External Affairs Minister, Shri Salman Khurshid inaugurating a two day Passport Officer’s Conference at the elegant precincts of Jawahar Lal Nehru Bhavan today declared 24th June as ‘Passport Seva’ Divas’ to be observed every year from now on as it was on this day that the Passport Act 1967 was enacted. The Act lays down the foundation of a sound legal framework for issuance of Passports and other travel documents in the post-independent India. Thirty Seven Passport Officers and the representative of the Andaman & Nicobar Administration are participating in the Conference.
Speaking on the occasion, the Minister emphasised on the citizen-centric role of Passport Offices, impressing upon them to adopt measures which facilitate speedier and courteous service, greater convenience and comfort to the public at large. Please see EAM’s message in the Passport Seva Portal : www.passportindia.gov.in .
The Minister also launched Online Passport Fees Payment facility at 18 more Passport Seva Kendras in the country. The facility is already available at 25 locations. Reviewing the operations over the last one year, it had been observed that large numbers of applicants were not turning up at the PSKs despite taking valid appointment. This was not only resulting in lesser utilization of processing capacity of the PSK, but was also causing denial of appointments for other genuine applicants. This online payment facility will greatly help resolve the issue of non-availability of appointments and reduce no-shows of applicants. By 3rd July, 2013, the facility will be available in the rest of 15 PSKs as well.
A mobile based mPassport Seva was also launched to offer a wide variety of services to smartphone users such as Passport Application status tracking, locating the PSKs and general information on various steps involved in obtaining passport services. The service would soon be available to other mobile phone users also.
The Minister unveiled a plaque symbolising inauguration of the new Passport Bhavan in Surat as another step forward in improving physical infrastructure of CPO.
The Minister lauded the efforts of Central Passport Organisation employees for striving to improve governance in the country in tandem with Tata Consultancy Services, the Service Provider through Passport Seva, a transformational initiative of the Government under National e-Governance Plan. The Minister, in recognition of the outstanding services rendered to citizens gave away Passport Seva Puraskars to the CPO employees and Passport Offices.
As part of MEA’s e-Governance initiatives, the Passport Seva Project (PSP) has transformed the passport issuance system across India through an increased network of 77 PSKs. The benefits of the Passport Seva Project include:
Increased network of 77 PSKs acting as extended arms of 37 Passport Offices across the country
Longer working hours to benefit the citizens.
24*7 National Call Centre Support in 17 languages
Complete digitization and processing of application when applicant visits the reducing the overall time spent and eliminating multiple visits
Biometric data and photographs taken in highly secure environment
Granting decision taken in front of the applicant, therefore greater transparency
Citizens leave the PSK with certainty on the status of their application
Transparency in the process and online real-time availability of data for ease of monitoring and decision making.
More than one crore passport services have been rendered in the new system. The Conference organised on 24 – 25 June 2013, will deliberate on improving overall management of passport delivery and enhancing citizen experience by focussing on service orientation, reliability and a speedier, more secure and transparent passport services.