India is gearing up for an exciting new chapter in its Passport Seva Programme (PSP) as External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar announced the forthcoming launch of the much-anticipated second phase, known as PSP Version 2.0. With this phase comes a host of innovative features, including brand new and upgraded e-passports, set to revolutionize the passport services in the country.
In honor of Passport Seva Divas, Mr. Jaishankar called upon passport-issuing authorities both within India and abroad to join him in reaffirming their commitment to delivering passport and related services with a focus on timeliness, reliability, accessibility, transparency, and efficiency.
Expressing his excitement, Mr. Jaishankar shared his message on the Passport Seva Kendra platform, stating, “We will soon be embarking on Passport Seva Programme (PSP) Version 2.0, including new and upgraded e-passports. In line with the Prime Minister’s vision of enhancing the ‘Ease of Living’ for citizens, these initiatives will usher in a new paradigm of ‘EASE’: E: Enhanced passport services to citizens, using a digital ecosystem; A: Artificial Intelligence-powered service delivery; S: Smoother overseas travel using chip-enabled e-passports; E: Enhanced data security.”
He further urged all passport issuing authorities, both at home and abroad, to join him in renewing their commitment to providing citizens with passport services that are prompt, reliable, accessible, transparent, and efficient.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) took to Twitter to share Mr. Jaishankar’s message, stating, “Here is a message from EAM @DrSJaishankar, as we observe the Passport Seva Divas today. #TeamMEA reaffirms its commitment to provide passport and related services to citizens in a timely, reliable, accessible, transparent and efficient manner.”
Expressing his delight, Mr. Jaishankar extended his felicitations to all passport-issuing authorities in India and abroad, as well as their colleagues from the Central Passport Organization, on the occasion of Passport Seva Divas 2023. He emphasized that this day serves as an opportunity to reflect on past achievements and recommit to upholding the highest standards in passport service delivery.
Acknowledging the surge in demand for passport-related services during the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr. Jaishankar highlighted the MEA’s proactive response, which included increasing the number of daily appointments and organizing special drives over the weekends. In 2022, the Ministry processed a remarkable 13.32 million passports and miscellaneous services, reflecting a remarkable 63% increase from the previous year.
The PSP, according to Mr. Jaishankar, has played a pivotal role in realizing the government’s vision of a ‘Digital India.’ He recounted his visits to Passport Seva Kendras across various states, noting that other ministers and senior officials of the MEA have undertaken similar visits, fostering alignment between policy and operational governance. He assured that such efforts would continue unabated in the future.
Highlighting the achievements of the PSP, Mr. Jaishankar mentioned milestones such as the mPassport Seva Mobile App, mPassport Police App, integration with DigiLocker, and the ‘apply from anywhere’ scheme. The number of Passport Seva Kendras (PSKs) has grown significantly, from 77 in 2014 to an impressive 523 today. Mr. Jaishankar also acknowledged the Department of Posts and state police authorities as esteemed partners in the context of Post Office Passport Seva Kendra (POPSKS).
With the second phase of the Passport Seva Programme on the horizon, India is poised to embrace a new era of enhanced passport services, driven
Cause: The cause of the Passport Seva Programme (PSP) Version 2.0 and the introduction of new and upgraded e-passports is the Indian government’s vision of enhancing the ‘Ease of Living’ for citizens. The initiative aims to streamline and improve passport services, making them more accessible, efficient, and secure.
Effect: The effect of implementing PSP Version 2.0 and introducing new e-passports will be a significant transformation in the passport services landscape in India. Citizens will benefit from enhanced services, including a digital ecosystem, artificial intelligence-powered service delivery, chip-enabled e-passports for smoother overseas travel, and improved data security. These measures will contribute to the government’s goal of a ‘Digital India’ and provide a more seamless and convenient passport application and renewal process. The increased number of Passport Seva Kendras and the collaboration with the Department of Posts and state police authorities will further enhance accessibility and efficiency in delivering passport services.
conclusion, India’s forthcoming Passport Seva Programme (PSP) Version 2.0, featuring advanced e-passports, marks a significant milestone in enhancing passport services for citizens. With a focus on accessibility, reliability, and data security, this initiative aims to provide seamless travel experiences and empower individuals. The government’s commitment to improving the ease of living is evident through the integration of digital ecosystems, artificial intelligence-powered service delivery, and chip-enabled e-passports. These advancements will revolutionize the passport system, ensuring efficient processing and reinforcing India’s vision of a ‘Digital India.’