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Digital Birth Certificate Delays System in Maha Leaving New Parents in Lurch

Written by : Jayati Dubey

July 8, 2024

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Since its launch last month, the portal has been plagued by several technical issues, leaving obstetricians struggling to register births online.

A state-wide drive to digitize birth registrations in Maharashtra, including Mumbai, has encountered significant delays and challenges, frustrating doctors and new parents alike.

This comes as the new digital portal, launched by the Registrar General & Census Commissioner for four states, including Maharashtra, aims to modernize and streamline the issuance of birth certificates.

However, the implementation has been far from smooth, leading to widespread complaints and concerns.

Teething Issues with the New Portal

Since its launch last month, the portal has been plagued by several technical issues, leaving obstetricians struggling to register births online.

The site failed to open for several days initially. Once this issue was resolved, doctors faced difficulties receiving OTPs (One-Time Passwords) on their registered mobile numbers, which are crucial for completing the registration process.

"The new system requires us to fill in birth details online, which is supposed to simplify things. But the process has been anything but smooth," said a doctor from Mumbai.

Another major complaint involves the automatic translation of birth details into Marathi. Doctors have reported numerous translation errors, leading to potential inaccuracies in official records.

"The Marathi translation has many errors, which could cause confusion and issues in the future," another doctor noted.

Privacy concerns have also been raised about the requirement to upload the mother's discharge papers, which contain sensitive medical information.

"Women may not want their medical details uploaded online, even if the site appears secure," a senior doctor expressed.

State Response & Ongoing Training

State health officials, including Dr D Waghmare from the vital statistics division, acknowledged these issues and assured that they were being addressed.

"We have communicated the privacy concerns to the central authorities, and the private party responsible for the portal is working on improving the translation accuracy," Waghmare stated.

The state is also conducting training sessions for doctors to familiarize them with the new system and has set up a WhatsApp group to address any problems that arise quickly.

"We are confident that these initial issues will be resolved soon, and the button to print birth certificates directly will be operational shortly," Waghmare added.

Contradictory Reports on Delays

Despite complaints, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) officials deny that there has been a significant delay in issuing birth certificates.

A suburban ward-level medical officer said, "The previous process also took about a month. We haven't even completed a month with the new system, and we expect all problems to be ironed out soon."

Dr Mukesh Gupta, a trustee of the Association of Fellow Gynecologists, emphasizing the new system's long-term benefits, said, "The new system will improve the birth certification process once the initial challenges are addressed. Any improvement takes time, and there are bound to be teething problems. We need to ensure the transition is as smooth and quick as possible."


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