New Passport Seva Kendra launched in Jammu

`Passport sub-office in Leh shortly’
Excelsior Correspondent

Chief Passport Officer, Muktesh Pardeshi flanked by Regional Passport Officer, Rajinder Gupta inaugurating new Passport Seva Kendra in Jammu on Tuesday.           —Excelsior/Rakesh
Chief Passport Officer, Muktesh Pardeshi flanked by Regional Passport Officer, Rajinder Gupta inaugurating new Passport Seva Kendra in Jammu on Tuesday. —Excelsior/Rakesh

JAMMU, Apr 24: A new Passport Seva Kendra, equipped with modern technology and world class infrastructure with transparent and quick delivery system, was inaugurated at Gandhinagar here today.
Chief Passport Officer and joint Secretary from Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Muktesh Pardeshi announced the operational launch of this new Seva Kendra at Auqaf Market complex, adjacent to existing Regional Passport office in presence of Passport Officer Rajinder Gupta, Principal Consultant Golak Simli and Head Operations Rajesh Dogra besides other staff.
While announcing the launch, Mr Pardeshi said that for providing better and faster services, Ministry of External Affairs has opened this Passport Seva Kendra in partnership with the Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). He said as a part of nation wide implementation of Passport Seva Project under the National e-Governance Program, these Kendras are being set up keeping in view easier accessibility, convenience and to provide services in a comfortable environment using world class infrastructure. This centre has been developed in an area around 4500 sq feet having 14 service counters.
Conceived by the MEA, under this project, the TCS has taken up 77 Kendras. It has been done keeping in view the increasing rush at the Passport offices and contain the crowd. He disclosed that after 1947 to 1950, average 20,000 passports were being issued by the Passport offices across the country but this number went on increasing. During 2011, about 75 lakh passports were issued. He disclosed that MEA plans to open sub-offices at district headquarters to cover several areas and extend its reach. In J&K such sub-centre is going to be opened at Leh to cover applicants of Ladakh region. These Kendras will be integrating with the police verification system and no physical application is required as was being done earlier. The applicant will move himself to Seva Kendra, his photograph will be taken besides finger prints etc. The applicant will seek appointment and move to the office at the given time and date, he added.
Regional Passport Officer, Jammu Rajinder Gupta, disclosed that Jammu Kendra will be providing services to the citizens of various districts falling under the jurisdiction of Regional Passport office Jammu. Various amenities including snacks counter, photo copier facility, air conditioned and modern waiting lounge, baby care facility etc have been provided for the convenience of the citizens. While all front end and citizen facing activities including processing of applications are done by the TCS staff, the sovereign functions such as document verification and granting of passport will be done by the Regional Passport office staff, Mr Gupta maintained.
Mr Gupta disclosed that as per new system, applicant has to log on to the website, and create a user ID, By using the user ID he or she can apply for passport or related service by uploading the form on-line. Once the form is uploaded, appointment for Passport Seva Kendra can be taken on line. The applicant will move along with the documents needed on the given date and time to the Kendra. There is no need to carry physical forms or photographs. Bio-metric measurements etc will be taken and under this new system there is no chance of forgery or duplicity. The launch of this service will greatly ease the burden and rush at the passport office Jammu where earlier hardly 150 applications were being processed each day. The district passport cells will continue to accept the passport applications as usual till further orders, he maintained.
Mr Simli and Rajesh Dogra also spoke on the occasion and briefed the gathering about the new system and its benefits.