People Can Apply For A Passport From Anywhere In India, Sushma Swaraj's New Initiative
Ministry Of External Affairs is all set to make the process of passport application a lot smoother for Indian citizens. On the occasion of the sixth Passport Seva Divas, MEA minister Sushma Swaraj, while addressing officials of several Passport Seva Kendras and members of the Ministry of External Affairs, stated that these “revolutionary” changes were made to make the process less cumbersome.
Process Of Passport Application
According to the MEA press release on June 26, a person can now choose the Regional Passport Office (RPO) and the Passport Seva Kendra (PSK) or Post Office Passport Seva Kendra (POPSK) for applying irrespective of whether the present residential address specified in the application form lies within the jurisdiction of the selected RPO or not. For example, someone, who is working somewhere which is not the same place as his residence, can now apply for a passport at their nearest Regional Passport Office or Passport Seva Kendra or Post Office Passport Seva Kendra irrespective of their residential address falling under the jurisdiction of that particular office.
The police verification, if required for a specific passport, would be conducted at the address specified in the application form. Reportedly, the ministry has restricted the role of police verification only to find out if a person has a criminal background or not.
Additionally, the minister also launched a revamped version of the 2013 Passport app which will have the facilities for applying and scheduling appointments for acquiring a passport. This app is available on both Android and iOS devices. The users can track the status of their passport applications using file number and date of birth, and the status of dispatched passports can also be monitored.
According to News18, the ministry said, “With the launch of this mPassport Seva App, citizens would not require access to a computer and printer to apply for passport services”.
Future plans for seva kendras
According to the ministry, 77 Passport Seva Kendras were made available in the last 48 years while 231 more were added in the last 48 months. Additionally, Swaraj also announced that the ministry wants to open at least one Passport Seva Kendra or Post Office Passport Seva Kendra in each of the country’s 543 Lok Sabha constituencies. At present, there are 307 PSKs in the country.
Since Swaraj assumed the role of Minister of External Affairs, a number of unnecessary requirements for obtaining passports have been scrapped, which include a show of marriage certificates at the time of the application process. This was Swaraj’s first public appearance after the twitter fiasco, where she was trolled for acting on a complaint made by an interfaith couple in Lucknow alleging harassment by a passport official.