HYDERABAD: Next time you visit a passport Seva kendra (PSK), show your passport application reference number (ARN) registered on your mobile phone instead of carrying a printout. All that the applicant will have to do is to show the SMS to the PSK staff to process the application.
Stating this, regional passport officer, Hyderabad, E Vishnu Vardhan Reddy told TOI that Telangana is the first state in India to launch ‘e-Token’ system for passport applicants. On a pilot project, the e-Token system experimented at Ameerpet PSK. Following its success, the regional passport office (RPO), which has four PSKs and 23 post office passport Seva kendras (POPSKs) under its jurisdiction, introduced the e-Token system recently. The applicant should also carry the necessary documents.
Another new initiative of RPO was going paperless. Now, the applicant will get an SMS alert to help him track the passport status on the ministry of external affairs (MEA) official portal. “After Delhi, Hyderabad became the second RPO in the country to go paperless,” Vishnu said.
In another relief to those who fail to renew passports after expiry of their validity, the RPO authorities will send SMS alerts to the applicants, six months prior to the date of his/her passport expiry. “We maintain data of every passport holder and send SMS alerts,” he added. Rules state that passport should be valid for at least 30 days from the date of exit, but it’s recommended that one has at least six months on his or her passport before it expires. “Many people, without checking their passport’s validity, book air tickets to travel abroad and cancel them. They later rush to PSKs with recommendations and file Tatkal application. To avoid these glitches, we have launched the SMS alerts,” Vishnu said.
The passport holders have been strictly advised to visit the MEA official portal (www.passportindia.gov.in) and apply online instead of logging into fraudulent portals.
Courtesy: Times of India