New Delhi [India], June 24 (ANI): Post Office Passport Seva Kendras (PSK) needs to be opened in every Lok Sabha constituency across the nation, said External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Wednesday.
"I am sure, you all appreciate we are meeting under unique circumstances. I acknowledge how well all of you have responded to changing public requirements amid COVID, said Jaishankar on Passport Sewa Diwas.
"We intend to open Post Office Passport Seva Kendras (PSK) in every Lok Sabha constituency where no PSK exist today. We have so far been able to provide for 488 Lok Sabha constituencies. This process which we were going forward with very ambitiously, stopped momentarily due to COVID-19," he added.
Just like the previous years, the MEA, along with the Central Passport Organisation, is marking this occasion and renewing commitments to provide passport and passport-related services to the citizens of India in a timely, reliable, accessible, transparent and efficient manner, Jaishankar said.
The MEA has incorporated greater use of information technology (IT) and digital systems into its functioning including delivering public services, he said.
The Passport Seva Programme (PSP), which is a Mission Mode Project and is being run in the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) mode, has successfully completed a decade of its existence. PSP has 93 Passport Seva Kendras (PSK) and 424 Post Office Passport Seva Kendras (POPSIG functioning as the extended arms of our 36 Passport Offices in the country.
More than 1.22 crore passports were issued by the passport issuing authorities in India and abroad during 2019.
Digital platform such as the mPasspon Seva Mobile App for submission of passport applications and the citizen-friendly 'Apply from Anywhere' Scheme have eased the process for submission of passport applications by the citiuns.
With the concerted efforts of both the Ministry of External Affairs and the state police authorities, the average time for police verification has come down to 16 days.
"We need to continue to identify ways of further simplifying the passport rules and increasing our efforts to provide passport services in a comfortable environment with wider accessibility and reliability. Our government is working to build a 'New India' where the benefits of modern technology reach the farthest end of society. I call upon all passport issuing authorities in India and abroad to make conscious efforts to further improve the delivery of passport and passport-related services," Jaishankar said.
Passport Seva Divas which is held on 24 June every year. India's Passport Act was enacted on 24 June 1967. (ANI)