How a mobile application aims to reduce the time it takes to apply for a passport in Delhi

NewsExplainedExplained Sci-TechHow a mobile application aims to cut the time it takes to get a passport in Delhi The “mPassport Police App” aims to fully digitize the process of police passport verification, eliminating cumbersome paperwork and increasing processing times from 15 to just 5 days. In a step we have taken to “strengthen smart policing” in the capital, the MEA has launched a new mobile app that will help speed up the police screening process to obtain a passport. (file photo)

In order to reduce the time for police screening of persons applying for a passport in the state capital, the Department of State has launched the “mPassport Police App”, which will now digitize the process of submitting the police screening report to the Regional Passport Office (RPO) .

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A related announcement was made by Interior Minister Amit Shah on Thursday (February 16) at the ceremony marking the 76th Delhi Police Resurrection Day. In his speech, Shah said that people living in Delhi no longer have to worry about the time it takes them to get their passports as “they now get a police permit within five days, as opposed to the 15 days it used to take”.

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He added that 2,000 passport applications are received by passport offices every day and that “processing them online will reduce people’s problems”.

Amit Shah also dedicated 350 mobile tablets to the staff of the special branch of the Delhi Police, which prepares the police check report and sends it to the passport office.

A press release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs states that this would make the entire process of police screening and reporting digital and paperless. “The process of reviewing time from 15 days to five days will be a big step in improving citizen services,” regional passport officer Abhishek Dubey said in a statement.

How was the police check carried out in the past?

Senior officials told The Indian Express that earlier the process would be cumbersome and paper copies of a passport application would find their way through the bureaucracy. Applications would go to the Delhi Police Bhawan from the passport office. They would then be distributed to the special department inspectors in each district, who would turn them over to an investigating officer.

Investigators, usually deputy officers at the sub-inspection level, are the ones who actually do the screening by visiting an applicant’s address and returning the police screening report to each county’s ACP, which then certifies it and sends it to the passport office for further processing.

Joint Police Commissioner (Special Department) Rajneesh Gupta said that previously the maximum time available for conducting the police check and sending it back to the regional passport office was 15 days and that the new facility will significantly reduce that time. “Previously, documents came from the passport office to the Delhi Police Bhawan and were further distributed to officials at different levels through printed copies, which would lead to errors and involve manual entry of information,” Gupta said.

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How will the mPassport Police App change things?

The official added that while the process of returning the police screening report to the passport office has been done digitally for a number of years, the online application completely eliminates any paperwork during the initial form distribution process.

“Investigators are trained to use the application on their assigned tablets … We have about 350 such investigators across the city and the process of getting them to understand the technology is ongoing,” Gupta said, adding that the Initiative to do this will strengthen intelligent policing.