New Delhi, Jun 27, 2018 : On Tuesday, Minister of External Affairs, Sushma Swaraj, launched a new scheme that would make passport application a significantly smoother process for people in the further corners of the country. The government announced that an individual can apply for a passport from anywhere in India irrespective of the person’s residential address. To make the process easier, the minister also launched a mobile application, mPassport Seva App, available in Android and iOS platforms that would enable citizens to not only apply but pay and schedule appointments as well.
This new scheme was launched on the occasion of the Sixth Passport Seva Divas. Essentially, the application can be submitted irrespective of whether the applicant’s residential address is under the jurisdiction of the selected Regional Passport Office (RPO). An applicant can now choose the RPO and the the Passport Seva Kendra (PSK) or Post Office Passport Seva Kendra (POPSK) to submit the application.
The police verification would be done at the address specified on the application form. Once the process is complete, the passport would be dispatched by the RPO to the mentioned address.
This citizen-centric initiative of the ministry is expected to benefit the applicants who are unable to apply at a PSK or POPSK near their ordinary place of residence, the statement said. Moreover, the launch of the ’mPassport Seva App’, a person would not require access to a computer and printer to apply for a passport, the MEA said.
Swaraj, while speaking at the launch of the initiatives, said there had been "revolutionary" changes in the process for applying for a passport.
There were 77 Passport Seva Kendras made available in 48 years, while 231 more were added in the last 48 months, she said at the event attended by minister of state for communications Manoj Sinha and minister of state for external affairs General VK Singh (Retd). Noting that at present there were 307 PSKs in the country, she announced that at least one PSK or POPSK would be made available in all the 543 Lok Sabha constituencies.
Swaraj said unnecessary requirements for a passport have been scrapped since she took charge of the ministry, including doing away with marriage certificate.
Recently the minister was trolled online because a passport officer in Lucknow, Vikas Mishra, was transferred under allegations of humiliating an interfaith couple. The couple said that the husband was asked to convert to Hinduism and the wife was derided for marrying a Muslim. A section of people online felt that Mishra was simply doing his job as the couple had submitted documents with discrepancies and attacked Sushma Swaraj and her ministry.