Passport service will be more citizen-friendly: EAM

Passport rules and processes will be simplified further by minimising the compliance burden on the citizens.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar gave the assurance in a virtual address to mark the Passport Seva Divas on Thursday. The day is in commemoration of the enactment of the Passports Act on June 24, 1967.

The EAM said that the mandate of the government is to ensure timely, effective, assured, transparent and accountable public service delivery.

“Towards this end, our first approach was to bring in simplification of the passport rules and processes. However, as the process is dynamic, we should continue to look deeper and deliberate further on reducing the compliance burden of our citizens,” he said.

“As we move ahead on the path of progress,’ Jaishankar said, “we should take stock of the steps in the realm of passports that would make it not only more citizen-centric but also citizen-friendly.”

The Ministry is leveraging the use of technology and digital systems into its functioning, such as in delivering passport service.

Collaborating with the Department of Posts, the MEA has also strengthened the outreach of Passport services to the citizens.

The ministry has extended its global outreach and 174 Indian Missions and Posts have been integrated into the Passport Seva Programme.

It has established Post Office Passport Seva Kendras across the country.

There are 555 Passport Kendras in India. This includes 36 Passport Offices, 93 Passport Seva Kendras and 426 Post Office Passport Seva Kendras.

The MEA has recently integrated the Passport Seva Programme with DigiLocker.

The DigiLocker helps citizens to submit various documents in a paperless mode. This means, when one reaches the Passport Kendra, he/she is not required to carry the original documents.