Birth certificates with digital signatures are now available instantly at all ‘meeseva' centres provided the births have been registered in the official municipal records from 2007 to 2012. But, the same facility is not available at any of the Citizen Service Centres (CSCs) of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC)!

It was only last month that the CSCs were given the facility to accept applications for birth/death certificates along with the ‘meeseva' centres and also issue them.

Birth certificates with normal ink signatures can be obtained from these centres after an interval of three days from the time of applying.

Yet, for some strange reason the option of downloading and printing birth certificates with digital signatures so that they can be issued within minutes has not been given to CSCs.

Senior officials informed that obtaining any certificates involving certificates with digital signatures need to have separate pacts with APonline. ‘meeseva' has such an understanding while the Municipal Corporation has not done it.

This defeats the very purpose of opening up CSCs for accepting birth/death certificates. There were complaints of delays at ‘meeseva' centres due to the courier issues and also because of long queues as these offices issue other certificates pertaining to different government departments.

Another debatable issue is the fee being charged for digitally signed certificates. The fee per certificate costs Rs.42 for the first copy and Rs.22 for the second copy.

Comparatively, it costs just Rs.50 for the same certificate with the ink signature, including the Rs.15 as ‘meeseva' charges and Rs.15 for courier service. These ‘ink' signed certificates can be taken from CSCs for Rs.20 only minus any kind of service charges.

Senior officials explained that the cost of the digitally signed certificates was decided by ‘meeseva' authorities.

The civic body has also verified and computerised all – 12 lakh birth/death registration records from 2007 till date.

Exercise is on to computerise the data till the year 2000 expected to be about 10 lakh registrations and another seven lakh registrations between 1995-2000. Most of the requests for certificates are pertaining to this period though manual records are available from 1957.

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