Simplification in Procedure for Getting Passports
The Government has decided to print personal details on passports in both Hindi and English languages. The pre-printed portion of the passport is already in Hindi and English languages.
The Government has implemented with effect from 24 June, 2017 a new scheme under which senior citizens of the age of 60 years and above and minor children upto the age of eight years would be given a discount of 10 per cent on the applicable passport fee on fresh application for passports.
The Government has taken several steps to simplify the procedure for getting passports by general public. These involve simplification of the passport rules and outreach to the people in the delivery of passport related services. The steps taken in this direction are as follows:
(i) The Government has opened 14 Passport Seva Kendras (PSK) since May 2014 which includes all the States in the North East of India. Two more PSK at Siliguri in West Bengal and at Sholapur in Maharashtra are scheduled to be inaugurated shortly to take the total number of PSK in the country to 93.
(ii) The Ministry of External Affairs in association with the Department of Posts has taken an innovative initiative and has decided to open Passport Offices at the Head Post Offices (HPO) in the country called ‘Post Office Passport Seva Kendra’ (POPSK). The Government has announced the opening of 235 POPSK in two phases – 86 in Phase-I and 149 in Phase-II. 55 POPSK out of the 86 announced in Phase-I have become functional as on 15 July, 2017. With the addition of 235 POPSKs, the total number of Passport Seva Kendras including POPSK to have been set-up since May 2014 for the benefit of the citizens would be 251.
(iii) There will be 93 PSK and 235 POPSK after the operationalization of all the PSK and POPSK announced in Phases I and II. The Government intends to open POPSK in the HPO in the country in such a manner that Passport Seva Kendra facility is available to citizens within a radius of 50 kms.
Simplification of rules
In order to streamline, liberalize and ease the process of issue of passport, the Ministry of External Affairs has announced steps in the realm of passport policy to ease the process of issue of passports. The details of these steps are given below:-
(I) Documents in support of proof of Date of Birth
As per the extant statutory provisions of the Passport Rules, 1980, all the applicants born on or after 26/01/1989, in order to get a passport, had to, hitherto, mandatorily submit the Birth Certificate as the proof of Date of Birth (DOB). It has now been decided that all applicants of passports can submit any one of the following documents as the proof of DOB while submitting the passport application:
(i) Birth Certificate (BC) issued by the Registrar of Births & Deaths or the Municipal Corporation or any other prescribed authority whosoever has been empowered under the Registration of Birth & Deaths Act, 1969 to register the birth of a child born in India;
(ii) Transfer/School leaving/Matriculation Certificate issued by the school last attended/recognized educational board containing the DOB of the applicant;
(iii) PAN Card issued by the Income Tax Department with the DOB of applicant;
(iv) Aadhaar Card/E-Aadhaar having the DOB of applicant;
(v) Copy of the extract of the service record of the applicant (only in respect of Government servants) or the Pay Pension Order (in respect of retired Government Servants), duly attested/certified by the officer/in-charge of the Administration of the concerned Ministry/Department of the applicant, having his DOB;
(vi) Driving license issued by the Transport Department of concerned State Government, having the DOB of applicant;
(vii) Election Photo Identity Card (EPIC) issued by the Election Commission of India having the DOB of applicant;
(viii) Policy Bond issued by the Public Life Insurance Corporations/Companies having the DOB of the holder of the insurance policy.
(i) The online passport application form now requires the applicant to provide the name of father or mother or legal guardian, i.e., only one parent and not both. This would enable single parents to apply for passports for their children and to also issue passports where the name of either the father or the mother is not required to be printed at the request of the applicant.
(ii) The total number of Annexes prescribed in the Passport Rule, 1980, has been reduced to 9 from the present 15. Annexes A, C, D, E, J, and K have been removed and certain Annexes have been merged.
(iii) All the annexes that are required to be given by the applicants would be in the form of a self-declaration on a plain paper. No attestation/swearing by/before any Notary/Executive Magistrate/First Class Judicial Magistrate would be henceforth necessary.
(iv) Married applicants would not be required to provide the erstwhile Annexure K or any marriage certificate.
(v) The passport application form does not require the applicant to provide the name of her/his spouse in case of separated or divorced persons. Such applicants for passports would not be required to provide even the Divorce Decree.
(vi) In case of children not born out of wedlock, the applicant for the passport of such children should submit only extant Annexure C while submitting the passport application.
(vii) In case of issue of passport to in-country domestically adopted children, submission of the registered adoption deed would no longer be required. In the absence of any deed to this effect, the passport applicant may give a declaration on a plain paper confirming the adoption.
(vii) Government servants, who are not able to obtain the Identity Certificate (extant Annexure-A)/ No-Objection Certificate (extant Annexure-G) from their concerned employer and intend to get the passport on urgent basis can now get the passport by submitting a self-declaration in extant Annexure-‘H’ that he/she has given prior Intimation Letter to his/her employer informing that he/she was applying for an ordinary passport to a Passport Issuing Authority.
(viii) Sadhus/ Sanyasis can apply for a passport with the name of their spiritual Guru mentioned in the passport application in lieu of their biological parent(s) name(s) subject to their providing of at least one public document such as Election Photo Identity Card (EPIC) issued by the Election Commission of India, PAN card, Aadhaar Card, etc wherein the name of the Guru has been recorded against the column(s) for parent(s) name(s).
(ix) Orphaned children who do not have any proof of DOB such as Birth Certificate or the Matriculation Certificate or the declaratory Court order, may now submit a declaration given by the Head of the Orphanage/Child Care Home on their official letter head of the organization confirming the DOB of the applicant.
GSR 1170(E) and 1171(E) dated 26.12.2016 and other executive instructions have been issued bringing into force these changes with effect from 26 December, 2016. All the above changes are expected to benefit the citizens of India applying for a passport.
(i) An applicant for a passport has to submit any one of the documents as mentioned in B (I) above as proof of Date of Birth (DOB) while submitting the passport application. The DOB mentioned in the document would be recorded in the passport. In case there is a discrepancy between the DOB previously recorded in the passport and the new proof of DOB submitted by the applicant, the Passport Issuing Authorities (PIA) have been authorized to consider the explanation of each applicant seeking change in the DOB (irrespective of the period that would have lapsed after the issue of the passport) to find the genuineness of the claim and if the PIA is satisfied with the claim and with the document(s) submitted by the applicant in support of the claim, the PIA shall accept all such requests made by the applicant to issue the passport with revised DOB.
(ii) Police Verification of the applicants plays an important role in timely dispatch of passports. The Ministry along with the Passport Offices continues to engage closely with the Police Departments across States/Union Territories and with concerned Home Departments to reduce time taken in police verification.
(iii) In order to speed up passport issuance, Walk-in facility has been allowed for certain categories of services/ citizens having Application Registration Number (ARN) to enable them to apply for Tatkaal services ; issue of Police Clearance Certificate (PCC); deletion of Emigration Check Required(ECR) status; inclusion of name of spouse in passport and new booklets where pages have been exhausted. Senior citizens (above 60 years); minors below 15 whose parents hold valid passports; differently-abled persons; central/state government servants and their spouse/dependent minor children, have also been permitted walk-in facility.
(iv) With a view to meet heavy and seasonal demand for passport services, Passport Melas are being organized on weekends from time to time by Passport Offices.
(v) In order to provide closer and speedier passport services to people located far away from PSKs, Passport Seva Camps are being organized at various locations in the country.
(viii) Passport Adalats, on need basis, are also being conducted by Passport Offices to redress passport service grievances by dealing with citizens directly
This information was given by GEN. (DR) V. K. SINGH (RETD) the Minister of State for Ministry of External Affairs., in written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha today.