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April 2, 2012

Krishna dedicates 13 Passport Seva Kendras to people of Kerala

     Kochi: External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna on Monday inaugurated thirteen Passport Seva Kendras (PSKs) in Kerala. Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi, Minister of State for External Affairs E. Ahamed and other dignitaries were present on the occasion. With this, 70 Passport Seva Kendras have been made operational all over India, out of 77 planned for the country. The rest would be made operational within next few weeks. 77 Passport Seva Kendras are being set up as part of the nation-wide implementation of the Passport Seva Project with the aim of providing easier accessibility, convenience and public services to the citizens, in a comfortable environment using world class infrastructure. The 13 Passport Seva Kendras in Kerala are located at Thiruvananthapuram, Neyyattinkara, Kollam, Kochi, Aluva, Alappuzha, Kottayam, Thrissur, Kozhikode, Vadakara, Kannur, Payyannoor and Malappuram. The first Passport Office in Kerala was set up in Kochi in 1975 followed by Kozhikode in 1978, Thiruvananthapuram in 1992 and Malappuram in 2006 in response to fast growing demand for passports in the State. The number of passports issued by four Passport Offices in Kerala rose from 6.17 lakh in 2006 to 7. 46 lakh in 2011, a rise of nearly 21 percent. They also rendered 90 thousand miscellaneous services last year. The passport seva project is a flagship e-Governance initiative undertaken by the Ministry of External Affairs to comprehensively overhaul the Passport Issuance System. The project is being implemented in public-private partnership mode with Tata Consultancy Services as service provider. The pilot project was launched in Bengaluru in May 2010 and following requisite certification, the nation-wide rollout began in June 2011. In a short time, the project has moved from pilot project mode to nation-wide rollout with 70 out of 77 planned Passport Seva Kendras operational as on today.
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