Citizenship and Related Issues

Birth Certificate to be made mandatory for jobs, driving licence, passport, voting right

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From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : NPR, NRC

Mains level : Read the attached story

The Central government proposes to make birth certificates a mandatory document for almost every sphere of life — admission in educational institutions, inclusion in the voter list, appointment in Central and State government jobs, issue of driving licence and passport.

Why in news?

  • These changes are proposed in the draft Bill to amend the Registration of Birth and Death (RBD) Act, 1969.

Registration of Births and Deaths Act (RBD), 1969

  • The registration of births, deaths and stillbirths are compulsory under the provisions of RBD Act in all parts of the Country.
  • The normal period of 21 days (from the date of occurrence) has been prescribed for reporting the birth, death and stillbirth events.
  • Registration of birth and death is already compulsory under the RBD Act, 1969 and violating it is a punishable offence.

Why need amendment?

  • The database may be used to update the Population Register and the electoral register, and Aadhaar, ration card, passport and driving licence databases after the amendment.
  • Presently, the registration of births and deaths is done by the local registrar appointed by States.

What are the proposed amendments?

Ans. Unified Database of Birth and Death

  • It is proposed that the Chief Registrar (appointed by the States) would maintain a unified database at the State level.
  • It would then 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.
  • It shall be mandatory for hospitals and medical institutions to provide a copy of all death certificates, stating the cause of death, to the local registrar apart from the relative of the deceased.

Significance of the database

  • It would help update:
  1. Population Register prepared under the Citizenship Act, 1955;
  2. Electoral registers or electoral rolls prepared under the Representation of the People Act, 1951
  3. Aadhaar database prepared under the Aadhaar Act, 2016;
  4. Ration card database prepared under the National Food Security Act, 2013;
  5. Passport database prepared under the Passport Act; and
  6. Driving licence database under the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019, and
  7. Other databases at the national level are subject to provisons of Section 17 (1) of the RBD Act, 1969

What are the newly proposed changes?

  • The centrally-stored birth/death data will be updated in real-time without any human interface required.
  • This would lead to addition and deletion from the electoral roll when an individual turns 18, and after death, respectively.

Why such move?

  • The government intends to improve compliance by making the registration mandatory to avail basic services such as admission in schools and registration of marriages.
  • Provisions exist for compulsory registration of births and deaths but after the law is amended, it will be

 

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