I first came to know about the online birth registration process couple of months back. I wanted to make it online but due to time limitation and work pressure, could not go through the process until last week.
I called Dhaka City Corporation (South) as I was born within this side of the town. They provided me the details of where to go and whom to contact (And they were prompt), they did ask few questions like where I was born to pinpoint under which jurisdiction my place of birth fell. There is a complete list of areas and zonal office in the website. You can also get it here, Dhaka city zonal office.
I, along with my classmate went there last Wednesday. On the 7th floor, Rafiqul Islam, Birth and Death Reg. Asstt. work at room 813 and is responsible to put it online. It took around 10 minutes to complete the application process as I had a copy of my birth certificate with me. To register online, I just needed to give a copy of that and pay a fee of 250 taka, a receipt copy is provided.
I got new registration number and a certificate next day. I came back home to verify online my birth registration. I found out that there were spelling errors in the Bengali profile. What happened was that my previous birth certificate only contained my profile in English. So, I called them and they ensured me that I can go anytime to correct the errors as I just did the registration, no extra fees will be needed. I just need a valid document which contains my profile in Bengali (National Identification card). Also, you need to provide proper documents to change any of the information of the already registered birth certificate.
Now, many would like to ask why it is important to do birth registration online? This is an initiative taken by Government of Bangladesh and UNICEF to make an one point entry of birth registration. It has also the option to verify anyone’s identity online. Other than that, the birth registration process itself can help you to do the following things using Birth Registration Card:
- Passport Issue
- Voter Registration
- Marriage Registration
- In the process of getting a public and private job
- Driver’s License Registration
- Registration of Land
- To get registered as a voter
- Getting admitted into an educational institute
- To open a bank account
- License for Export and Import
- Getting a Tax Identification number
- Getting a license to become a contractor
- To register a vehicle
- To get Gas, water and electricity lines
- To get approval of a building design
- To get a trade license
- To get a national ID
The overall process has become remarkably smooth considering what we usually hear about DCC services. I was more than satisfied. Few things I noticed and noted:
- The website is often down, not accessible. I did talk with few high officials and they said it happens due to high volume of users but having a low bandwidth.
- The number of registered people shown in the website is not accurate. Reason is during the preliminary stage of the project, the people who carried out survey at villages to register people, did not get the information properly.
- This is an observation. I saw a notice outside of the lift of the City Corporation Building stating that if the person in-charge of the lift is not present at his duty place to call a number. There was none in place, and nobody bothered to call. This shows that the user end does have the problem of awareness of the initiatives that are taken by authorities to provide better services.
As the website states, this year’s theme of Birth Registration day is “As you are born once, your registration should be once as well”. I believe we need to focus on the loophole I mentioned above. Also people should be made aware of the online service more, it will ensure the overall effectiveness of the process.