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MCD carves a niche in online registration of births, deaths

By Lalit K. Jha

NEW DELHI, MARCH 4. Want to know who all were born in the Capital on February 29 or January 26 this year? Or for that matter any baby born on October 2, 2003, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi!

Well all you need to do is click on to the website of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi - http://www.mcdonline.gov.in - and register yourself. At this dynamic website, one can search the names and addresses of children born on a particular day in any of the 12 Zones of the MCD. Though there are three civic bodies in the Capital, the MCD caters to the need of about 94 per cent of Delhi population. It also registers more than 97 per cent of the city's deaths and births.

On the website, one can get even the minutest details about the infant and parents, which might even be considered as an infringement of their privacy. Also available are the residential address, age, educational qualification and occupation of their parents, age of mother at the time of marriage and pregnancy, duration of mother's pregnancy, weight of the child at birth, place where delivery took place and the nature of delivery.

"This is probably the first time that such detailed information has been made available on the web. Anyone who is registered at the website can get the information," officials of the civic body said.

Because of this online registration of deaths and births and search facilities being made available to the netizens of the Capital, the MCD was recently adjudicate "Outstanding" at the 3rd Millennium Plus Cities of India conference on the "Registration of Births and Deaths" organised by the Registrar General of India at Surat.

Impressed by the software and people-friendly system developed by the MCD, the RGI, officials in the civic body said, has recommended other municipalities of the country to replicate the Delhi model of on-line registration of deaths and births.

"This is the only software, which matches the requirements of the national identity card," said R.C. Patnaik, the officer of special duty with the MCD Medical Health Officer, who represented the civic body at the conference and came back with a trophy. The Municipal Commissioner, Rakesh Mehta, said: "We have decided to give this software free to other municipalities." In fact, after the Surat conference, several civic bodies have approached the MCD for the software and the necessary training to their employees.

Giving details of the on-line registration of births and deaths, Dr. Patnaik, who has been involved with the project from very beginning, said the software developed indigenously not only has improved the quality of services by reducing response time, but also reduces chances of human, and helps in on-line preservation of records, besides quick search of the entire data base.

Unlike in the past, when the hospitals and nursing homes used to send in their records of deaths and births in registers through dispatchers, under the new system they have been given the facility of entering the details on to the MCD website directly. "So far, nearly 200 hospitals and nursing homes of the Capital have been started using this facility and several more are joining the system every day," Dr. Patnaik said. "Online registration of deaths and births by hospitals and nursing homes have now been made compulsory by the Municipal Commissioner.

Each of them have been given a password to enter the date on to the website," he added. At present, the MCD has record of almost all the deaths and births after 1998. "We are working on to digitise the entire database on death and birth which goes back to as early as 1880s," Dr. Patnaik said.

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