EXTERNAL AFFAIRS Minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday launched a scheme under which a person can apply for a passport from anywhere in India, irrespective of the place of stay.
Under the new scheme, a person can now choose the Regional Passport Office (RPO) and the Passport Seva Kendra (PSK) or Post Office Passport Seva Kendra (POPSK) for submitting the application, irrespective of whether his/ her current residential address is within the jurisdiction of the selected RPO or not.
The police verification, if required, will be conducted at the address specified in the application form, said a Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) statement. The passport will be printed and despatched by the RPO where the application has been submitted, to the address specified in the application, it said.
For example, a resident of Jaipur, who is temporarily residing in Kolkata, will now be able to apply at a PSK or POPSK under the RPO, Kolkata, and will not have to travel all the way back to Jaipur to submit an application for a passport. This citizen-centric initiative of the ministry is expected to benefit applicants who are unable to apply at a PSK or POPSK near their ordinary place of residence, the MEA said.
The minister also launched a mobile application, available on Android and iOS platforms, through which a person can apply, pay and schedule appointments for acquiring a passport.
With the launch of the ‘mPassport Seva App’, a person will 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 have been “revolutionary” changes in the process for applying for a passport.
There were 77 PSKs 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 (Retd) V K Singh. 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 certificates.