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Applying for a passport in India is usually nothing short of a whirlwind—it usually involves multiple trips to the passport office, remembering a document you inevitably left behind, or if you no longer reside in your hometown, a cumbersome journey back home.
With a new passport app introduced by the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, the hassle can now be avoided. The mPassport Seva app, launched on June 26, 2018, allows you to apply for a passport online, check the application status and even calculate the fees of the services, among other features.
As a relief to those who have shifted away from their official residential address, Indian citizens can now apply for a passport from any city in the country only by looking for a Passport Seva Kendra (PSK) near them via the app. You can also apply for a fresh passport or reissue your old one from the app. After that, there may or may not be a police verification at your original residence, depending on the need felt for the same.
According to the minister’s tweet, the app had over a million downloads within just two days of being launched. Curious and slightly sceptical, we downloaded the mPassport Seva on our phones. On opening, the app requires you to create an account and verify the same through your email id. After registering ourselves, we got right on to the most exciting feature: applying for a passport without moving an inch. You have the option to apply or reissue a passport, pick the type of application (normal or tatkaal) and the number of pages. Following that are about 8 pages of details you have to fill to complete your application.
We played around with a few other features of the app, and found a few extremely useful. The Appointment Availability function, for example, allows a peek into the schedule at the local PSK. The Status Tracker is a saviour for those travelling in a hurry, and lets you punch in your application number and follow up on the status of your passport. The Fee Calculator omits the guessing game from the process, and adds your total amount for the services you pick.
Although our relief of no longer battling with slow administration in person was slowly replaced with slight frustration over the speed of the app, we were still highly impressed with its functionality.
The app is available for download on Android and iOS phones.
For more info, visit the official website here.
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