Chip-Enabled E-Passports On Government’s Priority List: External Affairs Minister
The Logical Indian Crew India
June 25th, 2019 / 6:00 PM
Image Credit: Odisha New Sight
The newly elected External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on June 24 while speaking at the seventh Passport Seva Divas said that the ministry has proposed to manufacture e-passports. The minister said that the project for e-passports is on priority so that in future, travel documents with advanced security features can be rolled out.
Jaishankar said that MEA (Ministry of External Affairs) has initiated talks with the ‘India Security Press’ in connection to the chip-enabled e-passports for the citizens.
The minister while giving out awards for exemplary passport services to various states said, “We propose to pursue the manufacture of e-passports on priority so that a new passport booklet with advanced security features can be rolled out in the near future.”
He also said that the ministry is complying with the commitment made by the government in its last tenure of opening new Post Office passport Seva Kendras (POPSK) in every Lok Sabha Constituency where no seva kendras exists.
He said that the MEA and Ministry of Communications with hand in hand are finishing the formalities required for the early inauguration of the POPSK. He said that based on feasibility studies, MEA is also likely to announce more locations for building POPSK.
Further praising the passport services overseen by MEA, Jaishankar said, “Last five years of passport services delivered by the ministry constituted a passport revolution.” He said that the MEA’s objective is to make sure there is good governance and a transparent, efficient, timely, effective, reliable, assured and accountable public service delivery system.
Pointing out on an yearly basis around one crore passports are issued, the minister expressed his gratification towards Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad for sanctioning the opening of 412 POPSKs since 2017.
He also added that with the 93 Passport Seva Kendras that are already functional, the total PSKS in the country touched to 505. With this number, he claimed that now people can easily reach to PSKs as there are PSKs around everyone’s locality.
Speaking about the importance of technology in the passport services, Jayashankar said that the launch of mpassport seva mobile app and allowing citizens to apply for a passport from anywhere has helped the citizens. These two schemes were launched last year on Passport Seva Diwas.
Jaishankar awarded the Jalandar Passport Office with the first prize, whereas Cochin Passport Office held the second spot and Coimbatore Passport Office clung the third spot according to their performance.
Stressing on the importance of police verification in issuing passports, the minister said that the ministry is trying to bring down the police verification time which is now 19 days.
Written by : Debarghya Sil
Edited by : Bharat Nayak