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Soon, your nearby post office may also be a passport seva kendra

In a major move aimed at extending passport services to citizens on a larger scale, the government has decided to utilise the wider area coverage of post offices to deliver passport related services. In a major decision, the government has allowed post offices to act as Passport Seva Kendras, which means every head post office in the district will be "empowered" to complete the essential formalities for getting a passport.

According to Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha, the head post offices of every district would now offer passport related all services, which are available at the Passport Seva Kendras (PSK). The decision in this regard has been taken after Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and Department of Posts (DOP) inked a joint venture to make it operational.

At first, the service would be rolled out on a pilot project basis, which would be inaugurated on Wednesday at Mysuru head post office in Karnataka and Dahod in Gujarat.

On the successful completion of the pilot projects, this service would be extended to all the head post offices in a phased manner. In the first phase, the government has identified 38 places, where passport seva kendras would come up. India Post has around 800 head post offices, while there are over 700 districts in the country.

Explaining the operational mechanism of the new model, a senior official said, "The post offices would be used for authenticating essential documents being submitted online by an applicant through the passport portal (www.passportindia.gov.in). The employee, who would be deployed to verify the documents, will of India Post and not of MEA. A superintendent level officer of the Postal Department would be tasked to validate the required papers."

"After the papers are verified at the designated post offices, the passport would be issued to the applicant within the stipulated timeframe. If the documents are rejected, the applicant would have to go through the entire procedures again. The fee would be paid through passport portal only," the official said, adding that the project would help applicants who had to travel long distances to appear before officials at any regional passport office.

On receipt of applications, the designated post offices would fix an appointment with applicants to complete the formalities, the official added.
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