(TibetanReview.net, Aug10’23) – Birth certificate is set to become a requirement for availing public services and social benefits in India after the Rajya Sabha, the Upper House of parliament, passed the Registration of Births and Deaths (Amendment) Bill, 2023, on Aug 7. It was earlier approved by the Lok Sabha, The Lower House, on Aug 1, and now only requires a notification for its commencement.
The Act provides for the creation of a National and State level database of registered births and deaths which would help in updating other databases, resulting in efficient and transparent delivery of public services and social benefits.
Under the Act, a newly-appointed Registrar General of India will maintain the “database of registered births and deaths” “at the National level” and it shall be obligatory upon the Chief Registrar and the Registrars to share the data of registered births and deaths to such database.
With the prior approval of the Central Government, the information of the national database of registered births and deaths can be made available to other authorities dealing with the preparation or maintenance of database relating to population register, electoral rolls, ration card, driving license, passport, property registration and “such other databases at the National level as may be notified,” noted livelaw.in Aug 8.
The Amendment Act is stated to provide that “notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force”, the death and birth certificate shall be used to prove the date and place of birth of a person who is born on or after the date of commencement of the Registration of Births and Deaths (Amendment) Act, 2023 for the following purposes:
“(a) admission to an educational institution;
(b) issuance of a driving licence;
(c) preparation of a voter list;
(d) registration of a marriage;
(e) appointment to a post in the Central Government or State Government or a local body or public sector undertaking or in any statutory or autonomous body under the Central Government or State Government;
(f) issuance of a passport;
(g) issuance of an Aadhaar number; and
(h) any other purpose as may be determined by the Central Government.”
Speaking for the Bill’s passage in Rajya Sabha, Nityanand Rai, MP, has said, “The Bill will help in better implementation of public welfare schemes.” The records will be digitalized; the database will help in the welfare of the citizens. Besides, the document provided will help in proving the date of birth and death required for various purposes today like employment and admissions, he has added.