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Thursday, June 27, 2013

About Passport Seva Project

Measures like extensive computerization, decentralization of collection of passport applications through PACCs/DPCs/SPCs, opening of new passport offices and reforms in the Central Passport Organization having fallen short of meeting the fast growing passport demand and heightened expectations of the public, a need was felt for complete overhaul of passport issuance system. To address this need, a Mission Mode Project named Passport Seva Project (PSP) was identified under the National e-Governance Plan. The PSP aims "to deliver all Passport-related services to the citizens in a timely, transparent, more accessible, reliable manner & in a comfortable environment through streamlined processes and committed, trained & motivated workforce".

The PSP has been launched in Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) mode with M/s. Tata Consultancy Services as Service Provider. The sovereign and fiduciary functions like verification, granting, issuing/revocation/impounding of passports have been retained by MEA. The ownership and strategic control of the core assets including data/information is with the Ministry.
Passport Seva enables simple, efficient and transparent processes for delivery of passport related services. Apart from creating a countrywide networked environment for Government officials, it aims to integrate with the state police for physical verification of applicant's particulars and antecedents and with India Post for delivery of passports. Key aspects of the service transformation achieved by PSP are as follows :
  1. Increased Network : As extended arms of 37 Passport Offices, 77 Passport Seva Kendras (PSKs) and 16 Passport Seva Laghu Kendras(PSLK) are being established across the country as part of Passport Seva.
  2. Anywhere Anytime Access : Citizens can submit their passport applications and seek an appointment through the PSP portal( at their convenience. The portal provides comprehensive and latest information on all passport related services. Citizens can plan their visit to the nearest PSK at the appointment date/time, thus avoiding long queues and inconvenience.
  3. State of the Art Technology Infrastructure : Passport Seva is supported by state-of-the-art technology infrastructure which enables end-to-end passport services to be delivered with enhanced security comparable to the best in the world. The photograph and biometrics of the applicants are captured when they visit the PSK. Their applications and supporting documents are digitized and stored in the system for further processing.
  4. Improved Amenities : The PSK provides a world class ambience. Amenities in every PSK include helpful guides, information kiosks, photocopying, food and beverage facilities, public phone booth, baby care, newspapers and journals and television in a comfortable air-conditioned waiting lounge. The Electronic Queue Management System ensures the 'first-in-first-out' principle in application processing.
  5. Call Centre & Helpdesk : A multi-lingual call centre operating in 17 Indian languages enables citizens to obtain passport service related information and receive updates about their passport applications, round the clock, seven days a week. An e-mail based helpdesk also provides information on passport services.
  6. Integration with Police and India Post : The PSP network connects with the State Police across all the states and union territories. The applicant's data is sent electronically for police verification. PSP also provides an interface to India Post for tracking delivery of passport to citizens.
The pilot project was launched in Bangalore and Chandigarh in May 2010 and August 2010 respectively. After certification of the Project by the Standardization, Testing & Quality Certification, the Third Party Audit Agency under the Department of Information Technology in January 2011, the Passport Seva Project was cleared for launch across the country. The Project is slated for completion during 2011-12.

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