US Reviewing as India Announces New Passport Application Rules

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Washington, DC – The United States on Friday (December 23) started reviewing those as Indian government announced new changes in the passport rules to make it easier, “the process for passport applicants in getting their passport.”

Replying to a request from IAT, a US State Department Spokesperson said in an email, “”We are aware of the new regulations and are reviewing them.”

In addition to other steps V.K.Singh, Indian federal Minister of State for External Affairs announced that sadhus and sanyasis (holy men/women and followers of sects and sub-sects) can now mention names of their spiritual gurus instead of biological parents.

The mandatory requirement of the birth certificate as the proof of date of birth (DOB) was also eliminated giving a host of other options to follow.

The rules provided an escape route for government servants, who are not able to get a “no objection certificate” from their respective ministries/departments.

In order to streamline, liberalize and ease the process of issue of passports, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) announced those steps “in the realm of passport policy which is expected to benefit the citizens of India applying for a passport,” Singh added.

Sadhus

Most bizarre is the announcement: “Sadhus/ Sanyasis can apply for a passport with the name of their spiritual Guru mentioned in the passport application in lieu of their biological parent(s) name(s) subject to their providing of at least one public document such as Election Photo Identity Card (EPIC) issued by the Election Commission of India, PAN card, Adhar Card, etc wherein the name of the Guru has been recorded against the column(s) for parent(s) name(s).”

Pointing at the listed other documents, Singh stressed one of those has to be provided by sadhus/sanyasis.

DOB

In case of proof of DOB while filing application, it has now been decided that all applicants of passports can submit any one of the documents—transfer/school leaving/ matriculation certificate, PAN card, Aadhaar Card/E-Aadhaar having the DOB of applicant, copy of the extract of the service record of the applicant, driving licence, Election Photo Identity Card (EPIC) or LIC policy bond. It added that birth certificate issued by the Registrar of Births & Deaths or the Municipal Corporation or any other prescribed authority whosoever has been empowered under the Registration of Birth & Deaths Act, 1969 to register the birth of a child born in India can also be given as DOB proof.

Government Employees

In the case of government employees, who are not able to obtain the Identity Certificate/ No-Objection Certificate from their employer concerned and intend to get the passport on urgent basis can now get the passport by submitting a self- declaration that he/she has given prior Intimation letter to his/her employer informing that he/she was applying for an ordinary passport.

Single Parents

Taking a step towards accepting the single parent concept, rules were announced to ease the requirement of naming of the father. The new rules accepted a report of a inter-ministerial committee with members from MEA and Women and Child Development Ministry on the children with a single parent and for adopted children. Based on the new rules, single parents applying for passports for their children are no longer required to name both parents in the application.

The MEA noted that it was issuing necessary notifications in the Official Gazette of the Government of India to give effect to these changes. The MEA concluded the statement saying that instructions are also being issued to the Passport Issuing Authorities in India and abroad on these revised regulations.

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