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Q. Reforms in passport service: comment on recent reforms brought in passport services.
Dec 31, 2016 Related to : GS Paper-2

Ans :

Introduction-

Recently Ministry of External Affairs has announced new and simplified rules for the application of passport. Recently announced changes in the rules governing grant of passports service are considered as progressive step and these were long overdue. They simplify, in great measure, the paperwork needed for an Indian citizen to get the document.

Key changes-

  • An Aadhar Card or a PAN card or Scholl leaving certificates would be accepted as a proof of Date of Birth, instead of only relying on birth certificates.
  • In case of single parents, the application form for their child now requires only the name of one parent, not both.
  • The stipulation that marriage certifications and divorce decrees should be provided has been removed.
  • Now application can be attested by applicant directly without going to notary or magistrate. 
  • In case of adopted and surrogate children can be issued passports even in the absence of the relevant documents, based on a declaration on plain paper.

Analysis-

  • In India the rules governing passport applications were resulted into bureaucratic impediments in getting passports even for genuine applicants.
  • Many times people were forced knock the doors of judiciary to get remedies due to unnecessary and irrational rules
  • Some rules were targeted to women specifically. Separated or divorced women met with harassments in getting passports for their child.
  • In this background new rules brought by MEA addresses many issues that previous rules created. The new rules address many irritants in the process of getting a passport. 
  • Every citizen has right to get passport and system should as easy as possible to get required services. Hence these new rules have brought cheers for passport applicants. 

Conclusion-

The reforms in passport services were long overdue and people suffered many bureaucratic hurdles in getting passport. Hence the recent progressive changes will address various irrational aspects. And now people can get passport without any hurdle with minimum documents. In a democracy simplification of procedure should be an ongoing exercise.    


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