India has ranked 3rd in the world after China and the US for issuing 12 million passports in 2015. It was announced during the function of inauguration of Passport Seva Kendra (PSK) in Agartala by Muktesh Kumar Pardeshi who is the chief passport officer & MEA joint secretary.
- In 2015-16, 12 million passports either have been issued or ready to issue against the last fiscal’s (2014-15) number of 10 million. Five years ago the number was only 16 lakh.
- China issued about 16 million passports in the same term while the US issued 14 million.
The Ministry of External Affairs has earned Rs. 2,400 crore this year against Rs. 2, 100 crore last year. India has now around 65 million passport holders.
Efforts by Govt for ease in issue of passport
- To issue passports, the MEA has set up 84 PSKs across the country and this number would reach 90 by March 2016.
- 125 passport camps were organised in the districts in various states and more such camps would be organised in the interior areas of the country in the coming years.
- Passport services are being provided through India’s 183 diplomatic missions abroad and one lakh common service centres in the country.
- The national average of days of police verification of passport applicants is 34. This practice is excellent in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh with only 12 days on an average.
Considering security and technical features of the Indian passports, it has got three ISO certificates in recent years.