In a bid to ease the process of passports for Indian citizens, the government has informed Parliament that a citizen now no longer needs to show a registered birth certificate in order to get a passport. The government said that Aadhaar card or a PAN card, along with several other documents including transfer/school leaving/Matriculation certificate from last attended school/recognised educational board, PAN Card, Aadhaar Card/E-Aadhaar, driving license, voter ID cards and/or LIC policy bonds to establish proof of birth.
Earlier, according to Passport Rules, 1980, for all citizens who were born on or after 26 January 1989, it was a mandatory provision to submit a birth certificate. Furthermore, orphaned children, without any certificate to establish date of birth, may submit a document from their orphanage/child care home to establish proof of birth. The government servants can also submit extracts of pension records and/or service record as proof of date of birth. Speaking in Parliament, Minister of State V K Singh said the purpose of the changes is to make passports available to millions of citizens.
As per new rules, a person need not submit divorce decrees or adoption certificates. Married applicants also no longer need to provide a marriage certificate and can choose to not mention the name of the spouse, in case they are divorced or separated. People filling online e-passport can now also choose to only mention the name of either their father, mother or legal guardian and need not mention the name of both their parents. The move is aimed at helping out single parents to avail passports for their children. The government has also accepted the demand of saints to mention the name of their gurus rather than writing the name of their family members. But as per the new rules, the saints, has to provide either EPIC, PAN card or Aadhaar card, where the name of the guru has been provided in space of the name of family members.