The ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has announced that passports applications will be a hassle-free affair with plans to ease the lengthy application process by a simple click on smartphones.
Joint Secretary (Passport Seva Project) and Chief Passport Officer Muktesh Kumar Pardeshi told reporters, "Applicants can fill details on passport applications through mPassport Seva App. We are working on this and are hopeful it will be launched in next few months."
The application is supported on Android phones and presently it can be used to track the application status, tracking process, tracing the nearest Passport Seva Kendra (PSK) and general information on various steps of the application.
The option of application for passport through the 'mPassport Seva' app will be incorporated in the coming months. The app will also enable users to make online payment using the credit/debit card options. After applying, the applicant would have to go to the nearest PSK to collect the 'application reference number' that will be allotted.
In addition, the ministry has launched passports with ghost or phantom images to prevent tampering of the original photo in the passport.
"Earlier, we used to laminate only the page where the applicant's photo is imprinted. Now both sides of the page in the passport would be laminated called 'letter screen image (LSI)" said Kumar.
The officer also said that the number of passports issued this year is likely to increase to 85 lakh from 74 lakh passports issued last year.
The mPassport Seva app launched in March this year can be viewed here.