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Remarks by Minister of State for External Affairs on Passport Seva Divas 2021

June 24, 2021

Hon’ble External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar Ji,
Secretary (CPV & OIA), Shri Sanjay Bhattacharya,
Additional Secretary (PSP) & Chief Passport Officer, Shri Prabhat Kumar,
Passport Officers,
Namaskaram and Good morning to all of you!


1. I am glad to be part of this event joining you all on the Passport Seva Divas. I would like to acknowledge and commend your dedication during the difficult time of pandemic. You came forward and stood in delivering the required services when required.

Colleagues,

2. During the last seven years, the Ministry has taken a series of reform initiatives in passport and passport related services. Be it in leveraging the technology or increasing our reach to the public, our main aim has been to ease the process for citizens in obtaining passports. These are guided by the vision and leadership of Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi ji and External Affairs Minister, Dr. Jaishankar ji.

3. The issuance of passports is one of the most successful citizen-centric activities of the Ministry and has seen a substantial growth over the years. The Ministry has issued over 1 crore passports consecutively for three years till the onset of pandemic. During 2020, despite the pandemic, over 68 lakh passports were issued by the Passport Offices in India and Missions/Posts abroad. During first five months of 2021, the Passport Issuing Authorities in India and abroad has issued over 32 lakh passports. I appreciate the dedication and support of the officials of the Central Passport Organization and our Missions / Posts abroad on this feat.

4. Our partnership with the Department of Posts has helped establish an extensive network of Passport Kendras across the country. I take this opportunity to appreciate the consistent support of the Department of Posts. We plan to open more POPSKs in the near future, as our target is to have a Passport Kendra in each Lok Sabha Constituency.

5. In March this year, on the occasion of International Women’s Day, I had the pleasure of inaugurating two Passport Seva Kendras, which have been transformed as ‘All Women PSK’. These are at Delhi and Tripunithura, Cochin.

6. To further ease the process, we have integrated the Passport issuance system with DigiLocker this year, a key initiative under Digital India flagship program. This helps verification of documents / certificates digitally, eliminating the need for physical documents. This is certainly a step further in simplifying the application process.

Colleagues,

7. The Ministry has a robust Grievance Redressal Mechanism to promptly attend to queries and grievances of the citizens. Citizens can lodge their grievances directly with the Passport Officers on the Centralized Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System (CPGRAMS) portal of the Government as also through the PSP Portal and Twitter handle of the Passport Seva Project. While I am aware that the Passport Officers redress the citizens’ grievances promptly, I would like to re-emphasise the need to redress public grievances on priority and to the entire satisfaction of the citizens.

8. I note with satisfaction that despite the pandemic, the time taken for police verification has remained closer to pre-pandemic period. Several State Police Authorities have implemented various initiatives to expedite the Police verification Process, including use of mPassport Police App. The Passport Officers could maintain regular and constant coordination with their State Police Authorities and facilitate adoption of mPassport Police App, in case this has not been implemented by them so far.

9. The Passport Offices located in various regions of the country have also helped to substantially promote progressive use of the official language of Hindi. They have not only been using Hindi language while interacting with the citizens but also in their day-to-day official working. All Passport Offices have brought out a Hindi Patrika supported with literary and other contributions from their personnel and their family members.

Colleagues,

10. We held a competition for a logo and tagline for the Passport Seva Programme. This was crowd-sourced and we received overwhelming response of 1499 entries, out of which 10 were short-listed. In consultation with the Passport Offices, we have selected a Logo and a Tagline for the Passport Seva Programme, which you may now see on the screen. I congratulate the winners of the competition, who will be receiving the award.

11. In conclusion, I congratulate the recipients of Passport Seva Puraskars for their dedicated service and outstanding contributions to good governance in delivery of passport services. Your achievement will surely encourage and motivate other colleagues to usher in further reforms and improvements in the passport issuance process.

I thank you all.

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