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Made in Chennai, downloaded worldwide

Aloysius Xavier Lopez
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US-based NRIs form majority that obtain birth/death certificates from Corporation

Non-resident Indians (NRIs) in the United States are the most prolific when it comes to obtaining certificates for births/deaths recorded in Chennai.

As many as 41,300 birth certificates have been downloaded in the US, from the Chennai Corporation’s website, since September 2008.

The Corporation simplified the process of issuing birth and death certificates in 2008 by enabling downloading of the documents free of cost from any corner of the world. The number of death certificates downloaded in the US is 8,350 during the same period.

The number of NRIs availing the service has been increasing every year, an official said. Singapore has downloaded the most number of birth (14,000) and death (2,190) certificates among Asian countries.

The European country with the most downloads is the United Kingdom. As many as 6,820 NRIs in the UK have downloaded Chennai Corporation’s birth certificates and 1,130 have downloaded death certificates. Among the Gulf countries, a large number of persons from the United Arab Emirates have downloaded birth (353) and death (52) certificates.

Births and deaths have been registered, and certificates issued, in all zonal offices by birth and death registrars since January 1991. Computerised birth and death certificates too are issued in the zonal offices.

Those born in the city between 1879 and 1990, however, can get these documents issued only at Ripon Buildings. More than 1.1 lakh births and about 39,000 deaths are registered in the Chennai Corporation every year.

The civic body issues a copy of the birth or death certificate free of cost if the event is registered within 21 days of its occurrence. A late fee is collected from those who fail to register before 21 days.

Beyond 30 days, the order of the Corporation commissioner is required, in addition to the late fee, for registration of birth. If it is delayed beyond a year, the birth is registered based on orders from a judicial or metropolitan magistrate alone.

In such cases, applicants have to spend more than Rs. 2,000 for a certificate because of the legal processes involved.

Efforts are underway to improve recording of births and deaths by creating awareness on timely registration among residents.

Birth and death certificates can be obtained fromhttp://www.chennaicorporation. gov.in/online-civic-services/ birthanddeath.htm.

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