India to roll out e-passports for safe, easy international travel: Jaishankar

Published on Jun 24, 2022 05:32 PM IST
  • The external affairs minister also announced that the Passport Seva Programme (PSP) will be embarking on an improved and upgraded version PSP V2.0 to ensure a digital ecosystem among all stakeholders.
External affairs minister S Jaishankar. (PTI PHOTO.)
External affairs minister S Jaishankar. (PTI PHOTO.)

The central government is working to roll out e-passports that would make international travel easier and enable protection against identity theft, external affairs minister S Jaishankar said on Friday. In a message delivered on the occasion of Passport Sewa Diwas, Jaishankar reaffirmed the government's commitment to improving citizen experience and public delivery.

"It gives me great pleasure to join all our Passport Issuing Authorities in India and abroad on the occasion of the Passport Seva Divas 2022," he said. "As we commemorate the Passport Seva Divas on 24th June this year, we continue our commitment to deliver the next level of citizen experience," he added.

He noted that the passport services were rendered with the same vigor and enthusiasm during the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic. The government, he said, has set a record while dealing with the increased demand built up due to the pandemic, with a monthly average of 9.0 lakhs and 4.50 lakhs additional applications granted in last one month".

Jaishankar also announced that the Passport Seva Programme (PSP) will be embarking on an improved and upgraded version PSP V2.0 to ensure a digital ecosystem among all stakeholders and offer enhanced passport services to citizens.

"It would ensure smooth governance end-to-end through standardized and liberalized processes, use of latest and emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Chat-Bot, Use of Big-Data, Advance Analytics etc. The Ministry is also working to roll out ePassports for Indian citizens which would make easier international travel and enable protection against identity theft and greater data security," he added.

Jaishankar informed that the Passport Seva System has been integrated with the DigiLocker system to facilitate a paperless documentation process.

"The Ministry in collaboration with the Department of Posts operationalized 428 Post Office Passport Seva Kendras (POPSKs) to reach out to our citizens at their doorsteps. The Ministry has successfully integrated the passport issuance systems in 178 of our Embassies and Consulates abroad," the minister said.

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