Media Center Media Center

QUESTION NO.1777 PASSPORT SEVA KENDRAS

February 13, 2019

LOK SABHA
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO.1777
TO BE ANSWERED ON 13.02.2019



1777. SHRI GEORGE BAKER:
SHRI ANIL SHIROLE:

Will the Minister of EXTERNAL AFFAIRS be pleased to state:

(a) the details of the number of passport seva kendras operational across the country including Maharashtra and West Bengal;

(b) whether the Government is planning to introduce Chip-based e-passports in place of paper passports within the country;

(c) if so, the details thereof and the reasons therefor;

(d) whether the Government is also planning to simplify the process of issuing visas to PIO (Person of Indian Origin) and OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) cards; and

(e) if so, the details thereof and the time by which it is likely to be done?

ANSWER
THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
[GEN. (DR) V. K. SINGH (RETD)]


(a) Before 2014, 77 Passport Seva Kendras were operational in the country. After 2014, 16 new Passport Seva Kendras were established by this Government. Thereafter, in the year 2017, a decision was taken in co-operation with the Department of Posts to open ‘Post Office Passport Seva Kendras’ (POPSK), under which as on 06 February, 2019, 326 POPSK have been established. Thus, as on 06 February, 2019, 419 ‘Passport Kendras’ are operational in the country (which includes 29 in Maharashtra and 29 in West Bengal) (Annexure-I).

(b) & (c) Yes, the Ministry has plans to issue chip enabled e-passports to citizens with advanced security features and better printing and paper quality. The Government has given its approval for procurement of electronic contactless inlays for manufacturing of e-passports to India Security Press (ISP), Nashik. In this regard, ISP, Nashik, has been authorized to float a Global three-stage tender for procurement of International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)-compliant electronic contactless inlays along with its operating system which is required for manufacture of e-passports. Manufacture of e-passport with advanced security features and better printing and paper quality will commence on the successful completion of the tendering and procurement process by ISP, Nashik.

The personal particulars of the applicants would be digitally signed and stored in the chip. In case, anyone tampers with the chip, the system shall be able to identify it resulting in the failure of the passport authentication. Access of information is protected in a way that the chip cannot be read without physical possession of the passport.

(d) & (e) Rationalization and simplification of Visa regime is a continuous process. Foreigners of Indian origin can avail Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card scheme. As per the provisions of the scheme, OCI card holders get the benefit of a multiple entry life-long visa for visiting India for any purpose.

Further, foreigners of Indian origin may also obtain multiple entry visa for the period of five years at a time from our Mission/ Post.

In addition, the spouse and children of an Indian citizen/Person of Indian origin/OCI card holder may obtain multiple entry Visa for a period of five year at a time.

Foreigners of Indian origin can also avail e-Visa facility, which is available for the nationals of 166 countries.

*****
Comments

Post A Comment

  • Name *
    E-mail *
  • Write Your Comment *
  • Verification Code * Verification Code