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Posted on Nov 15, 06:44PM | UNI
Chief Passport Officer (CPO) Muktesh K Pardeshi today said the External Affairs Ministry has decided to open 13 mini-passport Seva Kendras (PSK) against 77 PKSs existing in the country, operated by 37 regional passport offices.
Addressing a press conference here, Mr Muktesh, who was in the city to participate in e-India summit here, said that out of 15 Mini-PSKs proposed by the Ministry, two have already opened at Gulbarga and in Mizoram and two are under process at Karimnagar and in Bhimavaram (West Godavari district) of Andhra pradesh.
Expecting to cross 8 million passports this year against 73.65 lakh passports issued last year in the country, the CPO said with the launch of a passport Seva Kendra (PSK) at the Regional Passport Office in New Delhi on June 14 this year, the External Affairs Ministry has successfully completed setting up and operationalisation of 77 PSKS under Public Private partnership(PPP) mode with Tata Consultancy in the country.
The new measues and procedures have been introduced in the interest of 'national security' to deny issue of passports to ineligible persons and also to those who try to obtain passport service fraudulently on false pretence and particulars, he said. The Ministry has been taking all necessary measures by adopting new technologies to prevent fake passports, he added.
Andhra pradesh state was occupied third place followed by Kerala and Maharahstra in isssuing of huge number of passports in the country, Mr Muktesh informed.
Regional passport Officer (RPO-Hyderabad) K Srikar Reddy said the 7 PSKs in Andhra Pradesh were handling 3500 applications per day which translates to more than 7.8 lakh applications a year against 6 lakh applications processed last year.
The 'Appointment System' has been introduced in keeping with the National e-Governance Plan(NeGP) objective of making government services accessible to the common man through common service delivery outlets and ensuing efficiency, Transparency and reliability of such services at affordabel costs, he said.
In addition to walk-in applications, about 3000 online slots are released for six PSKs under RPO, Hyderabad and 300 for one PSK under RPO, Visakhapatnam,he said.
The applicants under 'Walk-in category adopted from August this year, can also apply by appointment if he or she wishes and in addition this, the walk-in facility is extended in all re-issue applicants on a trial basis for one month from November 20 this year, Dr Reddy added.