MEA takes passport services closer to citizens

New Delhi, June 27 (IANS) In the past one year, the ministry of external affairs (MEA) has rendered one crore passport services, organised over 500 Passport Melas on weekends at various Passport Seva Kendras (PSKs) and over 100 Passport Seva Camps in far-off locations across India to take passport services closer to citizens.

Four PSKs were operationalised in the northeast and one in Karnataka since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took over, taking the number of PSKs in the country to 82.

Three ISO certifications accorded in one go to Passport Seva last month came in for special mention.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj launched a prototype of ‘mPassport Police’, an app which would revolutionise police verification process and an e-book containing information on Passport Seva, said a statement from the MEA on Saturday.

On the occasion of observance of Passport Seva Divas, a four-day Passport Officers’ Conference was organised at the Jawahar Lal Nehru Bhavan on June 23-26. Thirty-seven passport officers participated in the conference.

The ministry commemorates June 24 as ‘Passport Seva Divas’ as this was the day on which the Passports Act, 1967 was enacted.

The Act lays down the foundation of a sound legal framework for issuance of passports and other travel documents in India.

In her valedictory address, Sushma Swaraj congratulated the passport issuing authorities on achieving the goals set last year and overcoming the obstacles with sustained diligence and dedication.

She said people were effusive in their praise for promptness, positivity and quality of service rendered by passport offices.

In recognition of outstanding services rendered to citizens, Sushma Swaraj gave away Passport Seva Puraskars to the best performing passport offices.

Police verification, being a critical component of passport issuance, awards were also given to the police departments of Delhi, Goa and Haryana to recognise their efforts in speedy police clearances, said the statement.

The conference deliberated on improving overall management of passport delivery, reliability, speed, security and transparency.

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