The ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has announced that soon users will be able to apply for passports with just a click on their smartphones, aiming to make the whole process hassle-free.
The 'mPassport Seva' Android app was launched earlier in March this year and can be downloaded from www.passportindia.gov.in. The app lets the users track their application status, see the complete tracking process, get information about the nearest Passport Seva Kendra (PSK) as well as get general information regarding the procedure for passport application.
In the coming months the app will also allow users to apply for passports via their Android phones. Users will be able to make online payment via their credit or debit cards. After the user has applied, the applicant can go to the nearest PSK and collect their allotted 'application reference number'.
An official added that the number of passports issued this year is likely to increase to 85 lakh as compared with 74 lakh passports issued last year. The ministry is also working on preventing tempering of original photos and is now launching passports with ghost or phantom images.
Joint Secretary (Passport Seva Project) and Chief Passport Officer Muktesh Kumar Pardeshi told reporters, "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)."
Kumar also added that the Passport Seva project has been declared as winner for e-India public choice award 2013 under government to citizen service category.