Toddlers Darlene, Jessica in UK first to get passports under MEA outreach programme

The Indian mission in UK presented the first set of passports under their new scheme to two toddlers, Darlene Fernandes and Jessica Kaur, at the London High Commission and Birmingham consulate in the presence of proud parents, guests and dignitaries from the diplomatic world.

These passports were printed under the flagship Passport Seva Programme of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs(MEA).

Forteen month old Darlene Fernandes looks askance after Indian High Commissioner to UK Y K Sinha presents her with passport (Photo courtesy: High Commission of India, London
Fourteen-month-old Darlene Fernandes looks askance after Indian High Commissioner to UK Y K Sinha presents her with passport. Photo courtesy: High Commission of India, London

High Commission of India, London, became the first Indian mission worldwide to roll out more efficient and expeditious passport delivery system which is being directly monitored by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

In London last Saturday, High Commissioner Y K Sinha presented the first passport to 14-month-old Darlene at a special ceremony, whereas in Consulate General Dr Aman Puri at Birmingham presented passport to 12-month-old Jessica.

High Commission to UK Y K Sinha addressing recipients of passport printed under MEA's Passport Seva Programme. (Photo courtesy: High Commission of India, London
High Commission to UK Y K Sinha addressing recipients of passport printed under MEA's Passport Seva Programme. (Photo courtesy: High Commission of India, London

In a record of sorts, MEA has delivered more than 11.7 million passports and passport related services during the year 2017, underscoring the commitment of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and passport officers towards delivering their services to the citizens with greater dedication, consideration and in a transparent and professional manner.

Indian High Commissioner to UK Y K Sinha with Darlene and other recipients of passport printed under MEA's Passport Seva Programme. (Photo courtesy: High Commission of India, London
Indian High Commissioner to UK Y K Sinha with Darlene and other recipients of passport printed under MEA's Passport Seva Programme. Photo courtesy: High Commission of India, London

MEA has already launched a new scheme by which an applicant can apply for passport from anywhere in India. This citizen-friendly initiative is to enable applicants to choose the Regional Passport Office and thus the desired Passport Seva Kendra or Post Office Passport Seva Kendra under the RPO where they wish to submit their application irrespective of whether the present residential address specified in the application form lies within the jurisdiction of the selected RPO, or not.

The Police Verification is conducted at the address specified in the application form. The passport is printed and despatched by the RPO selected for application submission by the applicant.

Recepients of passport printed under MEA's Passport Seva Programme. (Photo courtesy: High Commission of India, London
Recepients of passport printed under MEA's Passport Seva Programme. Photo courtesy: High Commission of India, London

The ministry has also launched the mPassport Seva Mobile App with additional facilities to apply, pay and schedule appointments for passport services. This App is available in Android and iOS platforms. Citizens would not require access to a computer and printer to apply for passport services.

MEA, in association with Department of Posts, has taken another innovative initiative to open Passport Seva Kendras at the head post offices or post offices in the country to be known as Post Office Passport Seva Kendra. As many as 289 POPSK have been announced so far and over 214 POPSK are already functional. Together with 93 Passport Seva Kendras, there were 307 PSK functioning in the country including POPSK.

 

Author
Pradeep Rana
Pradeep Rana – Senior Correspondent

Pradeep Rana has worked as a journalist with news ​agencies UNI and PTI, newspapers Indian Express and The Times Of India, and television channel NHK as South Asia Correspondent. He has also worked as Media Analyst at US Embassy, and edited several magazines and a medical handbook.

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