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India has robust system of documenting births and deaths, say Govt sources on Lancet’s claims

Apr 15,2024

New Delhi: After the medical journal Lancet’s claim on the lack of accuracy and transparency in sharing data on health raised concerns, government sources asserted that India has a robust system of documenting births and deaths under the Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1969, through the Civil Registration System (CRS).

“India has a robust system of documenting births and deaths under the Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1969, through the Civil Registration System. It provides a unified process of continuous, permanent, compulsory, independent and universal recording of births and deaths. Under the CRS, deaths are reported to the registrar of births and deaths in the concerned area for registration through around three lakh registration units nationwide,” according to a government source.

“Although births and deaths are to be reported within 21 days of the occurrence of the event, the Act provides for late registrations as well,” the sources said.

The Lancet raised questions about India’s continuing claim that only 0.48 million people died as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, saying that WHO and other estimates are six to eight times larger (including excess deaths, most of which will be due to COVID-19).

“Every state generates a report within one year after the index calendar year. This leeway is given to accommodate late reporting and to collate data,” a source explained, rubbishing the claims by Lancet.

The government sources further said that more than 90 per cent of births and deaths are registered online on the state or national portals.

“Over the years, the civil registration system has matured, and with rising awareness and ownership, the registration of births and deaths has become more inclusive. Today, more than 90 per cent of births and deaths are registered online on the state or national portals,” they added.

Source: Healthworld

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