NEW DELHI: India will soon embark on the second phase of Passport Seva Programme (PSP),
including new and upgraded e-passports. On the occasion of Passport Sewa Dewas on Saturday, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar asked passport-issuing authorities to support him in renewing the pledge to provide passport and related services in a “timely, reliable, accessible, transparent, and efficient manner”.
The second version of the passport programme is in sync with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of enhancing ease of living for citizens.
“These initiatives will usher in a new paradigm of ‘EASE’, E: Enhanced passport services to citizens, using a digital eco-system; A: Artificial Intelligence-powered service delivery; S: Smoother overseas travel using chip-enabled e-passports; E: Enhanced data security,” the minister said.
The foreign minister further said that after the pandemic the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) rose to meet the rising demand for passport-related services by increasing the number of daily appointments and organising special drives over the weekends.
He added the ministry processed as many as 13.32 million passports and miscellaneous services last year, which marked a rise of 63 per cent from 2021. Jaishankar noted that there were 77 Passport Seva Kendras (PSKs) in the country in 2014, which have risen seven-fold to stand at 523 in 2023.