties under the act
      • Section 23 of the Act provides for detailed provisions regarding the penalties a person may attract if certain provisions of the Act are not adhered to.
      • If a person:
        • Fails to give or provide the information and which comes under that person’s duty to inform regarding any birth or death that takes place, or
        • Gives any false information for the registration purpose
        • Refuses to provide his information as asked for under Section 11 of the Act. 

    Way forward/ Need for an amendment? 

    • Centralised Database: The proposed amendments intends to bring whole databases on to a common platform.
    • Useful in making NPR and NRC: If the amendments are implemented, the Centre could use the data to update the National Population Register (NPR) that was first prepared in 2010 and revised through door-to-door enumeration in 2015.
      • The NPR already has a database of 119 crore residents and under the Citizenship Rules, 2003, it is the first step towards the creation of a National Register of Citizens (NRC).  

    Source: TH