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Applying for passport,birth and Death certificate online through E Governance

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Applying for an online birth certificate can be a great help for people who have some online knowledge and know their way around a website. According to a survey conducted in 2004, across India, the Registrar issued 20 million birth certificates. Although the Government has done its best to simplify the entire process, it does not seem like getting an online birth certificate is quite there yet. They have even gone a step further and added prompts and tutorials on the website to assist with the process hoping that people will use this as an opportunity to learn to use the website instead of just turning away and getting their certificates online.

What are the main reasons behind creating the website?

There were multiple reasons why the Government went ahead and created an online platform for people to apply for their birth certificates. Some of the main ones are

  • When dealing with getting the certificate at the offices of the Registrar of Births and Deaths, the process was taking too much time, with long queues and too many people.
  • People travelled to the office every time they had a query since the phone lines were not always functional so they could not call in to get it answered.
  • Small issues like the supporting documents or the right forms needed a phone call since they didn’t have access to this information, which usually entailed multiple trips to the office to submit the forms.
  • Many stayed away from handling the process since it was too tedious, so to increase the number of people applying for and receiving their birth certificates, the Government thought a website would be ideal.
  • Other than registering for a birth certificate, the Registrar allowed people to make changes like name changes, fixing errors or typos on the birth certificate or even applying for duplicate certificates.

What were the issues faced with the online interface?

The online birth certificate portal did not deal with the entire process, and at all points, it coordinated with the Registrar. The primary purpose was to reduce the number of people coming to the office regularly, and in many places, it solved that issue. Most of the Indian states that were quite urban, like Maharashtra, Hyderabad, Karnataka, among others, found that a lot of the people were using the website, with the largest numbers coming from there. However, the rest of the country, with a massive rural population, just could not seem to handle the same.

Some additional reasons for this could be:

  • People were not educated enough to handle such a process and did not understand how the internet worked properly
  • Rural India did not have the proper technology whether that is computers or proper internet connections
  • Most of the people there did not see the benefit of applying for and receiving a birth certificate.
  • Since most births were handled at home, they did not go ahead with applying for a birth certificate.

Facts about applying for and receiving a death certificate

To obtain a death certificate, an applicant has to register for one by applying on plain paper to the concerned area registrar or sub-registrar. They have to make sure that they add the following information when writing the application:

  • Date of death
  • Sex
  • Place of death
  • Name of hospital, nursing home, medical institutions
  • Residential address in case of domiciliary death
  • Father’s and mother’s name

Ideally, the death should be reported and registered by the head of the family, in case it occurs in a house. Other people have been assigned to report the death, under various circumstances but the death of an individual can be registered by any individual.

  • In the case of a death within a hospital, the medical in-charge should report it.
  • The jail in-charge should report the death if it occurs in prison.
  • The headman of the village or person-in-charge of the local police station, in case they find the body deserted in that area.

To apply for a Death Certificate, you must first register the death within 21 days after its occurrence, by filling up the form prescribed by the Registrar. After proper verification, they issue the Death Certificate, and in most cases, this involves the medical authorities, while in some cases the police as well.

If the death is not registered within 21 days, permission from the Registrar or Area Magistrate, along with the fee prescribed in case of late registration, have to be paid. Furthermore, if this is done after a month of death, there are additional late fees and some more paperwork that should be handled.

The application forms to apply for the death certificate are usually available with the area’s local body authorities, or the Registrar who maintains the Register of Deaths. In many cases, the applicant is asked to submit

  • Proof of birth of the deceased
  • An affidavit specifying the date and time of death
  • A copy of the ration card
  • The required fee in the form of court fee stamps.

Did the medical practitioner play an important role when issuing the death certificate?

In modern society, it was a requirement for the death of an individual to be verified by a medical professional who has to handle the entire process in fairness and pragmatism, since their word is the final say. Death certificates that are issued by the medical practitioners are often used in legal matters as well, and they have implications later on if there are disputes about the circumstances of the death.

The General Practitioner must verify all the relevant facts before issuing a death certificate and should not issue one under pressure. Furthermore, the cause of death is to be based only on clinical findings and not on extraneous factors, after the doctor is fully satisfied as to the clinical diagnosis and corroborative diagnostic tests. A doctor may certify death, but the cause of death can only be issued post verification and after satisfying all facts that could have been responsible for the death. In case of suspicion of death due to unnatural causes, the doctor may only certify death, and not the cause of death and will inform police for further investigations and postmortem.

Interesting facts about foreign passports

There are several requirements when applying for a passport, and these are regarding the submitting of specific documents, the style and requirements, when clicking pictures, and, in general, the correct way to fill out the forms.

While all the application forms for getting a passport are available at the State level passport office, applicants have to fill them out correctly. The details added to the form have to match the supporting documents and certificates provided, otherwise, they could delay the application process. The same rules apply to the passport process when it is being done through the passport website, which needs applicants to upload scans of their supporting documents.

India currently has the third-largest number of passports issued around the world with only the United States and China having a higher number. These numbers do add up since China has a larger population than India.

What is the most convenient way to apply for and receive a passport?

With the Ministry of External Affairs improved the system for people to apply for passports and moving to an online platform, a lot more people have begun the passport application process. While Indian nationals are the only people who can apply for Indian passports, people around the world can use the website to coordinate with the passport authorities. Although the process is taken online to the greatest extent, the applicants still needed to go to the passport office to get their fingerprints scanned.

Passports are usually sent to the address mentioned in the forms, so the applicant does not have to pick them up from the office. This is only done after completing all the document checks and police verification.

Some interesting facts about country leaders and passport applications

Presidents and their immediate families are among the officials who receive diplomatic passports which allow them visa-free entry into many countries. In some countries like the United States, this is taken a step further with the President given a diplomatic passport for life, and it remains valid even once they leave the office.

The United Kingdom, on the other hand, has slightly different rules. Queen Elizabeth II does not require a passport since she issues all British passports in her name, so she just has to say that she is the Queen. However, the rest of the royal family still need one to travel abroad.

Other than adding something significant about a country on the front of the passport, a lot of countries add facts about their culture or heritage to the insides of the passports as well.

If you shine a UV-A light under the Norwegian passport, it lights up with the Aurora Borealis that the country is well known for, but Norway isn’t the only country with an interesting passport. Under UV-A light, the Canadian passport displays the country’s major landmarks, while the bottom right-hand corner of the Finnish passport has a drawing of a moose that becomes animated when you flip through the pages.

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