External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday launched a new scheme under which a person can apply for a passport from anywhere across the country, according to Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) statement.
With the new scheme, launched on the occasion of the Sixth Passport Seva Divas, applicants can choose the Regional Passport Office (RPO), the MEA said in a statement.
“With the launch of this new scheme, applicants can now choose the Regional Passport Office (RPO) and thus the desired Passport Seva Kendra (PSK)/ Post Office Passport Seva Kendra (POPSK) under the RPO where they wish to submit their application irrespective of whether the present residential address specified in the application form lies within the jurisdiction of the selected RPO or not,” the statement said.
“The Police Verification, if required for a specific passport, would be conducted at the address specified in the application form. The passport will be printed and despatched by the RPO selected for application submission by the applicant,” the statement added.
The ministry expects this citizen-centric initiative to benefit applicants who are unable to apply at a PSK or POPSK near their ordinary place of residence.
The External Affairs minister also launched a mobile application- mPassportSeva Mobile App, available in Android and iOS platforms, that would have the facilities for applying, paying and scheduling appointments for acquiring a passport.
“With the launch of the ‘mPassport Seva App’, a person would not require access to a computer and printer to apply for a passport,” MEA said.
Speaking at the launch of the initiatives, Swaraj said there had been revolutionary changes in the process for applying for a passport.
“There were 77 Passport Seva Kendras made available in 48 years, while 231 more were added in the last 48 months,” Swaraj said.
The senior BJP leader also highlighted that the new passport centres now function in separate Northeast regions of the country as opposed to a single centre in Guwahati, which catered to the passport seekers of all the neighbouring regions up until now.
“In the first two phases, we announced 251 passports registration centres out of which 212 centres are already established. In the third phase, 38 additional centres were announced out of which two centres have been operationalised,” Swaraj added.