BENGALURU: The surge in Covid-19 cases across the city and reduced staff carrying out operations has made the Regional Passport Office at Koramangala to adopt technology to ensure work is done while safety is also maintained. The head office, where complicated applications are handled, will shortly be carrying out interviews of applicants through video calls.“Since Wednesday, we have begun carrying out only telephonic calls with all those who have already sought online appointments with us. But very shortly, we are planning to make it into a video call kind of interview as it will help us take a look at some documents which need to be presented,” Regional Passport Officer Bharat Kumar Kuthati told The New Indian Express.
While at the Passport Seva Kendras at Marathahalli and Lalbagh, personal appearance is mandatory as biometric scanning and pictures need to be captured, this is not the case in the head-office at Koramangala. Hence, the video call option can be tried out here, Kuthati explained.“We receive an average of 100 passport applications at Kormanagala where our back office functions. They pertain to complicated cases like those with a criminal record, or those who have been adopted at birth, or kids of a single parent, to name a few. They need to be examined thoroughly and hence passports cannot be quickly despatched as is done with regular candidates,” the officer said.
The step was also taken in light of the government making it mandatory for all employees to install Arogya Setu app. “If the health status on the app shows ‘safe’ or ‘low risk’, staff can be allowed to work, but if the app shows moderate risk, then we need to send the staffers home. A few of our staff, too, cannot report to work because of this, and this has had an impact on our work too,” he said.
The switch to video call mode would take care of both people frequenting our office as well as the staff, he added. “We are still setting up the infrastructure required. A few staffers will be given tabs to carry out these interactions. The specific software we will make use of is still being decided,” he said.