MumbaiUnion minister Sushma Swaraj said the functioning of the ministry of external affairs had undergone a massive change since 2014, when the Narendra Modi-led government took over. “The speed of work is now supersonic. There were just 77 passport service centres in India in 2014. But in the past six months, we have created 235 new ones,” she said, speaking at an event in Bandra-Kurla Complex on Sunday.Swaraj inaugurated the country’s first Videsh Bhavan — an establishment set up to bring all of the ministry’s local offices under one roof. It is expected to cater to 12 of Maharashtra’s districts and the Union territories of Daman, Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli. Swaraj said it will also counsel Indians seeking jobs abroad and help them steer clear of fraudulent recruiting agents who take advantage of people’s lack of knowledge and dupe them.Like her party chief Amit Shah, the external affairs minister set the tone for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Shah boasted about the BJP-led government’s performance over the past three years, comparing it to that of the Congress government. He and Swaraj were in Mumbai to chair two functions.In the presence of minister of state VK Singh and chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, Swaraj spoke about her ministry’s efforts to rescue Indians stuck in crisis situations on foreign soil, and the need to do away with archaic passport application rules. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to the cabinet about cooperative federalism. The perception is that the external affairs ministry works only with the Centre, but I decided to take foreign affairs to the states by starting a Videsh Bhavan in every state capital,” she said.Fadnavis spoke about Maharashtra’s efforts to ensure that passports are issued within 24 to 48 hours by simplifying the police verification process and enabling it to be done online.