Moneylife Impact: Now, track the status of your passport application on your smartphone!

Moneylife’s consistent campaign since March 2013, has led to a series of customer-friendly initiatives by MEA and TCS; the latest is with mobile technology. The mPassport Seva app provides a wide variety of services such as status tracking, locating a passport office and other general information

No more the arduous trips to your passport office and exasperating interaction with the officials who often make you run round and round. Now, to track your passport application; to find out which is your passport office if you are residing in a small town or overseas; to get the required contact numbers; to find out exactly what are going to be your application fees and; any other general information, all you need is to search it on your smartphone!
 

Termed as the `mPassport Seva’, this new mobile application enables Indian citizens to access passport related information on their smartphones. This service has been executed in public-private-partnership (PPP) mode by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS).
 

It may be recalled that since March 2013 Moneylife succeeded in breaking the TCS’s corporate secrecy, when it took up the passport issue at Pune, which was in utter mess. For more than a fortnight, the TCS officials refused to take note of the constant emails being sent to them regarding the breakdown in services. The writer agitated in front of the Pune’s TCS’s Passport Seva Kendra in Mundhwa, after which TCS officials came out in the open, to discuss the problems. Passport applicants were also encouraged to use Right to Information (RTI) to track status of their passport application.
 

Thereafter, it was after Moneylife’s managing editor Sucheta Dalal’s intervention through a meeting she organized at the Moneylife Foundation office in Mumbai. This meeting held sometime in April 2013, broke the ice of corporate secrecy. Tanmoy Chakroborty, head of Global operations at TCS, took the lead in making the Pune passport office citizen-friendly through various facilities including online payment along with the online application form. It is heartening to note that this has now resulted in an extra facility that was not envisioned before – that is, the `mPassport Seva.’ Moneylife heartily thanks the TCS and the passport division of the MEA.
 

See these links for other Moneylife impact stories on passport:

Moneylife Impact: TCS swings into action to ease some difficulties faced by Pune passport applicants

 

Moneylife Impact: Now pay online for your passport; challan option also available

 

Moneylife Impact: Ministry of external affairs begins action on Pune Passport mess

 

Pune Passport Seva Kendra improves process of applications and facilities: A Moneylife Impact

 

Moneylife Impact: Chief Passport Officer increases daily appointments to 1,100 after inspecting Pune’s Passport Seva Kendra

 

An RTI application gives Peyush Rai his passport even before submitting his plea

 

File an RTI application if you do not get your passport in time

 

A press release issued by the Ministry of External Affairs on 5th November, states, “In order to keep pace with the current technology, the Ministry of External Affairs had launched the mPassport Seva mobile app on Android platform, as a pilot, in March 2013. Encouraged by positive public response, the Ministry has now launched this app on Windows and Apple iOS platforms as well.’’
 

To avail the facilities available on your Smartphone, you would have to download it their respective stores:
 

Android-based handsets: www.play.google.com/store/apps/
 

Windows-based mobiles: www.windowsphone.com/en-in/store
 

Apple iPhones: www.apple.com/itunes
 

Following are the facilities offered on your smartphone:
 

  • mPassport Seva, enables Indian Citizens to access passport related information on their smartphones. This application provides a wide variety of services such as status tracking, locating a passport office and other general information
  • The application provides information on various steps involved to obtain a passport related service and related phone numbers in case of queries or concerns
  • The users will be able to search for a Passport Seva Kendra (PSK) or District Passport Cell (DPC) in a district where a passport application can be submitted. This can also be searched based on PIN code. For certain states and districts, the users can search for police stations as well
  • Citizens residing overseas who apply for a passport service in Indian missions/posts abroad can also utilize this facility for searching address and other relevant information
  • The fee calculator feature of the application enables users to find out the applicable fee based on the service and mode of submission
  • Users can track the status of their passport applications by providing file number and date of birth. In case the passport has been dispatched, delivery status can also be tracked
     
  • In the meanwhile, citizens share their happiness on getting their passports with the guidance of Moneylife. An example:

    Dear Vinita
    Happy Diwali and trust you are doing good.

    This is to inform you that I have received my passport today. It was indeed a great commitment by Passport Officer Mrs Rane who had promised me to expedite the case, provided everything being in order. I appreciate her and her office's sense of responsiveness and expediting this so promptly. In the event you get an opportunity, I would request you to extend my thankfullness to them. I will share my entire experience, which is really laudable, of working with Pune Passport Office in some suitable forum for the benefit of common citizens.

    Lastly, my sincere gratitude to you to for listening to my concern, taking it up and guiding me to handle this rightfully to closure. You people are doing a great job to the nation and society.

    Thanks again and with warm Regards,

    Subrata Maity
    Pune


(Vinita Deshmukh is the consulting editor of Moneylife, an RTI activist and convener of the Pune Metro Jagruti Abhiyaan. She is the recipient of prestigious awards like the Statesman Award for Rural Reporting which she won twice in 1998 and 2005 and the Chameli Devi Jain award for outstanding media person for her investigation series on Dow Chemicals. She co-authored the book “To The Last Bullet - The Inspiring Story of A Braveheart - Ashok Kamte” with Vinita Kamte and is the author of “The Mighty Fall”.)

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COMMENTS

Yogesh

4 years ago

Hello Sir, I have applied for a passport under tatkal mode. I genuinely need passport in short term. I have submitted my application along with all documents on 21st Jan 2015. Still my passport online status is 'Your passport application is under process at regional passport office'. I was expected that I will get it in 3-4 days. I had received an email from that they have initiated post-verification as Police verification. I asked RPO about exact status of my application then they said please clear your police verification. As I need my passport in short term, it is not affordable for me to spend 3-4 weeks to get police verification report. And passport officer already have raised police verification on post assurance mode. So I don't understand why they are not processing my application first. I will clear police verification as soon as possible.

Please help me...I need passport in short term. I don't want to loose my opportunity...

Sucheta Dalal

4 years ago

Big News: Regional Passport Officers -
Mumbai & Thane, will answer your queries

Painless Passports: No Agents Needed!

Mr Tanmoy Chakrabarty, VP & Head of the Global Govt Industry Group at Tata Consultancy Services, will explain how passport issuance has been transformed, what you can expect in terms of service, speed and efficiency; and the next phase of the automation process which will track Indian workers abroad.

He will also talk about the e-migrate system that has been launched by the Govt to protect the interests of Indians going abroad for work.

Dr Swati Kulkarni, Regional Passport Officer - Mumbai.
IFS and MBBS, she worked as Consul General of India in South Africa before becoming Mumbai's RPO

Mr TD Sharma, Regional Passport Officer - Thane.

Come and have your queries answered on these and many other benefits of the e-migrate process and automation of passports.







December
12
Friday

Registration: 6pm

Session Time:
6:30pm – 8:30pm

Venue:
Indian Merchants
Chamber, Walchand
Hirachand hall (4th floor),
IMC Marg, Churchgate,
Mumbai - 400 020.


ADMISSION FREE
Registration is Mandatory!
RIGHT OF ADMISSION RESERVED

RSVP:
Jewel / Libertina at
022-49205000 or email us
at [email protected]

Charles Carvalho

5 years ago

Great job Vinita and the moneylife team. My mother has applied for a passport 3 months ago and is yet to receive it. Is there a helpline - by Moneylife or TCS or the passport authorities to follow up on such delayed cases. The passport website shows "sent to regional passport seva kendra". This status exists for the last month or so. My brother applied on the same date as my mother and received his passport in 30 days. Please advise. Thanks and regards

REPLY

Vinita Deshmukh

In Reply to Charles Carvalho 5 years ago

Dear Mr Carvalho, pl send me details on [email protected]

TIHARwale

5 years ago

From my own family and friends experience, Passport Seva Kendra (at HERALD HOUSE Delhi, manned by TCS) has indeed proved a boon beyond expectations. entire process was completed within 45 days from the date online time slot was appied, date for physical verifications was alloted 20 days later and passprt was despacted after 21 days and got delived on the 2nd day after issue and despact detailswere informed on mobile by SMS alerts. Police verification took place after receipt of passport. in this regard over email PP office suggested to get police verification completed by informing local police station if the same is not completed by time of delivery . I recieved my passort. Service is indeed improved and a friendly for those who have given all correct data and info. And mind you, it was not a TATKAL but Normal application. welldone ! MEA

MOHAN SIROYA

5 years ago

From my own experience, Passport Seva Kendra ( Mumbai) has indeed proved a boon beyond expectations. I verified in person and put my signatures on 28 th Oct. and Lo & Behold on 1 st Nov. I recieved my renewed passort without even Police verification. Service is indeed miraculous and a boon for those who have given all correct data and info. And mind you, it was not a TATKAL but Normal application. BRAVO ! MEA .

Mahiti Adhikar Manch

5 years ago

In Pune it may be very good, I have very worst experience and still my wife's passport applied on 16-04-2013 sis still pending to be received.Bhaskar Prabhu

REPLY

MOHAN SIROYA

In Reply to Mahiti Adhikar Manch 5 years ago

Dear Bhaskar Prabhu
An activist like U should not face such problem. If U provide a few relevant details, perhaps I may help. There must be some reason given when U track status. Otherwise can speak to the helpline of your Passport Seva Kendra in which area your residence falls. Regards

Vinita Deshmukh

In Reply to MOHAN SIROYA 5 years ago

Like i said, try filing a RTI application

MOHAN SIROYA

In Reply to Vinita Deshmukh 5 years ago

I think ,U wanted to reply this to Mr. Prabhu. I have had no problem. I asked B Prabhu to send details or find out 'Reason' from helpline.

DEEPAK KHEMANI

5 years ago

Great job Vinita and Moneylife, continue the good work.

Youngest RTI activist from Gujarat becomes the youngest Sarpanch

21-year old Bhadresh Wamja becomes the youngest Sarpanch of Saldi village, from where he had launched his RTI campaign against ration shops as a teenager. Two years ago, Bhadresh succeeded in persuading the Gujarat government to proactively disclose ration supply information on the walls of fair price shops as well as at the tehsil level


As a 18-year old in 2011, Bhadresh Vamja, used Right to Information (RTI) effectively to find out why the two ration shops in his village Saldi were not supplying food grains under the public distribution system (PDS). It led to the Gujarat State Information Commissioner directing the food and supplies department to make it mandatory for fair price shops to pro-actively disclose supplies, on a weekly basis.
 

Two years down the line, Vamja, last week, has been elected as the Sarpanch of Saldi village, about 225kms from Gandhinagar, making him the youngest Sarpanch in Gujarat, at the age of 20.
 

Moneylife was amongst the first to write about his RTI campaign in 2011. Vamja excitedly called me and said, “I have become the Sarpanch by securing 758 votes out of 1,805. I have won by 310 votes.’’ He has become an instant celebrity.
 

Vamja’s passion with RTI began with the daily columns on this subject in a leading Gujarati newspaper, which he ardently read. One day, the amount of food supplies under PDS for the above poverty line (APL) and below poverty line (BPL) category was published in this daily.  Taking a cue from there, he went to his fair price shopkeeper to ask for his family’s quota. Predictably enough, he was told that the stock hadn’t come since months. Vamja followed it up rigorously through inspection of files under Section 4 of RTI Act, against all odds including threats to him. (Detailed story here, as to how he took the issue to the logical end).
 

Vamja’s activism reflects the good effect of the media when it highlights laws like the RTI Act. He not only awakened his sleepy village from taking injustice lying down through corruption in ration shops, but created a social revolution across the state of Gujarat, by the mandatory weekly pro-active disclosures in all fair price shops, ordered by the State Information Commissioner.
 

Vamja says that RTI has helped him in understanding the power of pro-active citizen participation in a democracy. He said, “It is time that all of us exercise our rights and ensure we get them by fighting for them. This is the very reason why I decided to contest the Sarpanch election. I feel that, now that I am part of governance; I will be able to make a difference through transparency.’’
 

Vamja’s tryst with RTI has motivated him to spread the word by inspiring his peers to use RTI and by holding workshops. He works closely with Mahiti Adhikar Gujarat Pahel, a NGO in Ahmedabad, which has a very active RTI helpline for citizens. He says, “The young generation must use RTI for all their daily issues like procuring a driving license, passport etc so that corruption will subside. Youngsters should also get into politics and stand for elections at every level, in order to cleanse the political system.’’
 

Vamja’s mission now is to implement e-governance in his capacity as Sarpanch. “This is the best step towards transparency and justice to the people,’’ he says.
 

We wish him all the best.
 

You may also want to read…|
 

Ration card frauds can be exposed through RTI

 

Several jolts, few moments of glory for RTI in 2011

 

(Vinita Deshmukh is consulting editor of Moneylife, an RTI activist and convener of the Pune Metro Jagruti Abhiyaan. She is the recipient of prestigious awards like the Statesman Award for Rural Reporting which she won twice, in 1998 and 2005, and the Chameli Devi Jain award for outstanding media person for her investigation series on Dow Chemicals. She co-authored the book “To The Last Bullet - The Inspiring Story of A Braveheart - Ashok Kamte” with Vinita Kamte and is the author of “The Mighty Fall”)

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COMMENTS

Pantulu

5 years ago

It is really commendable.Earlier also we were informed about a couple of villages choosing the right people as sarpanches and progressing. However due to unknown reasons there is no publicity.Good publicity will help at least some other villages to emulate the example and sidelining bad politicians.

ramchandran

5 years ago

Citizenship in its true form . Wish more & more people get into this flow & make the government accountable!!!

Guide to RTI: Ask the right queries to obtain information you seek

The RTI is one of the most powerful tools and an essential democratic right of every Indian citizen. A handy guide takes you through the steps to file an effective guide

The Right to Information Act, 2005 (RTI) that came into force eight years back has proven to be one of the most powerful tools put to use by every Indian—big and small—to obtain information that was all along denied under the garb of ‘official secrecy’. Thanks to the benefits of the RTI, many of India’s biggest scams and scandals are now exposed.

Deepak Sandhu, chief information commissioner (CIC), very rightly says, “RTI is a game changer. It has democratised information to the citizen’s advantage. The citizen is central in the Act. Other countries offer freedom of information while our legislation recognises it as a right.”
 

Here are a few tips to make effective use, to extract the most appropriate response, and minimise the possibilities of rejection on frivolous grounds.

  1. The RTI Act entitles you to obtain response by way of information within 30 days.
     
  2. Remember, it is the basic information that is being sought and not hows, whys and who’s of any matters.
     
  3. Information under the Act can be sought from central, state and local authorities, parliament and state legislatures, judiciary, police, security forces, public sector undertakings and bodies substantially financed by the state.
     
  4. You need to consider deeply about the precise nature of the information required to enable you to frame your query in English, Hindi or the state language very concisely in a few words.  Do not go on rambling explanations or suggestions or attempt vague roving enquiries.
     
  5. The RTI should never be used to settle scores or to target or harass any one individual or department. For instance: “Maine uske oopar RTI mara; ab ayega maza!”
     
  6. It is important that the information elicited should not be merely filed away. It ought to be taken forward effectively to get matters moving in the right direction and/or to set right systemic flaws, if any.  Possibly, if necessary, it can be put to use in a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) at a High Court.
     
  7. You can seek information pertaining to records, documents, memos, mails, opinions, advices, press releases, circulars, images or any computer generated matter, orders, log books, contracts, reports, papers, samples models or electronic data.
     
  8. Under Section 4 of the RTI Act, you are empowered to visit, by prior appointment, the office concerned to inspect records and official documents and obtain xerox copies on payment of copying charges at actuals.  To enable you to do so, you are to be provided suitable table and sitting space within the office premises to carry out your verification/inspection exercise to flag the documents that need to be copied. For instance, authorities like the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) prefer Section 4 approach for the simple reason that it is you, who will flag only the documents/information required and that relieves them of the burden of hunting through a mass of bureaucratic red taped files and also the task of drafting a reply that has to be approved and finally signed, sealed to be sent to you within the mandated 30 days of receipt of your application.
     
  9. The Act also provides for inspection of government works and to take samples from sites.
     
  10. Section 6 of the Act has laid down a simple form that that can be copied on plain paper and signed by the applicant who has to be an individual and not any organisation.

  1. The application fee of Rs10 can be paid either in cash across the counter. Court fees stamp can also be affixed in the case of BMC and Maharashtra State or Demand Draft or Pay order in favour of the Accounts officer of the concerned department.
  2. However, a more convenient mode would be to obtain a Postal Order for Rs10, attach it to the application in duplicate and hand it in the RTI counter in any Head Post Office (PO). The PO counter clerk will retain the two copies and return duly stamped the third copy with the counterfoil of the postal order. The PO then despatches the application to the department concerned with a copy to you.

(Nagesh Kini is a Mumbai-based chartered accountant turned activist.)

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COMMENTS

Monali Swain

3 months ago

My father retired from army on 29 feb 2016 ,he was granted pension and other benefits as per 6th cpc consequent to implemention of 7th cpc ,effective date 1st jan 2016 his pay has been revised. But neither revised pension nor consequential benefits have been paid so far. RTI application to provide information regarding revised pension,gratuity,commutation leave encashment and reason for delay has not been entertained by PIO . Please confirm whether the above information can be obtained through RTI .

REPLY

Shrikrishna Kachave

In Reply to Monali Swain 3 months ago

Ma'am, as I said above, the information mentioned by you can be obtained using RTI. However if in case, the PIO has either refused/rejected you the information, please make a First Appeal to FAA of same department. Secondly, the PIO can't provide you any reason for the delay since this doesn't form a part of records.
Thus, I would be happy to help you draft the RTI application/appeal further. In this case, you could e-mail me the details of this matter directly on '[email protected]'. Thanks!

Shrikrishna Kachave

In Reply to Monali Swain 3 months ago

This is really sad to know sir. Yes, the above information mentioned by you can be obtained using RTI. To help you with its procedure and any other assistance in case you need, I would pls request you to mail your above query in details to '[email protected]'.
Our details can be found here: http://foundation.moneylife.in/

Rakesh Kumar Bose

8 months ago

Who is the appellate authority to advice regarding land dispute under RTI,Act,2005?

parshant charaya

12 months ago

Can I ask from the department about the posting creation for new joining and about the marks obtained by the candidate in departmental exams

n.l.narasimham

3 years ago

one person to purchase our house he gave 5,00,000 and take receipt for that and he has not give xerox copy of that receipt since 9 months he is not purchasing our house and saying i have given 50,00,000 and i have agreement but he does not have agreement under rti can we ask xerox of that receipt
plese suggest us

g s raveendranath

4 years ago

sir,
physical verification of departmental material comes under rti act 2005

ygmkrishna

5 years ago

Can a member of Employees Coop. Credit & Thrift Society want the details of membership particulars of a state under RTI ACT. Recently Supreme court gave a verdict that Coop. societies will not come under RTI Act. Kindly send your views to [email protected]. Thanking you.

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