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Nitish stresses on birth certificates
Chief minister Nitish Kumar launches the birth registration campaign in Patna on Tuesday. Picture by Deepak Kumar

Chief minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday launched the birth registration campaign for schoolchildren. Around two crore kids of 71,000 primary and middle schools of the state would be covered under it.

The project would be carried out from December 3 to 31.

Nitish emphasised the need to publicise the campaign so that parents/guardians could get their children’s birth registered with the local authorities. “We need to publicise the campaign in a much more effective manner. We would have to inform the people of the benefits of getting birth registration certificates. Unless and until people are made aware, they would not be motivated to do the same,” Nitish said, launching the campaign from his office.

“People should be informed through text messages on their cellphones about the benefits of getting registered,” the chief minister said, adding that the publicity material must include music to make it more attractive. Stating that the government has simplified the process of birth registration, Nitish said the birth registration fee has been reduced from to Rs 1 from Rs 10 and even that amount would be borne by the state government. The chief minister also announced that anganwadi sevikas (workers) have been notified as deputy registrars (for births and deaths). These sevikas need to be trained to achieve cent per cent registration.

Planning and development minister Narendra Narayan Yadav said birth registration certificate is required to for documents like passport, driving licence, voter ID and others, which are necessary to avail various government welfare schemes.

In the second phase of the campaign, the government would focus on students of non-government schools, colleges and universities.

Nitish also inaugurated 50 automatic weather stations to help collect data in real time on an hourly basis. “We need to have data for carrying out analysis and studies. There is a need of more automatic weather stations. I think Bihar would probably become the first state to have such stations in every block in the future,” the chief minister said.

The weather stations would collect data of rainfall, air temperature, wind direction, relative humidity, atmospheric pressure, soil moisture and others. The data would be fed to centres located at district and state headquarters.

The real time data on an hourly basis would help formulate policies regarding agriculture and disaster management, Nitish said, adding: “We can take benefits of the forecast made on the basis of data. Tools of disaster management, too, could be utilised effectively and efficiently.”

Of 534 blocks, the automatic weather stations have been installed in 50, while there is a proposal to set up the remaining under the Bihar State Statistical Strengthening Project. The systems would inform farmers through text messages about crops, seeds, fertilisers and pesticide on the basis of local weather conditions.