India on the verge of achieving universal civil registration target

India recorded 92% of births and deaths in 2019, compared to its goal of achieving universal civil registration by 2020, according to (SBI) Research.

This marked a significant improvement from 56% of births and 49% of deaths recorded respectively in 2000.

However, strong regional differences were observed, with 11 states recording 100% of births and 15 states recording 100% of deaths, the company said in a report on Wednesday.

Overall, India recorded 24.8 million births and 7.6 million deaths in 2019.

The report states that a higher birth registration rate was observed relative to deaths, as 81% of births were institutional versus 34.5% of deaths, with those who died receiving no medical care, reducing the probability of registration.

“This is important in the context of the recent debate over measuring Covid deaths in India through the civil registration system,” SBI Research said.

There have been media reports of the underreporting of Covid-19 deaths by some states during the second wave of the pandemic.

The SBI Research report also highlighted the need for better medical attention to improve disease profiling and save lives by strengthening public health infrastructure and increasing the number of public health professionals.

Registered deaths stood at 3.8 million in 2000, up from around 7.8 million, while the gap narrowed to 700,000 in 2019, with 19 of 36 states having no gap, according to the report.

Uttar Pradesh accounted for the highest numbers on both counts with 5.1 million births or 21% of the national total and 12% of the total registered deaths at 940,000 for that year.

Some states exhibited particular trends, with Sikkim, for example, registering 100% of deaths and 61.2% of registered births, according to the report.

Based on an analysis of birth and death rates, SBI Research found that the northeastern and eastern states were associated with higher births and lower deaths, indicating higher population growth.

Southern states showed the opposite trend, indicating slower population growth, while data from northern, central and western India showed mixed trends.

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