Post offices will soon start issuing passports, with the ministry of external affairs working jointly with the department of posts to simplify the delivery of the important document to travel abroad and cover people on a larger scale. Head post offices across the country will now double as post office passport seva kendra (POPSK).
The pilot projects for this joint venture will be inaugurated on Wednesday at the head post offices at Mysuru in Karnataka and Dahod in Gujarat.
“Applicants, who apply for their passports online through the passport portal, can now schedule an appointment and then visit the designated POPSK to complete the formalities akin to those at the PSK necessary prior to the issue of the passport,” the ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.
The ministry explained that the government’s objective was to reach out to the people located far away from passport offices. It said the latest initiative would enable the government to deliver passport related services “in a timely, transparent, more accessible, and reliable manner.”
The service will be rolled out at all head post offices in a phased manner.
In December, the ministry scrapped the requirement of submitting the birth certificate to obtain a passport. It relaxed rules by allowing applicants to submit any government document that bears their dates of birth such as school-leaving certificate, driving licence, PAN card, Aadhaar card, voter ID card and even a policy bond issued by public life insurance corporations.
The new rules also simplified the process for single parents, divorced or separated people and adopted children.