Passport rules changed to help single mothers, orphans

Acknowledging a changing social milieu and its reflection in paperwork, the ministry of external affairs unveiled a series of changes in the passport application process. A three-member committee comprising of officials of the ministry of external affairs and the ministry of women and child development was constituted to examine various issues pertaining to passport applications. The committee came up with useful suggestions which have been adopted by the ministry of external affairs recently.

The Key Changes in the Passport Applicant Form :

Until now, single mothers could not apply for their child’s passport without the father’s signature and a no- objection certificate while single fathers faced no such restrictions. Under the new rules, the online passport application form will now require the applicant to provide the name of the father or mother or legal guardian; in other words — only one parent.

Holy men can now apply for a passport with the name of their spiritual guru, instead of biological parents. However, they would have to provide a document such as voter ID, which records the name of the guru against the column for parent’s name.

For divorced or separated individuals, it is no longer required that the name of the spouse be mentioned on the passport.

The new rules make it easier for adopted, orphaned and children born out of wedlock to obtain a passport.

No marriage certificates needed for married applicants.

The new annexure would be in the form of “self declaration” on a plain paper.

Apart from this, the ministry also announced that seven other options are now available to citizens applying for a passport instead of the mandatory birth certificate as the proof of date of birth. These include the PAN card, Aadhaar card, driving license, transfer/leaving or matriculation certificate issued by a school, a voter ID card, a policy bond issued by public life insurance corporations and service records in respect to government services apart from pay pension order attested by the officer in charge of the concerned ministry/department.

The ministry also announced the launch of Twitter Seva to provide real time service delivery and user interaction. This will essentially be an aggregator that will collate all the tweets addressed to the ministry for help and about 200 verified twitter accounts are commissioned to support the service.

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