In a move to fasten and simplify passport delivery process, the government has announced a series of steps that would help single mothers, orphaned children, and sadhus obtain passports with ease.
The Government has also relaxed the need for birth certificates in the application process. The new rules will eliminate the role of non-government agents and touts.
“We had to resolve issues on minors, women, birth certificates, and therefore a three-member committee was formed by the Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Women and Child Development that gave the recommendations,” said Minister of State for External Affairs General (retd.) V.K. Singh
Singh also said that declared that passport-related grievances would now be handled on the social media platform of Twitter.
The new rules for online application require the applicant to provide the name of father or mother or legal guardian. “This would enable single parents to apply for passports for their children and facilitate issue of passports where the name of either the father or the mother is not required to be printed at the request of the applicant,” said the press statement.
The annexures have been brought down to nine from the 15 required under the Passport Rules, 1980. The new annexures would be in the form of “self-declaration” on a plain paper. The new rules allow faster processing for married applicants as they can apply without attaching marriage certificate. “We are moving to be on a par with countries with a highly liberalised process,” said Gen. Singh.
“The passport application form does not require the application to provide the name of her/his spouse in case of separated or divorced persons. Such applicants would not be required to provide even the Divorce Decree,” said a statement.
Holy men or Sadhus can now apply for a passport with the name of their spiritual guru, instead of biological parents. However, they would have to provide a document such as voter ID, which records the name of the guru against the column for parent’s name.