The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Monday (29 July) launched a free mobile application called 'MEAIndia' for Android and Apple smartphones.
MEA spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin announced the news on micro-blogging site Twitter saying, "Yes. Smart app "MEAIndia" available for download right away at Google Play & App Store. Try it out."
MEA is the first ever government department of India to launch its own smartphone app.
Earlier in January, the Ministry of Information and Broadcast had tried to develop a mobile app but the Planning Commission objected to their expenses incurred on social media activities.
With MEAIndia, users can access information regarding passport, visa, embassies or use it for any other ministry-related assistance. With just one touch, the user can locate the nearest embassy abroad. Users can track Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's foreign visits as well.
Users can directly interact with the External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, who will answer to any questions put across him.
To gather further attention from citizens, the app will conduct regular quizzes that assure prizes on winning.
The app is not available for Windows and Blackberry phones yet. "It is a leap of faith for us. Currently 4 Android & iOS devices. Once we get it right we will consider other platforms," he tweeted.
The app requires 31.4MB space on iPhone and iPad, while on Android phones it needs just 17 MB of space.
The ministry's new move is not the first of its kind to be implemented. Government offices worldwide have various mobile applications. Among the mobile applications popular among American citizens are 'FBI Most Wanted' or 'Find Your Embassy' which were rolled out the US government.