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Assessing Quality of Civil Registration System (CRS) data at the district level on a regular basis for facilitating updating exercise of National Population Register (NPR)


In the developed countries and in most developing countries, civil registration data is used to estimate vital rates and other important indicators like infant mortality, sex ratio at birth etc. on a routine basis. In India, with the enactment of the ‘Registration of Births and Deaths (RBD) Act, 1969’ the registration of births and deaths was made compulsory in the country. The Act aimed to have a uniform system of registration and data collection on vital statistics. However, being aware of the inadequacy of the Civil Registration System (CRS) in India, the Office of the Registrar General of India introduced a dual recording system on a sample basis, called the Sample Registration System (SRS).

With the initiation of decentralization process and devolution of powers under the Panchayat system, it is important that various indicators of vital rates are available regularly even at the district or sub-district level for monitoring of development programmes as well as tracking of national and Millennium Development Goals (MDG) indicators. The key governmental agencies responsible for most of the social development programmes are now managed by the district-level functionaries, yet the information base at the lower level for regularly monitoring the programmes have remained inadequate and more often, decisions have been based on intuitive thinking rather than on reliable empirical evidence.


  1. To assess the quality of CRS data at the district level for the latest period in selected states; specifically states with good CRS data and UNFPA states;

  2. To conduct workshops and seminars on the methodologies for assessing the quality of CRS data and bring out improvements in the quality and

  3. To bring out a report every year and disseminate the methods of quality check through state level review meetings


The major indicators that are possible from CRS data at the district level are:

  1. Birth rate

  2. Death rate

  3. Sex ratio at birth

  4. Sex ratio at death

  5. Still birth rate

  6. Infant mortality rate 

  7. Life expectancy of birth

  8. Percentage of institutional births

  9. Birth weight for institutional births

Research Team

  • P M Kulkarni, Professor at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

  • K S James, Professor at the Population Research Centre, Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bangalore




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