Thursday, 27 July 2017

Criteria for Passports

An application for issue of a passport under the Passports Act, 1967 may be made to a Passport Issuing Authority for which the applicant must fulfill the following criteria: 

(i) that the applicant is a citizen of India; 

(ii) that the applicant has not been, at any time during the period of five years immediately preceding the date of his application, been convicted by a court in India for any offence involving moral turpitude and sentenced in respect thereof to imprisonment for not less than two years; 

(iii) that proceedings in respect of an offence alleged to have been committed by the applicant are not pending before a criminal court in India; 

(iv) that a warrant or summons for the appearance, or a warrant for the arrest, of the applicant has not been issued by a court under any law for the time being in force or that an order prohibiting the departure from India of the applicant has not been made by any such court; and 

(v) that the applicant has never applied for/ or been granted political asylum by any foreign country. 

The pre-printed portion of the passport is in both Hindi and English languages. The personal details of individuals in the passport are presently printed in the English language only. It has been decided to print personal details of individuals in passports both in Hindi and English languages. 

The total number of Regional Passport Offices in the country is 38 including two at Ahmedabad and Surat in Gujarat. 

The Government has implemented with effect from 24 June, 2017 a new scheme under which senior citizens of the age of 60 years and above and minor children upto the age of eight years would be given a discount of 10 per cent on the applicable passport fee on fresh application for passports. 

The Government has opened 14 Passport Seva Kendras (PSK) since May 2014 which includes all the States in the North East of India. Two more PSK at Siliguri in West Bengal and at Sholapur in Maharashtra are scheduled to be inaugurated shortly to take the total number of PSK in the country to 93. 

The Ministry of External Affairs in association with the Department of Posts has decided to open Passport Offices at the Head Post Offices (HPO) in the country called ‘Post Office Passport Seva Kendra’ (POPSK). The Government has announced the opening of 235 POPSK in two phases – 86 in Phase-I and 149 in Phase-II. 55 POPSK out of the 86 announced in Phase-I are functional as on 21 July, 2017. With the addition of 235 POPSK, the total number of Passport Seva Kendras including POPSK to have been set-up since May 2014 would be 251. 

There will be 93 PSK and 235 POPSK after the operationalization of all the PSK and POPSK announced in Phases I and II. There will be 328 Passport Seva Kendras in the country. The Government thereafter intends to open POPSK in the HPO in the country in such a manner that there is a Passport Seva Kendra available within a radius of 50 km of every HPO. 

This information was given by Shri Gen. (Dr.) V.K. Singh (Retd), the Minister of State for External Affairs, in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha, today (July 26, 2017)


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