Indian passports would now be in both Hindi and English, instead of just English, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj announced on Friday.
Personal details in passports are now printed only in English and Swaraj said she had received several complaints about it
“Passports should at least be bilingual. All Arab countries have their passport in Arabic, Germany makes it in German and Russia makes it in Russian. Why can’t we make it Hindi?,” PTI quoted the minister as having said.
“Now, we have given an order to Nashik Printing Press that passports should be (printed) in Hindi as well. So you will receive passports in Hindi and English,” Swaraj said at an event to mark 50 years of the Passport Act, 1967.
Ration cards can be submitted for Tatkal passport
In changes aimed at easing the process of getting a passport, the minister said ration cards could be submitted while applying for Tatkal passports.
While applying for tatkal passports, the minister said, applicants could give a copy of their Aadhar card, PAN card or ration card, voter identification card apart from a self- attested letter that he/she does not have any criminal compliant against him/her.
Giving the option of submitting submit a ration card would greatly help people in rural areas who do not have a PAN card.
Speed up police verification for passports
Police verification, a major part of the passport issuing process, takes time, the minister pointed out.
Swaraj asked other states to emulate Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Delhi, Chandigarh, Gujarat and Goa that complete the police verification process in less than six days
10 percent discount in passport fee for children and elderly
“There will be a 10 per cent reduction in passport fee for applicants who are under eight and over 60. And this will be applicable from tomorrow,” she announced.
She also highlighted the steps taken by her ministry in easing rules for getting the international travel document, especially for orphans, single mothers and divorced women.
Earlier this month, the government had come up with a plan to open passport centres within a radius of 50 km.
The minister said that the MEA and the DoP are planning to map about 810 head post offices in the country and extend the ambit of the scheme.
Published on 23 June 2017