Physical Documents Not Needed For Passport Services For DigiLocker Users (How Will It Work?)
The Passport Seva Programme (PSP) of the Indian government saw a successful launch. Union minister of the Ministry of External Affairs, V Muraleedharan praised the initiative saying that people will no longer have to carry physical copies of important documents along, exposing it to risks such as theft.
The PSP debuted on the Digilocker platform which is a cloud-based portal to store all important government documents such as Adhaar card, Pan card, driving licence, etc in one place. The digital versions of these documents will have the same value as the physical one, so users won’t have to doubt the veracity of the papers.
What is Digilocker
It is hailed as one of the most important initiatives undertaken by the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) under the Digital India Corporation (DIC). It is essentially a digital “wallet” for official documents issued by the government which can be uploaded to its cloud storage facility online.
How to Use It
One should check the required documents to apply for a passport on the Passport India portal. Then after self attesting these documents, they can be uploaded on the Digilocker, which is currently accessible on iOS, Android and the web.
With passport services now accessible over the web as well, they can enjoy a hassle-free experience of simply linking to the documents they uploaded on the cloud to submit to passport services.
If someone lost their passport, its retrieval/reissuance is expedited with the digital nature of the transaction.
ePassports is also on the horizon which is meant to enhance security and prevent fraudulent meddling with the private data on a passport.
Biometric passports are also a real possibility in the near future which will help move along the immigration processes in airports that have a dedicated spot for those carrying e-passports.
Other Passport Process Improvements
In a bid to bring the passport closer to the applicant instead of the other way around, Passport Seva Kendras in post offices has been lauded by Muraleedharan as a step in the right direction.
Officially known as Post Office Passport Seva Kendras (POPSKs), 426 of these already started operations and more are on the way. He further added that this, along with 36 passport offices and 93 existing Passport Seva Kendras, takes the passport office total to 555.
The government will forge ahead integrating and working with high profile technologies such as AI, machine learning, chatbot, analytics and robotic process automation as part of the citizen-centric Passport Seva Programme V2.0. This is intended to make the experience of filing for documents with the government more seamless and to also ensure quicker delivery.
This is, of course, part of the broader spectrum of Digital India which serves the overall purpose of bringing about transparency, accountability and a less stressful experience dealing with government officials.