Friday, September 24, 2010

Passport Seva Kendra

First let me take this opportunity to congratulate the government and Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) for successfully running the Passport Seva Project (PSP) pilot program in Bangalore. After Bangalore One this is another initiative by Government that is being run keeping in mind the convenience of people.
As all programs do have this initiative also has some good and bad things associated with it. Now that we are talking about the process, the first drawback of this program is that this is for computer literate and computer owning section of public.

Intention of this blog is to make people aware of certain things at PSP and what to expect of this new process.

So the process starts with applicant logging in to PSK website
Here, the applicants have to create their account. The account needs to be linked to an existing email id of the applicant.
Now, that applicant has registered to this site he/she has multiple options available with him/her for submitting the applications that are:
  1. Handwritten application form
  2. Online form
  3. Download e-form and upload completed e-form
If you select option 1 you need to have PSP account only to manage your appointment. However, I personally discourage this approach as the other 2 ways are much more convenient and faster ways.
In option 2, you need to fill up the online form and click on submit once you are done.
In option 3, you need to download the e-application form that is in PDF format and store on local hard drive of your machine. Then you can fill up this form and save the completed form. Once you complete the form there is a button called “SAVE and GENERATE”. This will generate and xml file. You need to login to PSP site and then click on upload e-form button. This is at this place that you need to select the xml file that was generated previously.
Now that you have completed the major step of submitting your form on the website, you can now look for an appointment at the website. When you login and go to applicant home, you will see your application form with some id associated with it. This needs to be selected while managing appointments. You can take appointment based on either date only or PSK location only (I selected closest PSK and then took an appointment).
From August 16th onwards government has mandated to take appointment prior to visiting PSKs. They no more issue the tokens for people queuing up since morning. So you can take an appointment at a time convenient to you. My personal advice is that keep at least 3-4 days gap between you uploading the form and visiting PSK. This helps you to get accurate information on required documents to avoid re-visit and re-work.

Now the next big question is what documents do I need to take with me? Which documents are acceptable, etc. On this website there is a link “Documents Required”. It asks you what type of application (fresh/re I issue) is and then gives certain options to choose from. Once you select all appropriate options it details the list of documents required for you to submit. Done??? So cool!!!!
Wait, do not rush, thinking you have all the required documents as per this list. You need to get some more details on the specifications of these documents. Now, what to do? Where to get this info from? Relax PSP has also started a toll free number to call to. It is 1800-258-1800.
When interacting with these executives try and be specific when asking any questions. For example, if you want to know whether telephone bill is accepted as address proof, do not ask open ended question “Is landline bill accepted?” Instead ask “Will my Airtel landline bill accepted?” As a basic thumb rule they accept all the government commodity bills (water, gas, ration card, BSNL/MTNL phone bills and BSNL postpaid mobile bills) are accepted. And private operator telephone/mobile bills are not accepted.
So the key is to ask very specific and to the point questions rather than asking open ended questions.


Two Passport Seva Kendras are located on Outer Ring Road and Lalbagh main gate each. You are allowed here only by an appointment.

What happens here?

When you reach here you have to wait to get in till the time of your appointment. The security guard there will look into some paper where your name will appear if you have the appointment that day. Once you get in there is some initial screening of the documents. These are 4 counters that generate a token for you after they verify the set of documents you have presented to them. This piece of paper contains all the information that you have submitted online (your appointment time, type of application (re-issue/fresh) etc) along with Token Number. This Token Number will be used for entire duration of your stay within PSK.
Now you are entering the customer waiting lounge. This is really a good arrangement. This lounge has a counter that offers tea/coffee and some snacks items, and also has copier.

Here you need to know few key words like1st round, 2nd round and 3rd round
There are 3 different types of counters here relating to 3 rounds that I just mentioned above.
Once you are inside the waiting lounge you have 3 screens displaying counter number and token number. The screen at the center of the hall/lounge displays the counter number against token number that is printed on a piece of paper just mentioned above.
Other 2 screens display information about round 2 and round 3. The information is again the same, counter number against the token number.

Round1: What to expect?

This is known as CSE (Customer Service Executive) counter. These counters are also known as counter A. These are approx 25 counters.
Here all your documents will be screened and uploaded onto the main database. Feeling and looking fresh is important as at this time that they click your photo. The form that you have filled online is validated and updated if any information is missing or wrong at this counter. Your approximate time taken at this counter is 20-30 minutes. Once all the necessary documents are uploaded onto the server by the CSE your work at this counter is done. This does not mean that you have got the passport. This is just the first hurdle that you have crossed. Now you need to go back to waiting lounge and wait for your token number to display on the other screen against counter B. When you are leaving the counter make sure that you have collected the file that is prepared by CSE with a file number and your name written on it. This file will have all the documents that you have submitted and also the printed form given by CSE after filling up the form. Also, at this counter you have to give electronic fingerprints for the records. After everything is done you need to pay the fees at this counter.

Round2: What time? And what is done here?

This is known as VO (Verification Officer) counter, also counter B. These are approx 6-7 counters.
These officers would verify your entire set of originals against the copies that you have already submitted and are carrying in a file with you. These officers will also verify your passport. Make sure that you carry the file and your passport along with other originals when you leave this counter.
The officer here would then submit your form for government officials to view.
After crossing this second hurdle you go back to waiting lounge and stare at the screen to see at which counter C your token number appears.
Your approx time at this counter is 10 minutes.

Round3: Who are they?

This is known as GO (Granting Officer) counter, as well as counter C. These are 3-4 counters only.
The officials at these counters are government officials who have the authority to grant/deny/defer you a passport. These officials seems to have access to certain information about you and your passport history, which they verify and after asking certain questions they decide about whether to grant/deny/defer your application. These officials then update the system with status of your application.


After the GO or C counter is done you are expected to leave the premise from other gate where they read the bar code on your token number page and see the status of your application. This person prints the final status of the application and hands it over to you. On this you will be able to see whether your application needs police verification before or after the passport issuance or your application does not require police verification at all.

What’s next?

The next process is as usual what it used to be. Wait for call from your nearest police station for verification purposes. Once that is done your normal (not Tatkal) passport would arrive in 5-6 working days.

Hope this information is useful.