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India now has 533 passport application processing centres, MEA working to cut police verification: Jaishankar

The Ministry of External Affairs is implementing several initiatives to expedite the passport application process in the country, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said. These measures aim to reduce processing times and enhance accessibility for passport seekers.

India now has 533 passport application processing centres, MEA working to cut police verification: Jaishankar gcw
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First Published Jun 24, 2024, 7:52 PM IST

With objectives to reduce the processing times and enhance accessibility for passport applicants, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Monday said that the government is implementing a number of initiatives to expedite the passport application process in the country.

In a post on X, Jaishankar announced the development and stated that the ministry is actively working with state and union territory police forces to expedite the police verification procedure. “This collaboration aims to significantly reduce the time taken for the process, which is a crucial step in ensuring the security and legitimacy of passport applications.”

His statement came on the occasion of the 12th Passport Seva Divas, celebrated across the country on June 24.

Thus far, the ministry has put into operation a vast network of 440 Post office Passport Seva Kendras (POPSKs). When combined with the current 93 PSKs, this brings the total number of passport application processing facilities under 37 Regional Passport Offices (RPOs) throughout the nation to 533.

One of the Government of India's most effective and well-liked examples of effective service delivery, according to Jaishankar, is the passport delivery programme.

He also said that the Passport Seva System has been successfully integrated with DigiLocker, which allows passport seekers to submit documents electronically. The minister further said that the government has introduced the “mPassport Police App” in over 9,000 police stations across 25 states and Union Territories.

In 2023 alone, the Ministry processed over 16.5 million passport-related services, witnessing a 15% growth compared to the previous year.

It should be mentioned that at the RPOs Conference two days ago, Minister of State for External Affairs Kirti Vardhan Singh emphasised the value of constantly enhancing the passport delivery system and utilising cutting-edge technology to further enhance the citizen experience.

Secretary (CPV & OIA) Muktesh Pardeshi praised the Central Passport Organisation on its accomplishments and emphasised the need for creative ideas to further enhance the passport issue process by building a cadre of motivated, competent, and well-trained passport employees.

Officers from the Central Passport Organisation, under the direction of Joint Secretary & Chief Passport Officer K J Srinivasa, as well as passport officers from 37 passport offices around India participated in the RPO Conference.

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