• The Registration of Births and Deaths, Act was placed on the statute book in 1969 with the aim to collect and compile vital statistics which is necessary for planning and administration. Births and Deaths are the vital events in any population. Knowledge about these events is essential for the understanding old demography, health and civil needs. The Act has given statutory authority to the Registrar General, India to coordinate the work of civil registration throughout the country. Usually the Director of Health Services is the Chief Registrar. However, in few states, Directors of Economic and Statistics are the Chief Registrars. In rural areas, the local registrars are mainly drawn from panchayat, police, health or revenue departments. In urban areas, Health Officers of the Municipalities or corporations, or the executive officers are the Registrars.

  • Every registrar has to register births and deaths occurring within his/her administrative area. The information regarding occurrence is to be supplied within 21 days in case of deaths and births. Events not registered within prescribed time are registered as delayed events on payment of prescribed fee if it is done within one month. Besides late fee, an affidavit is required from a notary pubic or an officer for registration in case of delay more than 30 days but within a year. For registration of events beyond one year, an order from class I officer/magistrate is necessary.

  • Every Registrar is required to send periodical returns to the Chief Registrar who send their reports to the Registrar General, India. On the basis of the annual vital statistics returns received from the states, the Registrar General, India brings out a comprehensive annual report entitled, "Vital Statistics of India".

  • The Act provides for medical certification of cause of death. The enforcement of this is left to the states governments depending on the facilities available. A medical practitioner has to certify free of cost and in the prescribed format, the cause of death if he/she is attending the deceased during his last breath or illness.