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Friday, May 10, 2013

New system for issuing of passports



New system for issuing of passports

i. As part of National e-Governance Plan, the Government has implemented Passport Seva Project (PSP) which aims “to deliver all Passport-related services to the citizens in a timely, transparent, more accessible, reliable manner & in a comfortable environment through streamlined processes and committed, trained & motivated workforce”. 

ii. As a first step in designing the PSP, the National Institute for Smart Government (NISG) was engaged for studying the existing system of Passport issuance in India and the global best practices and for making suitable recommendations on establishing a redesigned system that could fulfill the aforesaid objective. 

iii. The IT driven, citizen-centric PSP was approved by the Union Cabinet in September 2007, for implementation on the Build-Own-Operate-Transfer model. The PSP envisaged inter alia (i) outsourcing of delivering front-end passport services, (ii) establishing 77 Passport Seva Kendras (PSKs) across the country, (iii) creating a centralized IT system linking all the Passport Offices, PSKs, Police and Postal Department.

iv. The Pilot PSKs were launched in May - August, 2010 in seven locations. By 14th June, 2012. all the planned 77 PSKs were set up and operationalised in the country. As on 26th April, 2013, more than 89 lakh passport service related applications have been processed under the new system.


v. In the new system, applicants need to apply for passport services online through the Passport Portal (www.passportindia.gov.in) and visit the PSK, headed by a Govt officer, at the appointed date and time. Staff from the private service provider checks the demographic information, scan and upload supporting documents, takes the applicants’ photograph and biometrics and accepts application fees on behalf of the Government. The sovereign and fiduciary functions of verification, granting and issuing of passport are performed by Government officials. The entire process is online and streamlined including interface with the Indian police for verification of personal particulars of applicants and with India Post for tracking delivery of passports. Status of applications can be tracked through the Passport Portal www.passportindia.gov.in. For assistance one can call toll-free helpline 1800-258-1800. An e-mail based helpdesk facility and a 24x7 call centre has been set up to provide requisite information to citizens in 17 vernacular languages. An SMS message is sent to the citizen as soon as the passport is dispatched. The number of public dealing counters has been increased from the erstwhile 350 to 1610 in the new system and public dealing hours have gone up from 4 hours to 7 hours a day.

vi. The benefits of the Project to the citizens are service provisioning within defined service levels, closer and larger number of access points for services, availability of a portfolio of on-line services with real-time status tracking, an effective system of grievance redressal and strict adherence to ‘First -In-First Out’ principle in rendering of services. 

The above information was submitted by MEA in reply of undermentioned Rajya Sabha Question:-

GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF  EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
RAJYA SABHA
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO-3913
ANSWERED ON-02.05.2013
New system for issuing of passports
3913 . SHRI AMBETH RAJAN

(a) whether Government has prepared any comprehensive plan to streamline the Passport Issuance System in the country ; and

(b) if so, the details thereof and tentative date by which the new system would come into force ?
ANSWER
THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
(SHRI E. AHAMED)

(a) & (b)



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