Govt. Revolutionizes Passport Verification; Physical Police Verification Needed No More!
Major reform pertaining to passport verification and issuance
Govt. of India has unleashed a major reform pertaining to passport verification and issuance. Within a year from now, all forms of physical police verification would be abolished, thereby introducing a fully digitalized version of the same.
In 2015, we had reported that physical police verification for passport issuance has been stopped in some states, as Pune became the first city to adopt this method. Now, the same would be rolled out pan-India, thereby inducing a true revolution in this niche.
However, doubts persist regarding the safety and security of this digital process..
No Need For Physical Police Verification
As of now, in case anyone wants to have their passports issued or renewed, policemen arrive at the applicant’s home, and physically verify the details provided.
But not any more.
Under the new system, a centralized database of anti-social elements and criminals would be created, covering pan-India. And when a particular person’s police records are required to be verify, this centralized database would be used.
This new system, called as Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems Project (CCTNS), will be connected with passport services of the Ministry of External Affairs, thereby eliminating need for physical police verification.
Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi said, “The police portal will provide the citizen facility for online complaint registration and request for antecedent verification…the CCTNS project will help in realising the Prime Minister’s dream of ‘minimum government, maximum governance’,”
How Will It Work?
Whenever there is a need for police verification, the cops will visit the applicant’s home with a handheld device, wherein the details will be fed.
The available information will be matched against records in the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems Project (CCTNS), thereby checking the criminal history of the applicant.
Hence, there won’t be any physical check of the applicant by the police.
In fact, CCTNS project was approved in 2009, but only got wings when Home Minister Rajnath Singh launched Digital Police portal, which basically integrates 15,000+ police stations, and introduces a centralized database of all criminal activities, happening all over the country.
Using this, police officials can conduct 11 types of searches using the national crime and criminal database, besides requesting 46 crime analytics report for ‘data-based action and policy interventions.’
An unnamed Home Ministry official said, “This will allow police to access court and prison records, aiding investigation..”
Police verification for passports is one of the activities which will be accomplished using the centralized crime database.
Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi further said, “Police in some states like Telangana are already using CCTNS for passport credentials. They will be given hand-held devices to go to an applicant’s address and upload his or her details on to the network. It will minimise contact with police and reduce time,”