There is a possibility that during the winter session of Parliament, a bill will be introduced that allows the Registrar General of India to maintain a birth and death database and use it to update the National Population Register (NPR).
The Ministry of Home Affairs shared it in October last year for public comment and suggestions regarding a draft of the Bill – which will amend the Registration of Births and Deaths (RBD) Act, 1969.
According to the proposed Bill, this information will also be used for updating electoral rolls, the Aadhar database, ration cards, passports, and driver’s licenses.
It is proposed that Section 3 of the RBD Act be amended by inserting a Section 3A, which states as follows: “The Registrar General, India, shall maintain a database of registered births and deaths at the national level, which may be used to update the population register prepared under the Citizenship Act, 1955, with the approval of the Central Government.”; The Representation of People Act, 1951, provides for the preparation of electoral registers and electoral rolls, as well as Aadhaar databases, Aadhaar databases, Ration Card databases, National Food Security Act databases, Passport databases, and driving licence databases, which are provided under the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019 as well as other national databases, governed by section 17 (1) of the RBD Act, 1969.
In order to achieve this objective, the draft Bill also includes an amendment to Section 4 that allows the Chief Registrar to take steps to create a unified database of civil registration records at the state level, which can then be integrated with the national database maintained by the Registrar General of India.
As part of the amendments proposed by the government, Section 8 will be amended to require citizens and house heads to provide information regarding births and deaths. In an insertion, it was stated that those responsible would also need to provide “the Aadhaar number, if available, of parents and informant when a child is born, and the Aadhaar number, if available, of the deceased, parents, husband or wife and informant when a child is deceased.”.
Additionally, the draft Bill has been amended to facilitate “non-institutional adoption”, “child born to an unmarried mother from her womb” and “orphan, abandoned, or surrendered child in a child care institution”. The term “oldest male” in the house has also been amended in order to provide information about births and deaths to the “oldest person” in the household.
The government has proposed that these certificates be used to prove the date and place of birth of persons born on or after the date of the amendment through an insertion in Section 17, relating to searching the births and death records and submitting these certificates as evidence of births and deaths; A driving license is issued, a voter list is compiled, marriages are registered, appointments are made to Central Governments, State Governments, Local Bodies, Public Sector Undertakings, Statutory Bodies, Autonomous Bodies under Central and State Governments, passports are issued and other cases are prescribed by the rules.
By amending Section 23, the government proposes to impose a fine of Rs 1,000 per birth or death on an individual or institution who fails to provide information. Previously, there was only a charge of Rs 50.
The proposed amendment to Section 12 stipulates that birth and death certificates must be issued within one week of the date the concerned authority receives the relevant information.
Furthermore, the draft proposal requires medical institutions to issue “a certificate stating the cause of death to the Registrar and a copy to the nearest relative in the form prescribed”.
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