Every Year, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) celebrates Passport Seva Divas (PSD) on June 24 every year to commemorate the enactment of Passports Act on 24 June 1967.
It was on this day in 1967 that the Passports Act, 1967 had come into effect.
In India, the first Passport Seva Divas was celebrated in 2013.
- The Passport Act describes the procedures of getting Indian passport.
- The act replaced British Indian Passport and the Passport Act, 1920.
- By Article 9 of the Indian Constitution, the act does not allow dual citizenship. According to the act, if a person acquired foreign citizenship, he has to surrender his passport.
There are different types of passports issued under the Passport Act. They are as follows
- Official Passport
- Ordinary Passport
- Diplomatic Passport
Under the act, travel documents are also provided. They are
- Certificate of Identity
- Emergency Certificate to authorize a person to enter India
Who issues passports in India?
- An Indian passport is issued by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs to Indian citizens for the purpose of international travel.
- It enables the bearer to travel internationally and serves as proof of Indian citizenship as per the Passports Act (1967).
- The Passport Seva (Passport Service) unit of the Consular, Passport & Visa (CPV) Division of the Ministry of External Affairs functions as the central passport organisation, and is responsible for issuing Indian passports on demand to all eligible Indian citizens.
- Indian passports are issued at 93 passport offices located across India and at 197 Indian diplomatic missions abroad.
- On the occassion of PSD, Passport Seva Puraskars are also announced for the best performing Passport Offices and the personnel of the Service Provider.
- As Police verification is an important component of the process of issue of passport, special mention was made of the Police Departments for their efforts in providing speedy police clearances.
- The Ministry of External Affairs had constituted a working group cum assessment committee on Passport Seva Puraskar to deliberate upon and recommend the methodology of assessment for the award in 2016-17.
- The committee recommended the candidature for the award in various disciplines that was approved by the ministry.