Mobile seva to ease process for passports

Published: 22nd May 2016 04:32 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd May 2016 04:33 AM   |  A+A-


CHENNAI: Now get a passport in five days! If everything goes according to plan, getting a passport will become a lot easier with Tamil Nadu police department giving an in-principle clearance for introduction of mPassport (mobile passport) Seva Application, which makes police verification of documents easier and faster.

K. Balamuragan, Regional Passport Officer, Chennai, told the Express on the sidelines of a passport mela held on Saturday that States such as Telangana had already  successfully implemented mPassport Application and were issuing passports within seven days. “We are also planning to introduce the system within next six months in Tamil Nadu,” he said.

Designed on Android platform, the application facilitates field verification and submission of reports online. Since the facility comes with Global Positioning System (GPS), the police can confirm and capture the applicant’s address digitally and create record of their visits. Verification reports could be generated and submitted online within 24 hours. 

Balamurugan said that in 5 to 10 years down the road, there would be machine like an ATM that will reissue passports. With a number of passport seekers increasing every year, there is a need for technology upgradation.

Bharat Joshi, British Deputy High Commission, Chennai also opined that every year the number of visa applications filed was going up by 7-10 per cent in southern States and the process was continuously reviewed.

Meanwhile, the passport mela organised in three passport offices each at Saligramam, Amanjikarai and Tambaram elicited a good response with 2,0000 applications being processed. The Saligramam office alone processed 1,000 applications, while Amanjikarai and Tambaram offices processed 500 applications each.

“Last year, 4.20 lakh applications were processed and we expect 4.40 lakh applications to be processed this year for Chennai and Pondicherry alone,” said Balamurugan. Earlier, only if all documents were available, the passport office would process the application. But now applicants can submit their documents later and get the passport application process started without any delay. The public can also consult the social audit cell to know why their application has been put on hold or rejected, in case.

He added that Aadhaaar card  data had been integrated which will be followed by Crime and Criminal Tracking Network System (CCTNS) police data to cut down on the time in issuing  passports.

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