Block time, pay online to apply for a passport

T. E. Raja Simhan | | Updated on: Mar 12, 2018

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Individuals applying for a passport can soon book their appointment with the passport office in advance by making an online payment. This will help the passport office curb filing of ‘fake’ online applications seeking appointments.

It will be similar to applying, say for a US visa, online. At the designated date and time, the individual needs to appear before the passport officer for an interview, said Muktesh Pardeshi, Joint Secretary (Passport Seva Project) and Chief Passport Officer.

The online payment is likely to be introduced before March. Individuals can make the online payment through a credit or debit card, he told newspersons.

Pardeshi said that 25-30 per cent of online applications consist of fake names and information. While appointments are given to these people, they actually do not turn up, thus wasting the time of the officials.

However, once the online payment is made, the date and time will be reserved for the person concerned. “Instead of you waiting for us, we will wait for you to come. We will also have an idea before hand as to who the person is,” he said.

The online payment fee is the same as that charged for the the present offline mode, he said.

In 2012, around 80 lakh passports were issued. This was nearly 10 per cent more than the previous year, he said. Through the Passport Seva Project, around 54.8 lakh passports were issued across India, he said.

The current system takes care of complete digitisation and processing of applications when an applicant visits the Passport Seva Kendra. In the earlier system, the applicant only submitted the form and any shortcomings were identified and rectified at a later stage, he said.

Staff of Tata Consultancy Services is responsible for initial data entry of application. However, the verification of documents, granting of passport and dispatch is done by Government staff, he said.

raja.simhan@thehindu.co.in

Published on January 04, 2013
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