Every Indian Can Now Apply For Chip-Based Passports – 5 Facts You Must Know
On Wednesday, External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar said, the introduction of chip-enabled e-passports will greatly strengthen the security of Indian travel documents while emphasizing the need to expedite their roll out.
Post Office Passport Seva Kendra
Basically, the government is planning to open a Post Office Passport Seva Kendra in every Lok Sabha constituency, said Jaishankar while addressing via a video conference on the occasion of the Passport Seva Divas.
Further hea added, “We have so far been able to provide for 488 Lok Sabha constituencies,”.
According to him, the process has stopped due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but now it will move ahead as the lockdown has ended.
Moving ahead, Mr Jaishankar said that they are working with National Informatics Centre and Indian Security Press, Nashik for chip-enabled e-passports with advanced security features.
How Will This Help?
While talking about the advantages of this project, he said, “I am very confident that the introduction of e-passports will greatly strengthen the security of our travel documents. I understand that the procurement process for its production is currently underway and I would emphasise the need to hasten that as much as possible,”.
Mr Jaishankar added, “I emphasise that it is necessary to roll out the manufacture of e-passports on a priority basis,”.
Further, he said that their main focus must be on how to simplify the rules and processes, while not compromising legitimate security concerns which are basically the heart of the reforms being undertaken by the government.
He said that they have seen a complete transformation in the passport delivery service especially over the last six years.
The Passport Issuing Authorities (PIA) in India and abroad have issued more than 1.22 crore passports during 2019 year.
So far, there are a total number of 517 Passport Kendras functioning in the country, containing 93 Passport Seva Kendras (PSK) and 424 Post Office Passport Seva Kendras (POPSK), they said.
So the main focus of MEA is to further strengthen the outreach efforts to take passport services closer to the people by opening more POPSKs in the country, Mr Jaishankar said.
Further, MEA has integrated the passport issuance systems in 70 Missions as a part of the global outreach exercise and Posts abroad issuing more than 95 per cent of the passports abroad.
Mr Jaishankar said that the initiatives like mPassport police and mPassport seva apps had led to improvements in systems and customer satisfaction.