Birth registration, as UN defines it, is a continuous, permanent and universal recording, within the civil registry, of the occurrence and characteristics of births in accordance with the legal requirements of a country. Issuance of Birth Certificate, which is a vital record that documents a person’s birth, normally follows birth registration. The right to be registered is every new born child’s birth right as per the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and other international conventions, since this is an essential part of the right to a name and nationality, as enshrined therein. Birth certificate serves primarily as an indicator of age and also serves as a tool for statistics, which is important for policy formulation. This article unfolds the process of checking Birth Certificates online.
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The Legal Mechanism in India
Births are registered under the Registration of Births and Deaths Act (RBD Act), 1969, which was enforced in most parts of the country in 1970. The Act provides a uniform law for compulsory registration of births and deaths across the country. However, keeping in view the diversity of the country, it allows State Governments to formulate rules for its implementation and appointment of various functionaries. The implementation of the law is the responsibility of the State Governments. Lack of awareness is a bottleneck when it comes to ensuring registration; nonetheless, the government has been initiating schemes and targets to achieve cent per cent registration. In order to get Indian citizenship for a child born to Indian parent(s) in a foreign country, the birth of the child is to be registered at the nearest Indian Embassy/Consulate.
Consult: Top Family Lawyers in India
Process of Application
On the local level authorities have been entrusted with the duty of registering births and deaths. The process begins with collection of a registration form from the Registrar’s office; if the child is born at a hospital, the form is provided by the medical officer in charge. The form has to be filed within 21 days along with a fee of 20 INR, if you are registering within the specified time; post expiration of the said time, the registration will only be done after police verification and the payment of late fees. The birth certificate will be ready within around 7 days to three weeks post application. The documents required for the application are parents’ birth certificates, parents’ marriage certificate, proof of birth and the identity proof of parents.
Albeit e-governance initiatives have brought digitalisation to the registration of births and issue of Birth Certificate, the system remains sluggish with very few metropolitan cities able to avail this facility. Hence, before proceeding to register births online you have to check if the facility is available in your city on at crsorgi.gov.in. Sign up on the website with personal details and if the Registration portal is active, then the provision is available in your city. If so, then proceed to register, print out the form and get it attested by either the registrar or the sub registrar.
Local Self-Government Department
The mechanism for checking Birth Certificates online is facilitated by the e-governance initiative of the department of local self-government. Local self-governing institutions like Panchayats, Municipalities and Corporations deal with matters with chiefly and take that seriously of local concerns, such as health, sanitation, water supply, primary education, construction and maintenance of local roads, street lighting, drainage, disposal of sewage, upkeep of parks and gardens, establishment of libraries and reading rooms, and other such activities. Local self-government aims at empowering democracy at the grass roots level and with the emergence of the digital landscape, these services too have been incorporated by the department as part of e-governance.
Checking Birth Certificate Online
Local Self-Government Department websites of your respective locality could be searched online. These websites have portals to check birth certificates online. Since I belong to Kerala, the respective website in my state would be https://cr.lsgkerala.gov.in; similar websites exist for other states as well. Alternatively, you could visit the National Government Service Portal and get the link to your respective local self-government website.
Finding your Birth Certificate from the website is the next step. When you reach your local self-government website, find the link to find Birth Certificates and enter the relevant details on at least the mandatory fields and search. If the Birth Certificate is registered online, you can easily access the Birth Certificate. The details needed are name, date of birth, mother’s name and gender. Nonetheless, details of birth certificates that are registered and recorded in writing will not be available in these sites unless that are digitised and ported in the electronic register as qualified records after verification of the local body officials.
This feature enables you to find, access, view, verify or even download and print your Birth Certificates following the process mentioned above. While looking up your Birth Certificate online, you could verify the respective details and find your Birth Certificate number if required. This service could be accessed free of cost. You can even check your Father’s name, registered as birth parent at the time of issue of the certificate; entering Mother’s name at the time of query is, nonetheless, a mandatory field that has to be filled.
It could be observed that the E-governance initiatives of the government have eventually expanded to different government services, unlocking an unprecedented proportion of access, transparency and operation sans logistical hassles. This feature put into play by the e-governance initiative of the local self-government department has enabled us to check Birth Certificates online and access the same for different purposes. As per government of Kerala order from 2012, online birth certificates are permitted as valid for all governmental purposes; similar orders could have been enacted by the respective State Governments of other states as well.
Written by: Jesse Jacob V
National University of Advanced Legal Studies, Kochi (3rd Year)