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Problems Related to Issuance of Birth Certificate

Problems Related to Issuance of Birth Certificate, naya haryana, नया हरियाणा

23rd September 2014

Naya Haryana

Birth certificate is an extremely important document that forms a crucial part of one's identity verification instrument and is accessed at several crucial points in one's lifetime. Therefore, it is essential for every citizen to have his or her birth certificate issued and retained safely.


The process of recording the birth of an individual started as an informal process sometime in the 19th century and since then, every state has followed its own system of collecting and recording the data. This process carried on till 1969 when a new law was introduced to record births and deaths of all Indian citizens. The Registration of Births and Deaths (RBD) Act 1969, replaced all other laws with a universal legislation.

The National Authority for Civil Registration is under the purview of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. The authority was given the responsibility for implementing the Civil Registration System (CRS) in all states, in cooperation with local state governments.

So how did the CRS impact Haryana?

In Haryana, during the initial phase after its formation and right up to 2005, the responsibility of issuing birth and death certificates lay with the local Police stations. 175 Police Stations in Haryana were entrusted to collect the data and issue the birth and death certificates. The local SHO was the Registrar who issued the certificates.

The problem was that the process of getting the relevant information of a birth took some time for it to reach the local SHO, who then had to verify the same before releasing the birth certificate. By this time, the mother and child would be discharged from the hospital. In many cases, the parents would not return to the police station to collect the certificate.

The hesitation of parents to come forward to collect the certificates was on account of corruption at the police station level, as also, the lack of understanding of the importance and use of the birth certificate during the child's lifetime.

As a result, Haryana recorded a steady 70% birth rate till around 2004. This unfortunately did not give a true representation of the population census and the prevailing sex ratio.

To improve the implementation of the RBD Act, from Jan 01, 2005, the Haryana government decided to shift the responsibility of recording the births and deaths, from the police station to the Public Health Centres (PHC). The medical superintendent was given the responsibility of serving as the Registrar. This move dramatically improved the collection and recording process of birth and death in Haryana. From 175 police stations, the collection of data points rose to well over 413 by 2009.

The birth rate recorded, climbed from 70% to 95% in 2009 and similarly, the deaths recorded also increased from the earlier 73.5% to 92.1% by 2009. The positive fallout of this was that the state and central government now had block and district wise sex ratios, which were not available earlier. This helped improve the government policies and to check the imbalances. Furthermore, the system of recording and issuance of birth and death certificates has gone online and now the people can get either certificate easily through online application.

Problems related to issuance of birth and death certificates

Corruption related

Till 2005, people faced a lot of harassment in getting the birth or death certificate issued. It was widely understood that a lot of money had to be paid, besides making several trips to the local police station. It was only after much harassment, that a certificate got issued.

With the shifting of the CRS responsibility from the police to the PHCs, the system had improved dramatically. However, despite being introduced in 2005, the state administration has not succeeded in fully implementing the CRS across the state.

This along with the fact that there is still money being demanded by corrupt staff who exploit the ignorance of the people regarding the paperwork and related fees. Just recently in May this year, a PHC worker was arrested for demanding Rs 3,000 for releasing a certificate, which is issued free of cost by the state government!

Failure of the state government to create awareness of the facilities of issuance of birth and death certificate

The state government has clearly failed on its part to educate people regarding the need for receiving the birth or death certificate and the future implications of having or not having the same.

For example, the people are not aware that the certificates are essential in school admissions, passport, during property transactions, inheritance, etc. Also, most people are unaware of the fact that the Birth certificate is issued free of cost and only subsequent duplicate copies are chargeable at the rate of Rs 5/- each. Due to the failure of the government in creating adequate awareness amongst its citizens, people still end up getting exploited.

Most people are totally unaware of the necessary documents that are required to be presented for issuance of the birth certificate. These native people depend on locals and junior staff at PHCs to guide them and end up being exploited.

Very few in the villages are aware of the online facility available for getting the respective certificates issued. The problem is further compounded by the fact that there are internet connectivity issues at the village level and availability of power itself is a major challenge. These are actual logistic problems that the people face which result in conditions being created for other people to exploit and extract money.

Technology not being used to ease the process

The state government has been slow to adopt technology as it evolves. It is still struggling with taking the online facility to the people due to challenges faced in availability and connectivity at the last mile level.

Today, with mobile being widely carried by most citizens and connectivity not being as much of a problem, the state government should have introduced mobile access and registration apps by now. This has not happened as the Hooda government is yet to wake up to the latest developments in technology.

Same is true with social media. This platform can be effectively used to educate, inform and connect with people but here again, there is a complete lack of knowledge, will and initiative on part of the government.

And till the state government wakes up to the technology, the people will continue to remain unaware of the facilities and ease of getting the birth and death certificates issued, and continue to be exploited by unscrupulous persons.

Time for a new and modern Haryana

It is time that Haryana emerged from the shadows of obsolescence and adopted technology to make life of its citizens better, with more efficient delivery of services. The people are now enthused by the new development initiatives being undertaken by the BJP at the center and are now looking forward to same happening in Haryana. It's time for a Nayi Soch.

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