Simplified process links Aadhaar number to passport application and verification process nt to delay issuance of passport
GN Bureau | February 16, 2015
While a final word is still not out on the usefulness of Aadhaar card, various government agencies have taken steps to link it for speedy verification process and the latest to join is the passport issuing authority.
With Aadhaar card it will now be possible to acquire a passport in 10 days. In the new format, the applicant would apply online; he or she needs only to attach the Aadhaar card as the sole address and identity proof. The applicant will get the appointment within three days and in another seven days; the passport will be processed and dispatched.
According to news reports, the ministry of external affairs (MEA) has decided to rely on Aadhaar card for identification of the applicant and on the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) database for validation of his/her criminal antecedents.
The MEA has made Aadhaar card a mandatory requirement for issuance of passports. In case the applicant does not have an Aadhaar card, his/her Aadhaar enrolment number would suffice since the identity of a person who has enrolled has also been verified.
Based on the applicant's self-declaration on citizenship and criminal cases a fresh passport will be issued without waiting for the police verification report. The applicant needs to get the police verification at a later date.
The simplified system seeks takes into consideration the delay caused by the police verification process in the issuance of passports.
The applicant may now be given the address of the police station responsible for verification at the time of issue of passport. Any wrong declaration by the applicant would entail impounding or revocation of passport, said an MEA official.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission would launch a drive from March 1 to link Aadhaar number with electoral rolls in a bid to weed out multiple voter cards and bogus voters.
The voter has to update their Aadhaar Card numbers in the web portal of ECI which was launched on January 25. Any voter who has access to the Internet can update their data on the portal once the drive is officially launched on March 1. It will also provide an opportunity to make changes to the details in voter ID cards. Any error in the address, spelling of the name and date of birth of the voters can be rectified by updating the correct data on the portal.
People can still cast their vote without updating the Aadhaar data. For those Indian nationals who are settled in foreign countries, the ECI has provided an option to use the data in the passport or driving license instead of Aadhaar card.
Historically, voter turnout for local elections has lagged behind state assembly elections and general elections. For example, a recent report by Janaagraha shows that Surat recorded 40 percent voter turnout in local polls, 30 percent less than state elections
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