In a move to speed up and simplify the passport delivery process, the government on Friday announced a series of steps that would help single mothers, orphaned children, and sadhus obtain passports with ease.
Announcing the changes that will relax the need for birth certificates in the application process, Minister of State for External Affairs General (retd.) V.K. Singh declared that passport-related grievances would now be handled on the social media platform of Twitter.
Inputs from panel
“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,” he said. The new rules will eliminate the role of non-government agents and touts.
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,” the press release said.
Holy men 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.
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Applicants can submit:
- PAN Card, birth certificate, voter identity card, Aadhaar, driving license
- Students can submit transfer certificate/school leaving certificates
* Online passport application form now requires the applicant to provide the name of any one among the father, mother or legal guardian.
* No marriage certificates needed for married applicants.
* No need to name the spouse in cases of applicants who are divorcees.
* Orphaned children can submit a declaration from their respective orphanages while sants can name their spiritual gurus.