Learner’s Submission: Online Public Service in India

“E-government has been a bipartisan effort, today it becomes bicameral as well, … The era of big government is over; we are committed to a smaller, smarter government. New information technologies are tools to help us achieve these goals.” – Joseph Isadore Lieberman

“I have used online public service to apply for fresh passport, reservation of public transport system, online education and for paying utility bills.

Here, I’d like to throw some light on the Infusion of passport seva project by the government. Passport seva provides passport services to the citizens of India. Every citizen of Republic Of India can submit online passport application through “passport seva” website for fresh as well as re-issue of passport. This passport seva will also cater to other needs of the applicants like obtaining police clearance certificate, fee calculators, affidavits, application tracker to know the application status and providing feedback and grievances.

This is user-friendly and the passport seva project team will continuously monitor for the required changes to be made to render faster and quality service delivery to the citizens online. This is the fastest and most convenient way to get passport compared to the traditional methods wherein citizens used to wait for 60-90 days process to get the passport on hand. Now, it’s possible to get it in 30 calendar days normally.

Passport can be obtained through the channel of Passport Seva Kendra (PSK). These are set up in all the major cities and towns of the country. These centers facilitate in the online passport issuance process. Every eligible citizen is requested to avail the passport service at PSK under the jurisdiction of where they reside.

In order to apply online, every citizen has to register an account on the website. Fill in all the details and upload the scanned legally required self-attested documents. Once this is done, you are required to be present at the PSK. It is better to schedule an appointment in order to reduce the waiting time. Here, the applicant provides all the required original documents to the officer to verify the validity. All the activities such getting photograph, capturing of fingerprints, eye scan, fee payment etc. takes place. This is followed by police verification before the issuance of passport.

The e-governance in our country has saved time and money to both citizens and the government. It has also helped in tackling corruption to a certain extent. However, this e-government strategy has posed certain challenges in terms of usage of ICT (Information and Communications Technology), particularly the use of internet to avail the services. Not all citizens of India are computer friendly (Computer Literacy). Still most of the workforce is computer illiterate. They need to depend on someone else to get the job done. Hence, both traditional and modern way of applying for passport online has been kept in practice by the government. Efforts are made by the government to bridge this gap with effective computer technology training at all department levels and at educational institutions.

To conclude, e-governance has played a vital role in India with development perspective cutting red-tapism and reaching the citizens directly. This has to still go a long way in implementing it across all states and departments.” – Machane Daniel Isaac – Mysore, India.

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