Birth Registration Act Amendments that You Must Know

Managing a gigantic database of birth records of a populous country was no less than an uphill battle before September 2023. The month of October of the very same year became historic when both houses of the parliament accepted the birth certificate as a single proof to obtain all crucial services that the government serves. 

It means that from admission in the school or educational institution to registering a marriage or securing a job would be verified through a single proof, which the birth registration document. 

The question is why this has happened?

Here is the answer.

Birth registration in India

The government of India has drafted an Act called the Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1969. It’s a legislation that governs the flow of registering every single birth or death in the country of India. 

If you consider the central legislation, it would show some more benefits because it covers broad contexts. This can be anticipated through the right of the state government to leverage its right of amending this very Act for serving the purpose of administrative process.

There are certain provisions that mandate creating and following a legal framework that revolves around the following components:

1.Registration Authority

 The act ensures delegating a local authority to follow the procedure of a birth certificate, which is the municipal corporation in cities, with the task of registering every single birth and death within its jurisdiction. In villages, it’s the gram panchayat and paramedical staff that have the authority to register them. 

2.Timeframe for registration

This very act defines the timeline, which is within 21 days from the date of its occurrence. It describes that the birth must be registered within 21 days of its occurrence, and up to 30 days is the maximum limit for registration, with a certain amount as a late fee. After a month or 30 days, the birth cannot be registered without the written permission of the prescribed authority. It means that registering an unregistered birth won’t be easy.

3.Place of Registration

The Act also highlights the place of birth to be entered in the government books. It should actually be the very place where the infant is born. If it’s any hospital or health institution, it will be the person in charge of that place to register. In villages, the gram panchayat or paramedical staff in charge will have this authority. For those who are born in jail, the jail in-charge will sign the document of their birth. If an infant gives birth in a moving vehicle, it would be the place where the vehicle was. Likewise, if one was born in an aircraft or waterway, he or she will have the citizenship of the country where it was passing over at that time.

All in all, it is compulsory to register birth, no matter what the case is.

4.Registration Process

This is typically connected with the procedure for outlining how to register it. Certainly, the birth registration involves information such as the child’s name, sex, date, and place of birth, parents’ names, and other necessary details. The Act has clearly defined it.

5.Responsibility of the Informant

If a child is born and parents fail to register his or her birth because of any reason, the informant, who can be a close relative of the child, is able to get it registered at the nearby municipal corporation.

6.Penalties for non-registration

There is a provision for a penalty in case the birth remains unregistered within the stipulated span. The Act empowers the delegated authority to penalize by imposing a fine for late registration.

7.Issuance of Birth Certificates

Once the parents inform, the concerned authority (which is a registrar or sub-registrar) will issue a birth certificate. This paper will be a legal document that is essential for leveraging multiple benefits via government schemes, such as obtaining an Aadhar card or opening a bank account.

Online Registration

According to the amended Act, the States and Union Territories in India shall be aligned to enter births online. This transformation is introduced to provide convenience and service-accessibility to laymen. The changes were named to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs that reshaped the Registration of Births and Deaths (Amendment) Act by adding a few clauses to meet the need of the hour.  

The notification had the date of the launch of the sub-section (2) of Section 1 of the Registration of Births and Deaths (Amendment) Act, 2023 (20 of 2023) was 1st of October 2023. It was the very date since when the changes came into effect. 

A report confirms that the Registration of Births and Deaths (Amendment) Bill, 2023 became a legislation. The updates were passed in the monsoon session. However, the Rajya Sabha already passed the bill unanimously by using the power of their vote on August 7, whereas the Rajya Sabha did the same on August 1, 2023.

Revived the Births & Deaths Act, 2023

Let’s find out some key areas that are amended in the Act. 

  • Defined Authority to Register

In the amended Act, the Registrar General of India shall have the authority to monitor a national registry of births and deaths. On the state level, there will be state-appointed Chief Registrars and Registrars who shall be obligated to enter that data into the national database. On the other hand, Chief Registrars shall maintain the state-level databases.

Before amendments, certain people were required to report them to the registrar.

For example, the medical officer in charge of the hospital where the birth takes place must provide the document to report it. Now, the Aadhar number of the parents and the informant shall be enclosed. The same rule shall be applicable to cases of birth in a jail, hotel, or lodge while enclosing all details.

  • Adoptive Parents, Unwed Mother to Be Included

There will be a new provision added to the Act, which is to include the particulars of adoptive parents for non-institutional adoption. The details of biological parents for births through surrogacy and the single parent or unwed mother shall be registered in the records.

The amendment allows sharing of the national database, such as population registers, electoral rolls, etc., with delegated authorities. It will require approval by the central government. Likewise, the sharing of state databases shall be subordinate to the state authorities.

  1. Grievance 

The amended Act allows addressing any aggrieved person by order of the Registrar or District Registrar. He or she may raise his or her voice before the district registrar or chief registrar, respectively. But the appeal can be made for a month or 30 days only from the date of the receipt of such action or order. The district registrar or chief registrar must provide their decisions within 90 days from the date of appeal.

Conclusion

The certificate of birth in India shall be the only document required for obtaining a driving license, applying for a government job, and claiming other benefits provided by the government. The amended Act ensures the inclusion of details of unwed or single mothers, surrogacy children with biological parents, and appeals made to concerned authorities.

Author Bio

Manoj Sodhani is an experienced matter expert with years of experience in consulting while working with Services2NRI.  He possesses a comprehensive understanding of documentation like birth certificate, immigration, visa, and property rights. He is known for his meticulous attention to detail, strategic problem-solving skills, and ability to communicate legal concepts effectively. It reflects in his writing about legal matters

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