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'''Historical background'''<br> The history of civil registration in India dates back to the middle of the nineteenth century. It started with the registration of deaths with a view to introducing sanitary reforms for control of pestilence and disease and not so much for studying population trends. <ref name=name>[http://22.214.171.124/search?q=cache:ZWzg9rOf7y4J:gvmc.gov.in/ph/handbook/civil.doc+bengal+Births+and+Deaths+Registration+Act+1873&cd=112&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=au Handbook on Civil Registration. Office of the Registrar General India, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, New Delhi by P. PADMANABHA Registrar General, India March 7, 1981: Chapter 2, Historical background] [http://gvmc.gov.in/ph/handbook/civil.doc. Original link] </ref> Thacker's 1865 ''Bengal Directory'', on page 147, states "Registration of Births and Deaths under Section 94 of Act VI of 1864...Registration of Births and Deaths took effect from 1st April 1864." [[Calcutta]] was divided into 6 districts. Read the [[Registration of births and deaths in Calcutta|full transcript of page 147]]. Although Thacker says Act VI of 1864, it seems probable that it was in fact Act VI of 1863. <ref> The Corporation of Calcutta was constituted by Bengal Act No. VI of 1863 and was then constituted, as would appear from Section III of the Act, of 'Justices of the Peace for the Town of Calcutta', which meant all Justices of Peace for Bengal, Behar and Orissa, resident in the Town and all Justices of the Peace for the Town itself. The object of the Act was to vest the property of the Town of Calcutta and the management of its Municipal affairs in a Corporation and to make better provision for, inter alia, the conservancy and improvement of the Town. [http://indiankanoon.org/doc/782493 Kanoon] </ref> “Registration was first introduced into Calcutta in 1864, and neglect was rendered penal. Birth registration is now fairly correct and the mortuary returns received from each police inspector of the twenty one sections into which the city is divided are checked by other returns from the sextons of the cemeteries and the clerks of the burning ghauts...In the Madras Presidency the registration of births commenced in 1870..The mortuary registration was commenced in 1866... In the Bombay Presidency the registration of deaths was commenced in 1865. Birth registration has only just been commenced [c 1872]..” <ref> ''House of Commons Papers: Accounts and Papers: East India (progress and condition). Statement exhibiting the moral and material progress and condition of India, during the year 1872-73''. Actual pages 125,126, computer pages 154,155</ref> The Central Province of Berar introduced a system of birth registration in 1866. Punjab and United Provinces followed a little later. In 1873, the Bengal Births and Deaths Registration Act was passed and was later adopted by the neighbouring states of Bihar and Orissa. It was, however, only in 1886 that a Central Act- the Births Deaths and Marriages Registration Act- was placed on the Statute Book to provide for voluntary registration throughout British India. This Act was not to affect any law on the subject already in force or which might be passed subsequently for any particular local area and therefore had only limited force. Advantage was taken of the Act by the foreigners, particularly Europeans and British residing in the country. A few states like Madras and Bengal had their own specific Act (Madras registration of Births and Deaths Act 1899 and Bengal Births and Deaths Registration Act 1873) which had been adopted by a few other states. In 1930, in the whole of India, Bengal was the only province in which registration was compulsory both in rural and urban areas. In Madras, registration was compulsory in all municipal towns and was later extended to all villages towns and was later extended to all villages with a population of 2000 and more. In Bihar and Orissa, registration was compulsory only in some municipalities whereas in Punjab and the Central Provinces, it was compulsory in all municipal towns. In Bombay it was compulsory in nearly all municipalities while in Assam it covered all municipal towns, small towns, tea gardens and a few towns of hill districts. Generally, the officials of the revenue, police or health departments were also made responsible for registration. In municipal towns and cities the municipal authority was responsible for registration of vital events and this function was usually a part of the duties of the health department. Health officials like sanitary inspector, vaccinator and health assistant were made responsible for this work. The hospitals were required to report to the local Registrar in respect of events occurring therein. <ref name=name/>. British Library Catalogue references for the Acts: *Act VI of 1863 (or 1864) in Bengal Bills and Acts [http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/a2a/records.aspx?cat=059-lpj1-5&cid=1-5-1-2#1-5-1-2 IOR/L/PJ/5/99] 1862-1864 *Bengal Births and Deaths Registration Act 1873 (Bengal Act IV of 1873) in Bengal Bills and Acts [http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/a2a/records.aspx?cat=059-lpj1-5&cid=1-5-1-2#1-5-1-2 IOR/L/PJ/5/107] 1872-1875 *The Births Deaths and Marriages Registration Bill, 1886; with papers regarding registration of births [http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/a2a/records.aspx?cat=059-iorlpj_1-5&cid=1-1-2-34&kw=IOR/L/PJ/6/170#1-1-2-34 IOR/L/PJ/6/170, File 304 (also 323 & 260)] 9-24 Feb 1886 *The Madras Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1899 [http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/a2a/records.aspx?cat=059-iorlpj_1-14&cid=1-1-40-13&kw=IOR/L/PJ/6/511#1-1-40-13 IOR/L/PJ/6/511, File 1027] 11 May 1899 Copies of Birth Registration entries<br> This India List [http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/INDIA/2009-12/1261288775 post] indicates that some records of European births may be obtained from the Birth Registers held by Indian authorities. This [http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/india/2007-07/1184123043 post] indicates that the local municipality is the body responsible for such registers of births and deaths. This India British Raj List [http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/INDIA-BRITISH-RAJ/2009-10/1256787241 post] also indicates the local municipality issues copies from the Birth Registers. Births and deaths of British subjects were registered with the British Residents of various Native or Princely States in India. These records form the N/5 series of the Ecclesiastical Records. For details, refer [[Princely States#British Library APAC records|Princely States - British Library N/5 records]]. ''If you are able to provide more information on how widespread birth registration was, and to what extent records are available in India, please update this article.'' ===Notes=== <references /> Optionally, one may add the name attribute by using <ref name=name>details of the citation</ref>. Thereafter, the same footnote may be used multiple times by adding <ref name=name/>. Note well that named references begin with <ref instead of the usual <ref>.
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== Notes ==