MONEYLIFE IMPACT: TCS assures to look into online Tatkal passport appointments scam at Pune

On Tuesday, Moneylife ran a story on how touts are making a fast buck through Tatkal online appointments for passports. Within 24 hours a VP of TCS, which is in PPP with the government’s Passport Division, promises to address the issue

The story on how passport agents in Pune are indulging in mass grabbing of Tatkal online appointments resulting in the passport applicant unable to get his appointment online for days on end was published in Moneylife on Tuesday.
 

In less than 24 hours, the story has had a great impact with Tanmoy Chakroborty, vice president & head for government industry solutions unit (ISU) at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), which is in public-private-partnership (PPP) with Passport Division of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). He assured Moneylife that he would investigate into the matter with immediate effect by investigating into the volume flow and peaks, which can be monitored through the computers of the Passport Seva Kendra (PSK).
 

In an email sent to this writer, Chakroborty stated, “We will certainly work with RPO Pune and the MEA to analyse all that you have mentioned and to look at the pain points of Applicants in Pune.”
 

“We always take feedback from any one seriously and we will once again look at the patterns of volume flow and peaks and troughs in Pune in conjunction with MEA and revert with the steps if any that will be taken to further make it a pleasing experience - the application for a passport,” he added.
 

Chakroborty stated that ever since TCS has begun using technology to make the passport applicant’s experience smooth-sailing, many passport agents are out of business and are pursuing other means of livelihood. He says, “Passport Agents perhaps is passé as the system deployed offers total transparency and I understand the such passport agents, who used to operate in the past-- prior to our system being deployed--- are rapidly looking for alternate employment as there is nothing left for them in the passport application process in India!”
 

He also mentioned in his email that ever since TCS has entered the scenario, it has successfully served over 1.2 crore applicants, all over India. Adding that he would look into the Tatkal appointment scam in Pune seriously, he wrote, “Since we have introduced the payment over the portal system the wait time in almost all the PSKs has disappeared which means that more bonafide applicants are getting appointments within a reasonable period of time .’’

Chakroborty sent the email in response to the writer’s mail after the story was published in Moneylife on Tuesday. The email stated, “Thanks to your persistent efforts, most of the problems that passport applicants used to face before our campaign in March 2013 have been eased, as they have been addressed by you very effectively. However, since the last couple of months, online appointments for Tatkal passport have become a big issue as most of the applicants do not get their online appointment for several weeks. This has nullified the value of procuring Tatkal passport which is to be issued between 1 and 7 days.
 

The story in Moneylife gives an insight of what the applicant goes through when he tries to get the appointment. Would be very grateful if you could check where the loophole is and how is it that a passport agent can give Tatkal appointment in 24 hours whereas a citizen going by the legal way cannot get it for weeks on end. Looking forward to hearing from you on this issue.”

 

Tuesday’s story:

Tatkal passport: Online appointments in Pune turning into nightmare
 

(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”.)

Comments
vishal Bharati
5 years ago
Still face challenge to book appointment for Tatkal, Appointment close in seconds.
Frustrated with such a bad service. Is this some kind of scam to help agents. I am trying to book appointment from 21st March 16 but not able to book the appointment. went to walkin today with print of saved form, but PSK pune not allowed me to enter without appointment, they mention walkin allowed for Senior citizen and childs.
I need urgent renewal of passport.
vishal Bharati
5 years ago
Still face challenge to book appointment for Tatkal, Appointment close in seconds.
Frustrated with such a bad service. Is this some kind of scam to help agents. I am trying to book appointment from 21st March 16 but not able to book the appointment. went to walkin today with print of saved form, but PSK pune not allowed me to enter without appointment, they mention walkin allowed for Senior citizen and childs.
I need urgent renewal of passport.
ashish
7 years ago
I did visited multiple time to Commissioner office, Passport office in Pune Kalyani nagar and then Also visited to Passport office(MSFC Building, 270 Bhamburda, S.B.Marg) in front of Symbiosis collage Pune. The respective officers are not giving clear idea and simple giving the reason like please send us the mail, booklet is not available, it is in printing status you will get in week. I also called customer care, sent feedback, written grievances. No response from anyone.
ashish
7 years ago
my file no is : PN1077691045814 and waiting for passport renewal from last 5 Months.
called call center, visited, commissioner office, RPO mundhwa as well as office opposite to symbosysi..
everytime getting new reason.
Now it is pending for prininting from more than month: applied in Feb 2014
Few reasons I got;
1 visit: It is still in prining satus come next week.
2. second visit: not sure go and check in RPO office(answer from TCS representive at comminsor office)
3. Booklets might not be avaialble come in next week.
4 visit: send us the mail you will get it soon.....


Nitin Alane
7 years ago
Nothing is done till date. I am still getting the same issue with booking appointment.
Any followup on this?
S K Nataraj
8 years ago
It is a well- known fact that touts call the shots in most passport offices. Thanks to the advent of technology, their clout is today much reduced, yet it continues to be used in some ingenious way like in the Passport Office at Pune. The Chief Passport Officer, has to crack down on such touts with an iron hand. I am sure that Moneylife's crusade against this evil of touts being hand in- glove with some of the crooked staff will bear fruit very soon. Thankfully, the Chennai Passport Office functions with admirable professionalism, and I and my wife got our passports with new addresses within eight days of filing our application, in the normal course itself.
It will be good if other passport offices in the country emulate their Chennai Office for professionalism.
NajmuddinMunirShaikh
8 years ago
a
Shivangni Sharma
8 years ago
Its uncanny, but my daughters request for tatkal conversion from normal (after she could not get the appointment on the computer) was blocked by TCS in charge at RPO N. Delhi. She refused to take written approval of APO into account, so he helpfully guided me into taking approval of the RPO. the whole experience reversed my impression about government ampoyees Vs private sector employees. The APO at RPO New Delhi seemed like an Angel who went out of his way to help us and the TCS incharge Ms Aparna went out of her way to scuttle that help. In the end bureaucracy won and the customer (us) were happy. Sounds too good to be true? its really true. I can give the name of the good Samaritan who by the way was helping all who landed on his desk. He is Mr Govind Lal
NajmuddinMunirShaikh
8 years ago
In view of Mr. Tanmoy Chakroborty Passport Agents perhaps is passé, as since TCS has begun using technology to make the passport applicant’s experience smooth-sailing, it has encourage the touts agents to FLOURISH in their business.
There are reputed travel agents recognized and governed by the National and International Organization the same where also Recognized by the Ministry Of External Affair and in Number in all over India there will be 1500 to 1800 only such recognized agents and they are still in the business as according to the Laws .
In the earlier system in Pune , the Recognized Passport Agents by Ministry Of External Affair are below 100 in numbers.
And The Touts agents in Pune City are 2000 + as per various Advertisements .
I understand, as TCS are now operating, anything that don’t work for them, simply put “Agents” to bar, but to whom Reputed Travel Agents or Touts Agents.
NON AVAILABILITY to get the TATKAL APPOINTMNETS, may it be a failure of TCS or is it a Passport Scam or alleged nexus of passport agents and staffers of the passport office or of the Touts, a proper channel or investigation must be recommended and should be investigated by the State CID, Central CBI and the culprits must be punished and the problem must be solved.
However who ever be responsible, and are the culprits, the question Since the LAUNCH of Passport Seva Project getting Appointment was not and is a easy Jobs for the Citizen, and since it is managed by the TCS, it is the failure of TCS technology, on moral ground TCS must take responsibility for all.
NSriramamurty
8 years ago
TCS, Specialised in Banking Software, has Computerised SBI's Digitalisation of Records and in Providing Required Software. In AP ,After Computerisation SBI , TCS Preserved Digitalised Data in SBI's Mulbai Head Office and not in State's Capital HO Hyderabad upto 2005 . Consenqently SBI is not Paying My PPF Amount Matured in 2002 , after 20 Years Period , for want of their Records.TCS / Infosys, etc Software Companies have to Mature Enough to Plug all Loopholes in their Software Provisions . I do not Know to Whom I have to ask my PPF A/c Data Using RTI Act.Pl Guide me.
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