The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has made several changes to the existing passport rules in order to "streamline, liberalise and ease the process of issue of passport." The biggest of these is the issue of the proof of date of birth, but the MEA has also made changes to the procedure of filling of online forms in the passport application process.
The MEA said in a statement released on Friday: "The Ministry of External Affairs expects that the changes in the Passport Rules would further ease the process for passport applicants in getting their Passport. At the same time, it would enable this ministry to continue to deliver passport related services to the citizens in a timely, transparent, more accessible, reliable manner and in a comfortable environment through streamlined processes and committed, trained and motivated workforce."
Rules for proof of DoB
The first of the changes is in the provision of proof of Date of Birth (DoB) of people born after January 26, 1989. Earlier, these people were mandatorily required to provide birth certificates as proof of DoB.
As per the new rules, they can submit any of eight different documents as such proof. Besides the birth certificate, these include transfer, school-leaving or matriculation certificates, Aadhaar or e-Aadhaar documents, PAN cards, driving licence and even the Election Photo Identity Card, or EPIC.
Easier online application system
Following the recommendations of a three-member committee that included MEA and Ministry of Women and Child Development officials, the MEA has also eased the process of applying for a passport online.
For starters, it has now allowed an applicant to mention the name of either their father or mother or legal guardian — as opposed to both parents earlier. The MEA said about the change: "This would enable single parents to apply for passports for their children and to also issue passports where the name of either the father or the mother is not required to be printed at the request of the applicant."
A number of other changes have also been made in the Passport Rules of 1980. You can read them all here: