Jaishankar Tanzania
Jaishankar is also likely to hold separate bilateral talks with his counterparts from some other SCO countries on Friday. File photo.

Coming soon: PSP 2.0, with chip-enabled e-passports and more, says Jaishankar

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Enhanced passport services using a digital ecosystem; artificial intelligence (AI)-powered service delivery; chip-enabled e-passports; enhanced data security — these are what we can expect from the second phase of Passport Seva Programme (PSP-Version 2.0), External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has stated.

India will soon embark on PSP 2.0, Jaishankar announced on Passport Seva Divas on Saturday (June 24). “We will soon be embarking on Passport Seva Programme (PSP) Version 2.0, including new and upgraded e-passports,” Jaishankar said in his message that was shared by the ministry on Twitter.

Jaishankar said it was a “matter of pleasure” to “felicitate all passport-issuing authorities in India and abroad and their colleagues from the Central Passport Organization” on the occasion. On this day in 1967, the Passports Act came into force.

He added said that the MEA, after the COVID-19 pandemic, could successfully address the surge in demand for passport-related services by increasing the number of daily appointments and organising special drives over the weekends. He noted that the ministry processed 13.32 million passports and miscellaneous services in 2022, marking a rise of 63 per cent from 2021.

Also read: Schengen visa to go digital, no stickers in passports: All you need to know

New paradigm of ‘EASE’

Announcing the second phase of Passport Seva Programme, Jaishankar wrote, “In line with the Prime Minister’s vision of enhancing the ‘Ease of Living’ for citizens, these initiatives will usher in a new paradigm of ‘EASE’: E: Enhanced passport services to citizens, using a digital eco-system A: Artificial Intelligence-powered service delivery S: Smoother overseas travel using chip-enabled e-passports E: Enhanced data security.”

He added that the PSP has contributed significantly towards the goal of a ‘Digital India’ “with milestones such as mPassport Seva Mobile App, mPassport Police App, integration of PSP with DigiLocker, and the ‘apply from anywhere’ scheme”.

“While in 2014, there were 77 Passport Seva Kendras (PSKs) in the country, this number has increased 7-fold and stands at 523 today. In the context of POPSKS, I would like to acknowledge the role of the Department of Posts and state police authorities as esteemed partners,” his message stated.

Finally, he called on all passport-issuing authorities in India and abroad to join him in renewing the pledge to provide passport and related services to people in a “timely, reliable, accessible, transparent and efficient manner”.

(With agency inputs)

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