Bill introduced in LS using Birth Certificate as sole ID for multiple purposes
Bill introduced in LS using Birth Certificate as sole ID for multiple purposes

NEW DELHI: The Lok Sabha presented a new bill on Wednesday, July 26, aiming to simplify administrative processes by allowing the birth certificate to serve as a single document for various purposes. This includes admission to educational institutions, obtaining a driving license, preparing voter lists, registering Aadhaar numbers, documenting marriages, and applying for government jobs.

Named the Registration of Births and Deaths (Amendment) Bill, 2023, this legislation also seeks to establish a comprehensive national and state-level database of registered births and deaths. The primary goal is to ensure more efficient and transparent delivery of public services and social benefits through digital registration.

Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai introduced the bill on behalf of Union Home Minister Amit Shah. He highlighted that the Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1969, had not undergone any amendments since its inception. To keep up with societal changes and technological advancements and to make the act more user-friendly, amendments are now deemed necessary.

After extensive consultations with state governments, the general public, and other stakeholders, the proposed amendments take the form of the Registration of Births and Deaths (Amendment) Bill, 2023. This bill aims to introduce digital registration and electronic issuance of birth and death certificates, benefiting the wider public. By creating a comprehensive database, other systems can be updated, further enhancing the efficiency and transparency of public services and social benefits.

One of the most notable changes brought forth by this legislation is the use of the birth certificate as a single document to establish a person's date and place of birth. This will be applicable for individuals born on or after the commencement of the Registration of Births and Deaths (Amendment) Act, 2023. It will serve various purposes such as admission to educational institutions, obtaining a driving license, preparing voter lists, registering marriages, and applying for posts in government organizations.

Additionally, the bill enables the issuance of passports and Aadhaar numbers, streamlining administrative processes and reducing the need for multiple documents to prove one's date and place of birth in the country.

The bill proposes changing the ordering authority from a first-class magistrate or presidency magistrate to a district magistrate or sub-divisional magistrate or an executive magistrate authorized by the district magistrate. This change applies to cases where there is a delay in reporting a birth or death to the registrar, occurring after one year but within 30 days. The bill also suggests the submission of self-attested documents instead of an affidavit made before a notary public in such cases.

Another significant aspect of the bill is the facilitation of the registration process for various categories of children, including adopted, orphaned, abandoned, surrendered, surrogate, and those with single parents or unwed mothers. It mandates medical institutions to provide certificates stating the cause of death to the registrar and a copy to the nearest relative.

In the event of disasters or epidemics, special ''sub-registrars'' will be appointed to expedite the registration of deaths and issuance of death certificates. The bill also proposes the collection of Aadhaar numbers of parents and informants during birth registration, if available.

Furthermore, the bill aims to address the grievances of the general public arising from actions or orders of the registrar or district registrar. It also seeks to enhance penalties provided in the Act.

During the introduction of the bill, Manish Tewari of the Congress opposed it, citing concerns about legislative competence, right to privacy, and separation of power. Despite the opposition, the bill was introduced through a voice vote and will be considered for debate and passage at a later date.
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