“Procedure for issuing passport can’t be simplified further”
In order to process the increasing number of passport applications and cater to other services required by existing passport holders, the Union Ministry is working on opening more Passport Seva Kendras (PSKs) across the country, said E. Ahamed, Union Minister of State for External Affairs and Human Resource Development on Thursday.
Talking to reporters, Mr. Ahamed said that in order to make sure that services relating to passports were easily availably and that too closer to citizens, the Ministry went in for PSKs and as many as 77 were opened in the first phase. Now, based on the representations and requests received for passport offices in various places, the Ministry had commenced the preliminary work.
The choice of place for opening PSKs would depend on the population density, potential passport seekers and on the number of people holding passports in the area, who would require other miscellaneous services.
Asked about closure of District Passport Cells wherever PSKs had become operational, Mr. Ahamed said that the Ministry was ensuring the availability of passport-related services first before closing the DPCs. He said that the objective of providing applications and related services online was basically aimed making things easy for the people.
To a query on simplification of procedures for obtaining passports, Mr. Ahamed pointed out that issue of passport required careful scrutiny and verification as it involved internal security. The procedures cannot be further simplified. He added that only for reasons of security, the Ministry chose not to do away with police verification, which continued to be a pre-requisite for issuing a passport.
Asked whether the Ministry accepts Aadhaar ID cards i.e., UIDs and Identity Cards issued by Postal Department, as a valid address proof document along with an application for issue of passports, Mr. Ahamed said it would be considered.
On Pranab Mukherjee as the Presidential candidate of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), Mr. Ahmed said that the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), a constituent of the UPA, had announced that it would support the candidate chosen by the UPA leader Sonia Gandhi.