New Delhi: Getting a passport will soon be
easy with the government opening `Passport Seva Kendras` (PSK)
in 77 centres across the country in a year.
The first such PSK will be inaugurated in Bangalore on
Friday followed by six others by June. One will be a pilot
project for three months after which such kiosks will be
opened all over the country.
Seven PSKs will run for next three months and the
government plans to open all the 77 proposed PSKs by March
2011, A Manickam, Joint Secretary (Counsellor Passports and
Visas of MEA), told reporters here.
Out of the 77 centres, three each will be in Delhi,
Chennai and Mumbai while two will be in Kolkata.
The new system will ensure that an applicant gets the
passport three days after his or her police verification is
completed. This will ensure that long queues for filing
applications for passports become a thing of past.
"After you enter a PSK for submitting your application,
you will be out of it within 45 minutes," Manickam said.
"Once you are inside the PSK, a data operator will file
your details and you are photographed. Your documents are
checked in the second stage and forwarded to Granting Officer
who will decide on whether your application can be accepted or
not. This will not take more than 45 minutes," he said.
After the application is accepted, it will be forwarded to
concerned district police headquarters for verification.
"The current police verification process is undergoing
change. Now police cannot just say the applicant is not there.
They have to say where he is," Manickam said.
He said such kiosks will be of great help to applicants.
"The number of passports issued went up by 2.2 times from 1997
to 2007. This rapid growth is expected to accelerate further
with India`s fast growing global engagement," he said.
The future expected growth is around 18 per cent per
annum with passport demand reaching over one crore by 2011.