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An Entirely New Dynamic Passport in Offing : Muktesh Pardeshi, JS & Chief Passport Officer

Mr. Muktesh K. Pardeshi JS [PSP] & CPO
Mr. Muktesh K. Pardeshi, JS [PSP] & CPO, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India

Passport Kendra Sets New Records — Issues 10 Mn Passports in a year

By Ameya Sathaye, Editor-in-Chief, & Founder & VN Jha , Strategic Affairs Editor, and

New Delhi, July 07 : An entirely new dynamic Indian passport is in the offing with multiple security features that will prevent duplicating or faking this important travel document issued by the Indian government to aspiring citizens going overseas for education, employment or simply leisure travel.

“ The passport would be made of a more durable material , feel heavier but easy to handle, with multiple security features that no one can replicate or fake to make duplicate passports”, Muktesh Pardeshi Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs (PSP) and Chief Passport Officer (CPO) told Editors of in an exclusive interview answering questions ranging from milestones to new features and the path ahead.

Pardeshi said that the passport would have colourful pages depicting the cultural history of India. It is also proposed to put in an RIFD card into the passport hidden somewhere, not easily visible to the naked eye, that would contain all the relevant details of the passport holder. Security agencies would be able to read this card and verify the credentials to establish the genuineness of the passport.

So it would be extremely difficult to alter the passport or duplicate the passport by anyone for any illegal activities, Pardeshi said.

Referring to milestones achieved by the Passport Kendra in Delhi, Pardeshi said 2014 would go down as a landmark year in the annals of Passport Office in India. “It was in this year that a record number of one crore or 10 million passport applications were received and processed”, he said.

Only China, USA and now India, are the only three countries issuing more than 10 million passports annually. This indeed is a notable accomplishment of the year gone by, Pardeshi said.

Tracing some of the major achievements of 2014, Pardeshi said, there was a 20% growth in the number of applications received. “ My own hunch is that this high rate of growth is likely to continue until about 10% of the population comes to acquire passports”.

As of December end last year, Pardeshi pointed out that approximately 60 million Indians or six crore Indians held valid passports.

Revenue collection from passports set a new record netting in a whopping Rs Rs 2,000 crore in a single financial year.

The Chief Passport Officer (CPO) said that the top five states that received the maximum number of passport applications were: Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. They accounted for more than half of the total applications received.

Kerala, he pointed out, earned the distinction of probably being the only state in the world having processed more than one million passport applications in a year.

Outside of India, only two countries namely the UAE and Saudi Arabia contributed to one third of passport services rendered aboard.

Referring to Government’s policy of taking public services such as passports, Pardeshi said over 60 Passport Seva Camps were organised in the last six months at various locations covering even remote areas such as Agartala (Tripura), Bhuj (Gujarat), Daman (Goa), Gangtok (Sikkim), Imphal (Manipur), Itanagar (Arunachal Pradesh), Jaisalmer (Rajasthan),  Kohima (Nagaland), Lakshwadeep (UT), Nainital (UP) Siliguri (West Bengal) and Warangal (Andhra Pradesh).

Referring to the passport offices role during the Iraq crisis, Pardeshi said, as many as 19 Central Passport Organisation officials did a commendable job in strife torn Iraq. “ They were deployed there to facilitate the safe return of Indian nationals, especially from the conflict zone to India”, he said.

In fact the special envoy of the Ministry of External Affairs posted in Iraq then commended the work saying “ CPO has performed outstanding service to Indians in distress despite the difficult circumstances and unfamiliar territory and language. It was primarily due to their hard work that the Ministry was able to repatriate over 7,000 Indians.”

Pardeshi said Passport Seva was the proud receipient of the National Award for E-Governance 2014-15 Gold Award for outstanding performance in Citizen Centric Service Delivery.

“ The all round transformation in Passport services over the last few years has been made possible with the wholehearted and collective support of everyone involved, employees of the Central Passport Organisation, the Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) team and the citizens.

Pardeshi said “ The National award shall act as a constant source of motivation to attain greater heights in service efficiency, citizen satisfaction and good governance”.

(Additional reporting and editing by TN Ashok, Diplomatic Editor at the 

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