Birth registration is a permanent and official record of a child’s existence. The child who is not registered at birth is in danger of being denied the right to an official identity, a recognised name and a nationality. Registration is also a vital tool for a nation’s development because the process of registration means collection of data on vital statistics (number of births & deaths). It is an essential element of national planning for children since it provides a demographic base.
Benefits of registration
The birth certificate is the first right of the child andit is the first step towards establishing its identity. The followingcompulsory uses of birth and death certificates are emerged:
- For admission to schools
- As proof of age for employment.
- For proof of age at marriage.
- To establish parentage.
- To establish age for purpose of enrollment in Electoral Rolls.
- To establish age for insurance purposes.
- For registering in National Population Register (NPR).
Birth registration status in India
According to the ‘Vital Statistics of India based on the Civil Registration System’ for 2013, the status is as follows
- The level of reporting is 95.6% at National level during 2013. Such reporting level by rural and urban registration units are about 95.5% and 98.0% respectively.
- The level of registration of births has increased from 84.5 per cent in 2012 to 85.5 per cent in 2013.
- The share of male birth registration is 53% which is more than female birth registration of 47%.
- Based on information received from 28 States/UTs, share of institutional births to total registered births is 71.9%.
- 17 States/UTs have achieved the target of cent per cent level of registration.
- 13 among 20 major States have crossed 90 percent level of registration of births. These are Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and West Bengal.
Registration services are decentralised spreading across all States and union territories with more than 200,000 registration centres. 98% of these centres are in the rural areas and about 2% are in urban areas.
The Registrar General, India is the central authority for unifying and coordinating the registration work in the country and at the state level, each State has a Chief Registrar of Births and Deaths who has the overall responsibility of coordinating, unifying and supervising the work of registration. The local registration centres are managed by Registrars and Sub-Registrar of Births and Deaths who are the grass-root level.
What a citizen need to do for birth registration?
When to register
- The birth has to be registered with the concerned local authorities within 21 days of its occurrence, by filling up the form prescribed by the Registrar. Birth Certificate is then issued after verification with the actual records of the concerned hospital.
- In case the birth has not been registered within the specified time of its occurrence, the certificate is issued after due police verification ordered by the revenue authorities.
- If Birth Registration is not done within the specified period, then registration can be done within one year by paying a nominal late fee.
- If Registration has not been done within one year; the registration can be made any time by submitting the affidavit before first class magistrate or executive magistrate. The magistrate verifies the details of affidavit and if found satisfactory, issues the order to Registrar to enter the entries of birth in birth register. The format of affidavit is available at the Registrar office and also with a notary. In this process Registrar will ask to deposit the late fee amount in his office. A self attested copy of Matriculation certificate, Aadhar card, PAN card if attached with the affidavit will help in easy completion of the process.
Whom to contact
- Rural Areas - The following Officials have been appointed as Registrar of Births
- Panchayat Secretaries/Karmi/Gram Sevak, Gram Vikasadhikari in 16 States and 3 UTs.(Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh(CEO JanpadPanchyat), Goa, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh(CEO JanpadPanchyat), Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tripura, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, West Bengal (Sub Registrar) Daman & Diu, D & N Haveli and Puducherry.)
- Medical Officer In-charge or equivalent in 8 States and 4 UTs– (Assam, Haryana, Meghalaya, Orissa, Punjab, Sikkim, Manipur (Partly),West Bengal(2nd Medical Officerattached to BPHC/ Rural Hospitals),A & N Island, Chandigarh UT, Delhi andLakshadweep)
- Village Accountants / Village Administrative Officers in 2 States - Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
- SHO/Police Officials in Jammu & Kashmir.
- Primary School Teachers and Head Teacher Primary School in Mizoram and Nagaland respectively. (vi) Circle Officer/Village Level Workers in Arunachal Pradesh.
- Registration centres/ units in Government Hospitals - In addition to that registration centers/ units have also been opened in major Government hospitals, CHC’s/ PHC’s in majority of the State. Birth and death event that occurred in that institutions are registered there and certificate of birth is issued by the Medical officer in charge or equivalent who has been declared as Registrar or Sub Registrar of births and deaths. The events which occurred in private hospital and those hospitals where registration units have not opened will be reported to the concerned Registrar of that area where the hospital exists. Such event will be reported by the institution concerned.
- Urban Areas: The Municipal Health Officer, Health officer or Equivalent Officers are appointed as Registrar of births and deaths. The Medical Officer in charge or equivalent of the District Hospital, Referral Hospital and other Government Hospitals has also declared Registrar of births and deaths for registration and issuance of birth/ death certificate for those events which occurred in their premises.
Who can register the birth of a child
- When birth has taken place in a house - Head of the house or nearest relative of the head of the House or oldest person in the family can register the birth of a child
- When the Birth has taken place outside the house
- When birth took place in a Sadar Hospital/Sub-Divisional Hospital/Medical College Hospital/Referral Hospital - Deputy Superintendent of the hospitals and officers In-charge of referral hospital and PHCs.
- In Maternity Home and other like Institution: Medical officer In-charge
- In a Jail: Jail In-charge
- In a Dharmshala, Boarding House etc: Person In-charge
- In a Moving Vehicle: Person In-charge of the Vehicle
- Found deserted in a public place: Headman of the Village/In-charge of the local police station
How to apply for a birth certificate
- Get a birth Certificate Registration Form from the concerned registrar's office. When a child is born in a hospital, the form is provided by the Medical Officer Incharge.
- Fill in the form and submit to the Registrar. Documents such as Birth report provided by the hospital where the birth tool place and Identity proofs of the parents are required.
- Once the verification of the birth records (date, time, place of birth, parent's ID proof, nursing home etc.) is done by the registrar, birth certificate is issued to the applicant.
- Under the provision of Section 14 of the Act, a birth certificate can be obtained without the name of the child. In such cases, the name can be entered by the concerned registration authority without any charge within 12 months and by charging the prescribed fee up to 15 years (from the date of registration).
Rules for Indians living abroad
- Indians who live abroad can contact the Indian missions abroad to register the birth of children any time.
- The Home Ministry has issued an order delegating powers to the heads of Indian missions abroad for registering the birth of children even after expiry of one year under Section 4 of the Citizenship Act, 1955.
- ‘Vital Statistics of India based on the Civil Registration System’ for 2013