Centre wants to keep birth, death database

Keen to be parallel repository of data, along with States

October 28, 2021 01:06 am | Updated 09:30 am IST - New Delhi

The Centre has proposed amendments to a 1969 law that will enable it to “maintain the database of registered birth and deaths at the national level”. Representational image.

The Centre has proposed amendments to a 1969 law that will enable it to “maintain the database of registered birth and deaths at the national level”. Representational image.

The Centre has proposed amendments to a 1969 law that will enable it to “maintain the database of registered birth and deaths at the national level”.

The database may be used to update the Population Register and the electoral register, and Aadhaar, ration card, passport and driving licence databases, says the proposed amendment to the Registration of Births and Deaths Act (RBD), 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.

The database may be used to update the Population Register and the electoral register, and Aadhaar, ration card, passport and driving licence databases, says the proposed amendment to the Registration of Births and Deaths Act (RBD), 1969.

A new Section 3 A 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 proviso of Section 17 (1) of the RBD Act, 1969.”

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).

Rule 4(1) of the Citizenship Rules, 2003, says that the Central government shall, “for the purpose of the NRC, cause to carry throughout the country a house-to-house enumeration for collection of specified particulars relating to each family and individual, residing in a local area, including the citizenship status.”

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, postponed indefinitely due to COVID-19.

Another proposed change is 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, as may be prescribed.”

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