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In India, the need for dependable demographic data was felt soon after independence heralding the era of five year planning. The registration of births and deaths started on voluntary basis and there was no uniformity in statistical returns resulting in both under-registration and incomplete coverage. In order to unify the civil registration activities, the Registration of Births & Deaths Act, 1969 was enacted. Despite having the registration of birth & death compulsory under the statute, the level of registration of births and deaths under the Act has continued to be far from satisfactory in several states/UTs. With a view to generate reliable and continuous data on these indicators, the Office of the Registrar General, India, initiated the scheme of sample registration of births and deaths in India popularly known as Sample Registration System (SRS) in 1964 65 on a pilot basis and on full scale from 1969 70. The SRS since then has been providing data on regular basis.

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