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Thursday, November 23, 2017

Post Office PSK proves to be a vital additional facility

The Post Office Passport Seva Kendra at Metagalli in Mysuru.  

It has processed 17,899 applications from residents of Mysuru and Chamarajanagar

India’s first Post Office Passport Seva Kendra (POPSK), established in Mysuru in January, has facilitated issuance of more than 15,000 passports so far.
The centre, inaugurated on January 25 along with a similar facility at Dahod in Gujarat on a pilot basis, has processed 17,899 applications from residents of Mysuru and Chamarajanagar districts.
A total of 15,091 applicants, or 84.31%, have received their passports. Of the remaining applications, 1,554 are awaiting police verification and 1,254 have been kept on hold on account of reasons such as non-submission of required documents, said Bharath Kumar Kuthati, Regional Passport Officer, Bengaluru.
The POPSK in Mysuru has simplified things for thousands of passport aspirants in the two districts, who would otherwise have to travel to one of the two PSKs in Bengaluru — on Lalbagh Main Road and on Marathahalli Outer Ring Road — to avail passport-related services.
Initially, the Regional Passport Office in Bengaluru released 100 appointments every day. However, owing to the huge rush and public interest, the number of appointments was increased to 130, Mr. Kuthati said. 
The number of no-shows so far is 4,123 — 18.72% of the applicants seeking appointment at the POPSK, he added.
While Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), the private partner with whom the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) is implementing the Passport Seva project, and the Department of Posts have deployed five persons each, the MEA has posted one official at the POPSK. 
The personnel check the documents and capture the applicant’s biometric details. The application is then forwarded to the RPO in Bengaluru, where the decision on granting passports is taken.
Even though the applications are processed at the POPSK, the passport will bear a statement that it was issued in Bengaluru, as there is no granting officer in Mysuru. The MEA is considering a proposal to post one in Mysuru.
Though the POPSK in Mysuru does not offer either Tatkal or walk-in appointments, applicants in Mysuru, in a case of emergency, can book an online appointment in any of the PSKs on Lalbagh Road, Marathahalli or Hubballi. “In deserving cases, on production of proof, applications under Tatkal can be processed and the passport issued on the same day,” Mr. Kuthati added.
Persons with grievances can contact the RPO, Bengaluru, on Twitter (@rpobengaluru), Facebook (, email (, or telephone (080-25706100).
Forgot your documents? No need to worry
When Arman (name changed), a student at a private college in Mysuru, turned up for an appointment at the Post Office Passport Seva Kendra (POPSK) for renewal of his passport earlier this week, he was told that he had to produce the original copy of his Class 10 marks card — something in the possession of his college authorities.
He rushed to his college, requested the authorities for the original marks card, and returned to the POPSK with the document within a few hours to complete the formalities on the same day.
The POPSK in Mysuru is a major source of relief for scores of passport applicants who do not carry all the required documents for completing the process. Instead of being forced to reschedule their appointment, they are given a chance to bring the documents later on the same day.
“If I had gone to a PSK in Bengaluru, I would have had to reschedule the appointment and make another trip,” a relieved Mr. Arman told The Hindu.
While non-production of documents at PSKs often leads to rescheduling of appointment, the authorities at the POPSK in Mysuru process the application on the same day if the required documents are brought before closing hours. However, the POPSK in Mysuru does not have the facility to take photographs of applicants or make photocopies of the original documents. 
The applicants who turn up without photographs are advised to go to a nearby photography studio and get the job done. It is a similar case for those missing additional photocopies of documents. “We are acquiring IT and non-IT equipment for the POPSK. Once it is done, there will be no need for the applicant to carry [his or her] photographs,” said Bharath Kumar Kuthati, Regional Passport Officer, Bengaluru.
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