Indian Passport Applicants Doubled after Authorities don’t Request Birth Certificate Anymore

In comparison to last years, the number of Indian citizens applying for a passport has doubled, as a result of the cancellation of birth certificate which was requested to serve as proof for someone’s date of birth (DOB).

In December last year, the Union’s Ministry of External Affairs had cancelled the requirement of the birth certificate which was mandatory when a citizen applied for a passport. While applying for a passport, the applicant can submit a series of other documents such as the school leaving certificate, matriculation certificate, PAN card and Aadhaar card.

The regional passport office in Jalandhar which takes care of seven districts (Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Nawanshahr, Hoshiarpur, Pathankot, Moga and Gurdaspur) is on the point of crossing the applications that were received last year. According to the latest information, the regional passport office in Jalandhar has released 2.97 lakh passports after it received more than 3 lakh applications until the end of last year, on the 31st of December. Until the 26th of July this year, the regional passport office in Jalandhar received more than 2.8 lakh applications.

Regional passport office dealing with the cases systematically

According to Mr. Harmanbir Singh Gill, who is a regional passport officer, the inflow of applicants has gone up. He also said that, at the moment, there is no pendency and that the regional passport office is dealing with the cases systematically. Mr. Singh Gill added that the office has been “conducting periodic passport melas for clearing the pending cases”.

The regional passport office in Jalandhar along with three passport sewa kendras from Nakodar Chowk, Mission Chowk, and Hoshiarpur deal with as many as 600 appointments on a daily basis en masse.

SBS Nagar and Moga district, where the head post office will be transformed into a passport sewa kendra (POPSK), have been shortlisted by the regional passport office. On the other hand, according to the directions from the Ministry of External Affairs, POSKs are required to be placed at a distance of at least 80 km the regional passport office. Due to the fact that Phagwara is placed at less than the required distance, it was removed from the list.

Mr. Singh Hill declared: “The details for the two sewa kendras were sent to MEA. Both the centres will be operational within four months”. Citizens will be able to use POSKs as submission centers where they have to possibility to submit passport applications just like sewa kendras for passports.

Passport application made easier for single parents and orphaned children

The new form of the passport application rules helps single parents apply for a passport for their children without having to mention the names of both parents on the application form. With the changes, the applicant is required by the new online form to give the name of the mother, the father or the legal guardian, instead of the names of both parents.

At the same time, divorce decrees or adoption certificates don’t have to be submitted anymore in order to obtain a passport. Orphaned children must provide only a document from their orphanage to have their date of birth confirmed.

Another measure involves applicants over the age of 60 and below 8 who will benefit from a 10 per cent discount on passport fees.

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