Birth registration is a crucial process mandated by the Indian Government to secure the rights of every child. It serves as an official, enduring record of a child’s existence and is a fundamental responsibility of parents. Failing to register a birth can jeopardize a child’s access to legal identity, a recognized name, and nationality. The significance of birth registration extends beyond individual rights; it plays a pivotal role in a nation’s development by gathering vital statistical data, including birth and death rates, which are pivotal for effective national planning.
The birth certificate stands as a child’s primary entitlement and serves a multitude of purposes that other documents cannot replicate. Among its key functions are facilitating school admissions, verifying age for employment, marriage, and electoral enrollment, confirming parentage, aiding insurance processes, and inclusion in the National Population Register (NPR).
A 2013 survey conducted by the Civil Registration System, part of India’s Vital Statistics, yielded insightful findings. Birth registration rates improved from 84.5% in 2012 to 85.5% in 2013, reflecting a notable annual enhancement. Male birth registrations accounted for 53%, surpassing female registrations at 47%. Across 28 States or Union Territories, 71.9% of births occurred in institutions. Remarkably, 17 of these regions achieved the cent per cent registration target, with 13 states surpassing a 90% registration rate, including Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, and West Bengal.
Birth registration services are extensively decentralized, encompassing more than 200,000 centers across all states and union territories, with rural areas accounting for 98% and urban areas the remaining 2% of these facilities.
In cases where birth registration is delayed beyond a year, the process can still be completed by submitting an affidavit before a first-class or executive magistrate. Upon verifying the details and their accuracy, the magistrate can authorize the Registrar to record the birth in the official registry.
Even for Indian citizens residing abroad, registering a child’s birth is obligatory if the birth did not occur within India’s borders. This can be achieved by contacting Indian missions abroad, who have the authority to register births even after the one-year deadline stipulated in Section 4 of the Citizenship Act, 1955.
Domestically, birth registration can also be accomplished online through the dedicated birth certificate registration website, which provides all necessary forms and documents for a streamlined process. Birth certificate is required for many things like child admission, bank passbook, Marriage certificate.