Digital birth, death certificate soon

The government is planning to introduce digital birth, death certificates to prevent forgery in issuing birth certificate and also to prevent dual birth certificates. Recently a huge number of incidents of forgeries in birth certificate system and also collection of dual birth certificates have been reported at different parts of the country. Even worse and more serious, Rohingya refugees, who are not citizens of Bangladesh, are also said to have obtained birth certificates as Bangladeshis.

Reports say that a section of people were found to have been involved in supplying forged National Identity Cards to Rohingya refugees who were caught red-handed carrying the NID cards in Chattogram, Noakhali, Narayanganj and several other districts. Some unscrupulous officials and employees of the concerned offices, police and local representatives were also found involved in such illegal activities.

Additional Secretary of the Directorate of Local Government, Manik Lal Banik, who is also the in-charge of the Birth and Death Registration office, said, “We have directed field level officials and employees of the concerned offices to take strict action to stop such types of forgeries.” He said that the country since 2001 has data of birth and death registrations of the entire population (about 17 crore). The Union Parishad and Councilor office are the authorities to record the births and deaths. Accordingly they issue the certificates.

The additional secretary also said, “We have started to issue digitised birth and death certificates from 2010.” Asked about the forgery in birth certificates, Banik said, “We shall not allow anyone to produce fake ID or birth certificates. We have strict orders to catch and punish anyone involved in such illegal business.”

Asked about the electronic monitoring system, Banik said, “The software used in the birth registration is being updated to modernise it. It will take two to three more months. The up-gradation in the software will help to prevent duplication of certificates.” He further said, the upgraded software will also be able to check forgery in the birth registration system.

“The electronic monitoring system will allow us to detect the forgeries instantly without any hassle.” “As a result, none of the officials or employees of any UP office or Councilor office will get the chances of producing forged”, said the official.