Simplification of procedure for passport: Rajya Sabha Q&A
GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
QUESTION NO 1283
ANSWERED ON 07.05.2015
Simplification of procedure for passport
1283 Smt. Sarojini Hembram
Will the Minister of EXTERNAL AFFAIRS be pleased to state whether Government is proposing to simplify the process of passport application/procedure in order to make the procedure simplified and user-friendly, if so, the details thereof and if not, the reasons therefor ?
THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS [GEN. (DR) V. K. SINGH (RETD)]
The Government has taken the following steps to simplify the procedure for applying for passports:-
i. Passport Seva Project has been implemented which inter alia includes setting up and operationalisation of 77 Passport Seva Kendras (PSKs) acting as extended arms of the 37 Passport Offices across the country.
ii. In the new system, passport seekers log on to the Passport website www.passportindia.gov.in; create their user ID and assign a password; fill & submit the application form online, make payment of passport fees online through debit/credit card or internet banking of State Bank of India (SBI). Applicants can also use the challan option provided on the portal and deposit the fees in SBI branch after generating challan online. Upon confirmation of payment receipt by SBI, applicants are allotted appointment by the System. On the appointed day/slot, the applicants, along with print-out of Appointment Slip, original documents and photocopies, visit the PSK for submission of application. The applicants are given on-line appointment in order to visit the PSK at the appointed hour and date to reduce waiting time at the PSK.
iii. Applicants’ presence at the PSK enables the Passport Issuing Authority to capture their photograph and fingerprints to prevent the incidence of impersonation. The applicants also get full opportunity to see and affirm their personal particulars to be entered in the passport to ensure issuance of error-free passports.
iv. The entire process under PSP is online and streamlined including interface with the Police for verification of personal particulars of applicants and with India Post for tracking delivery of passports.
v. The Electronic Queue Management System at the PSK ensures ‘first-in-first-out’ principle in application processing. The number of public dealing counters have been increased from the erstwhile 350 to 1610 and public dealing hours have gone up from 4 hours to 7 hours a day.
vi. The Passport Portal carries detailed information on the documentation necessary to submit passport application. Advisories are posted on the Portal from time to time and press releases are issued regarding changes in the submission procedure. A National Call Centre facility (1800-258-1800) is available 24 x 7 to respond to queries of citizens besides e-mail based Helpdesk. Facility of issuance of Tatkaal passport, subject to submission of requisite documentation, is available.
vii. As soon as passport is dispatched, SMS alert is sent to the applicant conveying the Passport Dispatch status. A premium optional SMS Service, on nominal payment basis, has also been made available to enable citizens to receive alerts and updates regarding detailed progress of their passport applications and pending actions. The service can be availed from any mobile phone.
viii. There are certain categories of applicants and services for which ‘walk-in’ facility is available.
ix. mPassport Seva mobile app provides passport related information including PSK locator, applicable fees, mode of submission and tracking of passport application status on smart phones.
x. With a view to address the challenge of digital divide, especially in the rural hinterland, the Ministry in association with M/s. CSC e-Governance Services India Ltd. (which is promoted by the Department of Electronics and IT), has facilitated online filing of passport applications, through the vast network of over one lakh Common Service Centres (CSCs) across rural hinterland. The arrangement was firmed up in March 2014.
xi. In order to speed up passport issuance and meet high or seasonal demand for Passports, Passport Melas are organised from time to time on weekends at PSKs by Passport Offices.
xii. In order to provide closer and speedier passport services to people located far away from PSKs, Passport Seva Camps are organized from time to time at various locations in the country.
xiii. Passport Adalats, on need basis, are also conducted by Passport Offices to redress passport service grievances by dealing with citizens directly.
xiv. Simplification of procedure: No police verification is necessary for re-issue cases if there is no change in particulars. Aadhaar Card is accepted as one of the proofs of residence/identity. It has been decided to accept registered rent agreement as proof of address. The system of self-attestation of documents has been introduced replacing the requirement of attestation by gazetted officers. In addition to the photo passbooks issued by Scheduled Public Sector banks, photo passbooks issued by Scheduled private sector Indian banks and Regional Rural banks are also now accepted as proof of address and identity for applying for passports.
Source: ENGLISH VERSION HINDI_VERSION