Explained: Civil Registration System shows uptick in birth, death registrations; all you need to know

·7 min read

Data recently released by the Census Department of India shows that the birth and death registration with the Civil Registration System (CRS) in India went up considerably in 2019. The level of registration of births has increased to 92.7 percent in 2019 from 82.4 percent in 2011, likewise the level of registration of deaths has increased from 66.4 percent in 2011 to 92.0 percent in 2019.

Many states, however, are still lagging behind in terms of reporting the data and encouraging citizens to register their details with CRS.

Only nine states have achieved the milestone of having registered 90 percent and more births and deaths that take place. These are Telangana, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Kerala, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Haryana and Andhra Pradesh.

What is CRS?

It is the process of continuous, permanent, compulsory and universal recording of births and deaths in the country. The Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1969 (Act No. 18 of 1969) provides for the compulsory registration of births and deaths.

Why is CRS data vital?

Countries need to know how many people are born and die each year €" and the main causes of their deaths €" in order to have well-functioning health systems. The only way to track every citizen is through civil registration. Civil registration provides the basis for the individual legal identity of a citizen and helps the government give them access to their rights as a citizen, including entitlements to social security benefits if any.

For the government, the requirement of a complete CRS system is a must as the data generated through a complete and up-to-date CRS is essential for socio-economic planning and evaluating the effectiveness of various social sector programs. At the national level, the vital statistics data generated through Civil Registration is also quite useful for medical research and in the study of sex ratio, mortality and morbidity rates and also in the study of causes of deaths.

The Annual Report on Vital Statistics of India based on the Civil Registration System for 2019 has been brought out on the basis of reports provided by the Chief Registrar of Births and Deaths of respective States/Union Territories. The main features of the Annual Report are summarized below:

Birth registration

According to the report, at least 14 states have achieved 100 percent registration of births and at least 15 states have over 90 percent rate of registration. But 10 states €" Chhattisgarh, Tripura, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Kerala, Manipur, Assam, Jammu & Kashmir, Uttar Prdaesh and Uttarakhand €" are in the category of 50 to 80 percent in registering births within the stipulated time period of 21 days. Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland registered less than 50 percent births within the time limit of 21 days.

€¢ Based on information received from 32 States/UTs, share of institutional births to total registered births is 81.2 percent.

€¢ The level of registration of births has increased to 92.7 percent in 2019 from 82.4 percent in 2011

€¢ 14 States/UTs have achieved the cent percent level of registration of births

€¢ 10 out of 20 major States have crossed 90 percent level of registration of births. These are Assam, Kerala, Telangana, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Haryana, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

€¢ The number of registered births has increased to 2.48 crore in 2019 from 2.33 crores in 2018.

€¢ Out of the total registered births, the share of male and female are 52.1 percent and 47.9 percent respectively.

€¢ In case of registration of births within the prescribed time period of 21 days, the 15 States/UTs namely Lakshadweep, Puducherry, Chandigarh, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, D & N Haveli, Mizoram, Punjab, A & N Islands, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Daman & Diu, Odisha, Goa and West Bengal have achieved more than 90 percent registration of births to the total births registered.

€¢ The three States i.e. Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Kerala have achieved 80 to 90 percent registration of births within 21 days.

€¢ Further, 10 States viz. Rajasthan, Tripura, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Meghalaya, Jammu & Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Assam and Manipur are in the category of 50 to 80 percent in registering within the stipulated time period of 21 days and remaining 3 States namely Uttarakhand, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland are under the category of less than 50 percent in completing the birth registration within time limit of 21 days.

Sex Ratio

The Sex Ratio (Number of females per thousand males) at birth is an important indicator to map the sex differential of the population. The World Health Organisation estimates that the natural sex ratio at birth is about 952 females to every 1,000 males.

In a huge improvement from the previous census, none of the State/UT has recorded Sex ratio at birth below 901 but only six states had SRB higher than that number, namely.

However, some states did report a decline as compared to the 2018 and 2017 numbers. Arunachal Pradesh had the highest ratio of 1,024 €" though this was a steep fall from 1,047 in 2017 €" followed by Nagaland and Mizoram, which recorded 1,001 and 975 respectively, a significant improvement from 948 and 964 in 2017. In Kerala, though the SRB was still a high 960, it has worsened from 965 in 2017. Similarly, in Himachal Pradesh, it has been steadily worsening and is now 918.

Punjab and Chandigarh, notorious for sex-selective abortions, showed significant improvement as did Odisha, where it went up from 930 to 947.

The lowest SRB was reported by Gujarat (901), Assam (903) and Madhya Pradesh (905), followed by Jammu & Kashmir (909)

€¢ Highest Sex Ratio at Birth (SRB) based on Registered events has been reported by Arunachal Pradesh (1024), followed by Nagaland (1001) Mizoram (975) and A & N Islands (965).

€¢ Lowest SRB has been reported by Gujarat (901), Assam (903), Madhya Pradesh (905) followed by Jammu & Kashmir (909).

Death Registration

As per the report, 19 states have achieved a cent percent registration rate while 11 states have achieved more than 90 percent registration of deaths to the total deaths registered. Seven states have registered 80 to 90 percent deaths in CRS within the stipulated time period while 10 states have numbers below 90 percent.

€¢ The number of registered deaths has increased from 69.5 lakhs in 2018 to 76.4 lakhs in 2019.

€¢ Out of the total registered deaths, the share of male and female are 59.6 percent and 40.4 percent respectively.

€¢ Based on the information provided from 31 States/UTs, the share of Institutional deaths in total registered deaths is 32.1 percent.

€¢ In case of registration of deaths within the prescribed time period of 21 days, the 11 States/UTs namely Punjab, Mizoram, Chandigarh, Puducherry, D & N Haveli, Himachal Pradesh, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Lakshadweep and Daman & Diu have achieved more than 90% registration of deaths to the total deaths registered.

€¢ The 7 States/UTs i.e. Odisha, Goa, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Meghalaya, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Telangana have achieved 80 to 90 percent registration of deaths within 21 days.

€¢ Further, 10 States viz. Chhattisgarh, Tripura, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Kerala, Manipur, Assam, Jammu & Kashmir, Uttar Prdaesh and Uttarakhand are in the category of 50 to 80 percent in registering within the stipulated time period of 21 days and remaining 2 States namely Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland are under the category of less than 50 percent in completing the birth registration within time limit of 21 days.

€¢ The level of registration of deaths has increased from 66.4 percent in 2011 to 92.0 percent in 2019

€¢ 19 States/UTs namely Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Mizoram, Odisha, Punjab, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, West Bengal, A& N Islands, Chandigarh, D & N Haveli, Delhi and Puducherry have achieved cent percent level of registration of deaths.

€¢ 13 among 20 major States namely Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Telangana and Uttarakhand have crossed the level of registration of deaths of 90 percent.

€¢ Taking together the level of birth and death registration having 90 percent and more in both among major States, only 9 States have achieved the milestone namely, Telangana, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Kerala, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Haryana and Andhra Pradesh.

€¢ In the case of registration of infant deaths, the share of the urban area is 75.5 percent compared to rural with only 24.5 percent.

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