Civil Registration System

In India, the Civil Registration System (CRS) is a single mechanism for documenting vital incidents (births, deaths, stillbirths) as well as their parameters in a continual, permanent, mandatory, and universal manner. For socioeconomic modeling, data provided by a thorough and up-to-date CRS is critical.

The topic has a very high chance of being asked as a UPSC Prelims Geography Question under “Human Geography” topic, or as a Current Affairs Question, as it has been in the news recently.

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Civil Registration System UPSC Notes PDF –Download PDF Here

History of CRS

The Civil Registration System (CRS) in India has a long history dating back to the mid-nineteenth century. A Central Births, Deaths, and Marriages Registration Bill was passed in 1886 to allow for consensual registration across British India. The Registration of Births and Deaths Act (RBD Act) was passed in 1969 after independence to improve consistency and comparability in the recording of births and deaths throughout the nation, as well as the compilation of vital statistics based on them. Recording of births, deaths, and stillbirths has become compulsory in India since the Act’s passage. At the union government level, the Registrar General of India (RGI) oversees and streamlines registration efforts across the nation.
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About CRS

Implementation of the Registration of Births and Death Act (RBD Act). 1969 is entrusted with the respective State Governments.  State governments select bureaucrats to register births and deaths throughout the country. The Directorate of Census Operations is a subsidiary office of the Office of the Registrar General of India that is accountable for managing the implementation of the Act in their respective State/UT. The Act requires that all states use the same birth and death recording forms and certificates.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Civil Registration System:


Why is civil registration system important?

Vital registration creates legal documents which may be used to establish and protect the civil rights of individuals, as well as providing a source of data which may be compiled to give vital statistics.

What are examples of vital statistics?

Vital statistics include:

  • Numbers and rates of births.
  • Key characteristics of births, such as births by sex, location and maternal age.
  • Numbers and rates of deaths.
  • Deaths by key characteristics such as age, sex, location and cause of death.

How are deaths registered in India?

The registration of births and deaths in the country is done by the functionaries appointed by the State Governments. Directorate of Census Operations are the sub-ordinate offices of Office of the Registrar General, India and these offices are responsible of monitoring of working of the Act in their concerned State/UT.

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