The amendment to the Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1969, was approved by the Lok Sabha in today’s session.

The change makes a birth certificate a necessary document for an Indian citizen for admission to an educational institution, issuance of driving licence, preparation of voter list, Aadhaar number, registration of marriage or appointment to a government job.

However, the amendment had been the cause of much concern and questioning regarding privacy and surveillance issues.

Another amendment also mandates the Aadhaar to be used for getting certain certificates as well as registering births and deaths. The mandating of these two documents for such things is reported to be quite difficult for the poor and economically struggling groups along with others.

What Was The Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1969?

The current Registration of Births and Deaths (RBD) Act of 1969 along with State Rules framed using the Model Rules, 1999 oversees the documentation of births and deaths in the country and lists out how to go about the registering process.

As per the official website the Act was meant “to promote uniformity and comparability in the registration of Births and Deaths across the country.” All births, stillbirths, and deaths should be registered in 21 days from the date, and violating it is punishable office with a fine of Rs. 5.

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What Are The Amendments In The RBD Act?

Looking to modernise the process, one of the amendments proposed was to make Aadhaar mandatory when tracking new births and deaths in any family along with building national and state-level databases of birth and death.

This singular database will then also be used to update several other government databases like National Population Register, voter rolls, and the databases of ration card, passport, driving licence and Aadhaar. Reports claim that this amendment could in a sense lead to tracking of every Indian citizen from birth to death.

This amended bill will now be creating a national database of registered births and deaths handled by the Registrar General with state-level Chief Registrars and local-level Registrars sharing their data with the national database.

This database will then be used to update the National Population Register (NPR), further leading to the creation of the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

However, according to reports concerns are rising on how a simple and basic administrative exercise could potentially be turned into a way to control the population and misused against citizens. The merging of several databases into one has also people questioning how safe that would be considering today’s age of frequent cyberattacks.

The Bill amendment also requires States to compulsorily share real-time data with the Registrar General of India (RGI) instead of the previous annual statistical report.

This will be done by the RGI being given access to the Application Programming Interface and as per The Hindu report “central data reservoir will be updated in real-time, without any human interface and independent of location. For instance, an individual will be automatically added to the electoral roll when they turn 18, and removed after their death.”

Image Credits: Google Images

Feature Image designed by Saudamini Seth

Sources: NDTV, The Hindu, CNBC TV-18

Find the blogger: @chirali_08

This post is tagged under: Aadhaar, Aadhaar india, Aadhaar compulsory, Registration of Births and Deaths Act, Registration of Births and Deaths Act amendment, Aadhaar linking, Aadhaar number, birth certificate, death certificate

Disclaimer: We do not hold any right, copyright over any of the images used, these have been taken from Google. In case of credits or removal, the owner may kindly mail us.

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