External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday launched a Passport Seva app to help seamless application and issue of passports.
On the occasion of Passport Seva Diwas, Ms. Swaraj addressed the officials of several Passport Seva Kendras and members of the Ministry of External Affairs, mentioning two new schemes: passport application from anywhere in India, and filling passport application forms from mobile phones, making the procedure for obtaining passports simpler.
Calling it a "passport revolution", Ms. Swaraj said, "I found that two things which were directly connected to the Indian citizens were a passport and visas required for undertaking Haj pilgrimage."
While the Haj pilgrimage falls under the Ministry of Minority Affairs, the passport remained with the External Affairs Ministry.
She also said that the new passport centres were now functional in separate northeast regions of the country instead of a single centre in Guwahati that was catering passport seekers of all the neighbouring regions up until now.
"In the first two phases, we announced 251 passports registration centres out of which 212 centres are already established. In the third phase, 38 additional centres were announced out of which two centres have been operationalized," she added.
She also informed that there are 260 working passport centres, and these will be expanded to all Lok Sabha constituencies in the near future.
A meeting was conducted between Women and Child Development Ministry and the Ministry of External Affairs earlier, in which the participating ministers discussed steps there were to be taken for issuing passports and help to make passport issuance form citizen-friendly.
The officers of the External Affairs Ministry are currently working on making a list of areas where new passport centres can be made.
Inputs from ANI