MEA brings amendments in passport application process
New Delhi: The ministry of external affairs on Friday unveiled a series of changes in the passport application process. The online passport application form now requires the applicant to provide the name of only one parent as opposed to both in order to enable those with single parents to apply for passports.
Minister of state for external affairs V.K. Singh said, “A three-member committee comprising of officials of the ministry of external affairs and the ministry of women and child development was constituted to examine various issues pertaining to passport applications.” He further stated that the rules pertains to single parents, parents with adopted children and instances where they did not want the inclusion of one parent. “These are tricky issues, all factors were examined and the committee came up with useful suggestions,” said Singh.
Another important suggestion given by the committee was to exclude the compulsion to submit the marriage certificate by married applicants. “All the annexes that are required to be given by the applicants will now be in the form of a self-declaration on a plain paper. We have removed the requirement of attestation by a notary or executive magistrate. Our aim is to trust the citizen, trust the documents provided and their declaration will be honoured,” said Singh.
Other announcements related to passport application process:
- The ministry has announced seven other options for citizens applying for a passport instead of the mandatory birth certificate as the proof of date of birth. These include the PAN card, Aadhaar card, driving license, transfer/leaving or matriculation certificate issued by a school, a voter ID card, a policy bond issued by public life insurance corporations and service records in respect to government services apart from pay pension order attested by the officer in charge of the concerned ministry/department.
- The minister of state for external affairs stated, “One major concern was that the passport applicants said they don’t have birth certificates and they were finding it difficult for the passport application process and a change has been brought in to take care of this aspect. We have now extended the basket of documents in lieu of the birth certificate.”
- Sadhusor Sanyasis (Hindu saints) can apply for a passport with the name of their spiritual guru in lieu of their biological parents. This will be acceptable if this change has been legally recognised on at least one public document such as an election photo identity card issued by the Election Commission of India, PAN card or Aadhar.
- Twitter Seva service would be launched to provide real time service delivery and user interaction. It would collate all the tweets addressed to the ministry for help. As many as 200 verified twitter accounts are commissioned to support the service. VK Singh said that the step would help Indians at home and abroad with speedy resolution of their visa and passport queries.
- “This amalgamation will assist us in ensuring that we provide much better response as well as get feedback via twitter seva. We have been on social media for a long time now and a lot of speed of our response has been because of this forum,” stated Singh.
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