The Narendra Modi government is planning to set up comprehensive network of Passport Seva Kendras (PSK) across India for the ease of citizens, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Saturday.
She said that with this move no Indian will be required to travel more than 50 kilometer to get their passport and that major post offices in the country will also provide the service.
Sushma also announced 149 new Post Office Passport Seva Kendras (POPSKs), saying these will be set up in the second phase. The first phase witnessed the setting up of 86 POPSKs out of which 52 are now functional.
Earlier, the government had also announced 16 full-fledged PSKs, taking the total number of new centres to the “auspicious” 251, she said.
“When I started at the Ministry, we had only 77 PSKs to cater to the whole nation. I realised that distance was the biggest hurdle for people to get their passports,” she said.
“We planned to set a target and decided that no individual should have to travel more than 50 km for a passport. With that criterion for selection, today I announce 149 new POPSKs,” she said.
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A web portal for the ministry’s flagship “Know India Programme” was also launched by Sushma Swaraj. The scheme aims at connecting the Indian youth living abroad with Indian culture and heritage. Under this scheme, the Indian diaspora will visit India on a 25-day tour that will be completely funded by the government.