On December 29, The Indian Express reported that at least four municipalities — Malegaon in Maharashtra, Kolkata in West Bengal, and Surat and Modasa in Gujarat — have reported a rise in the applications for birth certificates.
While the Malegaon Municipal Corporation received roughly 2,000 applications in August this year, the figure shot up to 12,000 in September, 12,500 in October and 12,800 in November. As of December 26, the municipal corporation has received over 13,000 applications.
Registration of births and deaths in India
In 1886, a Central Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act was rolled out for voluntary registration under the British rule. After Independence, under the Civil Registration System (CRS) of India, the registration of births and deaths became mandatory, and is carried out under the provisions of the Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1969, to promote uniformity and comparability.
What is the procedure for obtaining a birth certificate in India?
According to the Registration of Births and Deaths Act of 1969, the “normal period” for applying for a birth certificate is within 21 days of a child being born. The birth has to be registered with the local authorities concerned, after which a birth certificate is issued.
For instance, in Delhi, the “local authorities concerned” would be the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, the North Delhi Municipal Corporation or the Delhi Cantonment Board. In the state of Assam, the authority is the Joint Director, Health Services, of any district.
Under the Delayed Registration provisions prescribed under Section 13 of the Act, births can be registered after the expiration of the normal period. Within the 21-day period, no fee is charged. If a birth is registered after 21 days but within a month, a late fee is charged.
Beyond 30 days but within a year, a birth is registered with the written permission of the prescribed authority and on payment of a fee. Along with this, an affidavit made by a notary or an authorised officer of the state government needs to be produced.
Beyond one year, a birth can be registered only on an order made by the magistrate of the first class or a Presidency Magistrate after the correctness of the birth has been verified.
Birth certificates can also be issued without entering the name of the child, in which case the name can be entered without charge within 12 months and for a period of up to 15 years on payment of a late fee.
For children born outside India, their birth is registered under the provisions of the Citizenship Act 1955 and Citizens (Registration at Indian consulates) Rules, 1956 at the Indian Missions. However, if the parents of the child return to India to settle, the birth can be registered within 60 days from the date of arrival of the child to India, after which the delayed registration provisions are applicable.
What are the documents required?
Some of the documents required to get a birth certificate include an application made on a plain paper, proof of birth of the person whom the certificate is being applied for, an affidavit that specifies the name, place, date and time of birth, copy of ration card and a school leaving certificate, if any, that shows the date of birth. In the absence of a school leaving certificate, police verification is required.
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