The Ministry of External Affairs signed an agreement for the second phase of the Passport Seva Programme (PSP-V2.0) with Tata Consultancy Services, for opening of a Seva Kendra in every Lok Sabha constituency — where there is no Passport Seva Kendra (PSK) or Post Office Passport Seva Kendra (POPSK).
As on date 93 PSKs, 428 POPSKs and 36 Passport Offices are operational. The Programme has recently been connected to more than 176 Indian Missions/Posts through Global Passport Seva Programme (GPSP), providing “seamless” delivery of passport services to the Indian diaspora, the ministry has said.
The PSP-V2.0 is a continuation and enhancement of PSP-V1.0, an e-Governance instrument, which introduced “unprecedented transformation” in delivery of passport related services to citizens, the ministry added.
The key elements of PSP-V2.0 are setting up of a state-of-art digital ecosystem, process overhauling and integration among various stakeholders and databases, improving citizen interface, upgrading technology, adopting best practices and strengthening data security.
Security aspects, including strategic assets such as data centres, database and the application software will be owned by the government. There would be strict access controls across the system, incorporating biometrics.
On the digital front, the programme envisages a Data Centre, Disaster Recovery Centre and Government Secure Repository networked to all PSKs/POPSKs, Passport Offices and also to Indian Missions/Posts abroad, an electronic file system for passport processing running across the passport issuance ecosystem and 24x7x365 monitoring and supervision through state-of-art Network Operation Centre (NOC) and Security Operation Centre (SOC).
According to the ministry, the Passport Seva Programme would be embarking on technology upgrade with the use of biometrics, artificial intelligence, advance data analytics, chat-bot, auto-response, natural language processing, cloud enablement.
“The issuance of e-Passports for enhanced customer satisfaction, increased security and next level of citizen experience will also be unveiled in the upgraded PSP-V2.0.”