KOCHI: Union External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said the Ministry was working on integration of Indian Embassies and Consulates abroad with the Passport Seva Project (PSP). Inaugurating Passport Sevakendrams, he said the project provides for integration with other e-Governance initiatives of the Government such as Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS) Immigration, Visa and Foreigners' Registration and Tracking ) (IVFRT) and e-Migrate, which according would be useful for sharing of requite information. Reiterating the firm commitment of the Government in providing timely delivery of passport services to our fellow citizens, he stressed the need for setting up of PSKs as a first step in this direction. More reforms were indeed needed and many reforms are underway to further ensure citizen-centric role of Passport Offices and also to facilitate speedier service, greater convenience and comfort to the public at large.
He also confident that with increased coordination between the Passport Offices and the local police authorities, requisite police clearances would be obtained speedily to minimize pendency in issuance of passports. With the inauguration of 13 PSKs at Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Neyyatinkara, Kollam, Aluva, Alaupuzha, Kottayam, Thrissur, Kozhikode, Vadakara, Kannur, Payyannnoor and Malappuram, 70 of 77 proposed kendras all over the country are operational. The rest would be operational in the next few weeks. The minister lauded Tata Consultancy Services for speedy implementation of the Passport Seva Project, e-Governance initiative undertaken by the Ministry to comprehensively overhaul the Passport Issuance system. About 7.46 lakh passports were issued in Kerala in 2011, an increase of 21 per cent. About 5.5 million Keralites are in the Gulf, contributing significantly in foreign remittances.