Recent initiatives by Ministry of external affairs is likely to end owes of Indian passport applicants. New set of rules by the Ministry will see that citizens no longer have to wait endlessly for their passports. The ministry of external affairs has fixed a time limit of 30 days for the issuance of new passports, 15 days for re-issue of passports and one to seven days for Tatkal applications.
In addition to this, all regional passport offices have been directed to introduce walk-in facilities to smoothen the process submission of documents. The walk-in services cater to the needs of eight categories of passport applicants, – senior citizens, physically-challenged persons, minors below 15 years whose parents hold valid passports, applicants for Tatkal services (fresh/re-issue), issue of police clearance certificates (PCC), deletion of emigration check required (ECR) status in passports without any change of personal particulars, seeking new booklets in case of exhaustion of visa pages and central/state government servants, their spouses and dependent minor children who have no objection certificate/ identity certificate.
The ministry’s directive comes after it was observed that there was a huge delay in the issuance of passports owing to the recent increase in demand and some other controllable factors. For example, though the police are supposed to submit their report after verifying the antecedents of the applicant within 21 days, this was not happening. Many police verification reports were incomplete, mostly because applicants had not submitted all the information. The Centre has also taken several measures for speedy delivery of passports.
Centre has simplified the procedure and made it more citizen-friendly. Several touts, who operated outside regional passport offices have now got very little to offer to the citizens. Several passport seva centres have also been introduced across the country. As many as 77 passport seva centres and a state-of-the-art multi-modal information and grievance handling system have been set up. Centre has also set up a central passport printing facility. Despite constraints, regional passport offices issued a record 74 lakh passports in 2011.