From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Civil Registration System (CRS)
Mains level : Total covid related fatality in India
The Civil Registration System (CRS) report 2020 was released at least a month before its schedule.
What is Civil Registration System (CRS)?
- The CRS collates data on all births and deaths registered with local authorities across India.
- The CRS report is released by the Registrar-General of India.
- It releases its report around 18 months after a year ends.
Significance of the 2020 Report
- The 2020 report was released at least a month before schedule.
- Such data can be of significance during a pandemic as possible covid-19 deaths may not have been categorized as such in official records.
- The CRS can help us reach an estimate by using the “excess deaths” approach.
- It is the difference between the total number of deaths registered in a pandemic year and the number of deaths that normally take place in a year.
Why was the data released ahead of schedule?
- India and the WHO are locked in a tussle over the latter’s excess death estimates that would give a sense of pandemic-linked fatalities globally in 2020-21.
- India has reportedly stalled WHO’s efforts to release the data, claiming flawed methodology.
- WHO is set to release its estimates today, a possible reason that India released CRS data early.
Why is India contesting the WHO approach?
- One key objection by India is that WHO has classified it as a Tier 2 country and hence used a different modelling process to estimate excess deaths from that used for Tier 1 countries.
- WHO says all countries that made available their full all-cause mortality data for the pandemic period were classified as Tier 1.
- India is in Tier 2 because it didn’t share official data with WHO.
- Hence, alternative data and modelling methods had to be adopted, adjusting for factors such as income levels, covid-19 reporting rates, and test positivity rates.
What does the 2020 data show?
(a) Covid deaths
- The CRS report for 2020 has recorded deaths of 8.12 million Indians, 6.2% more than 2019.
- Normally, an unusual increase in deaths would be linked to the pandemic. However, in India, not all deaths are registered.
- Thus, a rise could simply be because of more families getting deaths registered.
- The CRS for 2021, which saw more Covid deaths, may not be out until next year.
(b) Improvements in sex ratio
- Highest Sex Ratio at Birth (SRB) based on registered events has been reported by Ladakh (1,104) followed by Arunachal Pradesh (1,011), A&N Islands (984), Tripura (974), and Kerala (969).
- The lowest sex ratio was reported by Manipur (880), followed by Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu (898), Gujarat (909), Haryana (916) and Madhya Pradesh (921).