In news– Recently, the Union government has proposed amendments to a 1969 law that will enable it to “maintain the database of registered birth and deaths at the national level”.
- A new Section 3A is proposed to be inserted in the Act, which says, “The Registrar General, India shall maintain the database of registered births and deaths at the national level, that may be used, with the approval of the Central government to update:
- The Population Register prepared under the Citizenship Act, 1955.
- Electoral registers or electoral rolls prepared under the Representation of the People Act, 1951.
- Aadhaar database prepared under the Aadhaar Act, 2016.
- Ration card database prepared under the National Food Security Act, 2013.
- Passport database prepared under the Passport Act and
- The driving licence database under the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019, and other databases at the national level subject to provision of Section 17 (1) of the RBD Act, 1969.
- Presently, the registration of births and deaths is done by the local registrar appointed by States.
- It is proposed that the Chief Registrar (appointed by the States) would maintain a unified database at the State level and integrate it with the data at the “national level,” maintained by the Registrar General of India (RGI).
- The amendments will imply that the Centre will be a parallel repository of data.
- It also proposes for the appointment of Special Sub-Registrars, in the event of disaster, with any or all of his powers and duties for on the spot registration of deaths and issuance of extract thereof.
- The amendments proposed include requiring parents and informants in case of birth and parents, husband or wife in case of death to provide the aadhaar number, if available.
- Where the death occurs in any medical institution, irrespective of ownership, that is providing specialized or general treatment, it shall be mandatory for those institutions to provide a certificate as to the cause of death to the Registrar and a copy to the nearest relative.
Its impact on the National Population Register (NPR)
- If the amendments are implemented, the Centre could use the data to update the National Population Register (NPR), 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 the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
- The NPR is to be updated with fresh questions such as mother tongue, place of birth of father and mother, and the last place of residence along with the first phase of Census 2021.
The Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1969-
The registration of births, deaths and stillbirths are compulsory under the provisions of Registration of Births and Deaths (RBD) Act, 1969, in all parts of the Country.