Pune Passport Grievance Forum: Participants blame TCS for delay in getting their passports on time
Moneylife Digital Team 11 February 2013

Participants who attended the first meeting also alleged that they were told to go to a certain passport agent or passport official who would allegedly charge ‘illegal’ fees to hasten the process of their passport

The first citizen meeting of the Pune Passport Grievance Forum (PPGF), held on 9 February 2013, was attended by 100 citizens. The meeting witnessed registration of 68 formal complaints by passport applicants who have not received their passports in the stipulated 45-day period.


Every applicant spoke about his or her grievance which was videographed and would be sent to the Chief Passport Officer, Delhi, Union external affairs minister and the Regional Passport Officer, Pune. The public private partnership (PPP) venture between Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and the ministry of external affairs under which comes the Passport division has resulted in inordinate delays for issuance of passport, as per the experience of many passport applicants.


An official meeting between the Pune Police Commissioner, Regional Pune Passport Officer and the Pune head of TCS, Passport Division is scheduled to be held on Tuesday, at the behest of Rajya Sabha MP Vandana Chavan, who also attended the meeting and gave support to the campaign. She said that getting a passport is the right of every citizen and in this age of technology, citizens should not be made to suffer. She said both her daughters too suffered as they did not take her ‘influence’ to get their passports. However, for one of the daughters she had to finally use her contacts as she broke down and could not suffer any more humiliation by the Pune Passport office. “Although the campaign of the PPGF has started from Pune, it should be made into a national campaign,” Ms Chavan said. If the issue is not resolved at the local Passport office level, then she will take it up with the Salman Khurshid, Union minister of external affairs, she added. She urged citizens to be pro-active in the campaign.


On its part, Sandeep Khardekar, one of the conveners of PPGF  said that we will wait for one week for the Passport Office to iron out the problems or else will start agitation in front of the Pune Passport Office, Senapati Bapat Road, TCS Passport Seva Kendra, Mundhwa and Pune Police Commissioner’s office, in rotation. The PPGF also appealed to Ms Chavan to have the offices of the Passport Office and TCS at one location for the convenience of citizens.


Vinita Deshmukh, convener of the PPGF stated that after the PPP venture with TCS, wherein technology and corporate efficiency was to result in an easy process of passport, citizens expressed that inordinate delays have become more common. The partnership project in Pune was launched in 2011.


The first hurdle which many face is to get an online appointment once their online application has been accepted. It takes several weeks or months.  After receiving an appointment date, the next ordeal is the police verification process. Often, the passport applicant is shuttled from the Passport Office to the Police department as each one passes the buck on the other. As for the TCS, it does not welcome any complaints although the IT services major has a 24x7 consumer grievance cell facility.  India’s Chief Passport Officer Muktesh Pardeshi has gone on record to say that Pune Passport office has a good input/output record and that “vested interests” are trying to break the smooth functioning. Click here to read the story as well earlier stories on the topic:

We are not bound to give your passport in the 45-day period, says India’s Chief Passport Officer

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

Inordinate delays at Pune Passport office; RTI applications rejected


Immense difficulty is faced by out-of-station passport applicants as they are made to visit the Police Commissionerate or the Passport Office again and again as they are sent back without being heard or for some flimsy reason.


Applicants alleged that they are told to go to a certain passport agent or passport official who would allegedly charge ‘illegal’ fees to hasten the process of their passport.


Applicants were informed about their right to apply under the Right to Information (RTI) Act to know the status of their passports. Vijay Kumbhar, one of the conveners of the PGGF provided a detailed guidance. Applicants were also asked to lodge their online complaints on the Public Grievance Cell website.


Vinita Deshmukh, Vijay Kumbhar and Sandeep Khardekar convened the meeting.


Citizens are requested to email [email protected], [email protected] and [email protected] for any passport grievances.

sagar shinde
1 decade ago
Hello Mam. Main issues have not been resolved yet in pune passport office. Let me tell you few facts -
1) Booking window starts at 12noon sharp. As soon as you login and book a slot which is available, by the time you put verification code and process it (in around 30 seconds time) that slot is booked.
2) Shocking thing is- all 500 slots opened for booking get booked within a minute. 12.01 pm

Here are few simple solutions to avoid delays and to keep away agents in this process:
1) Booking of a slot should not be linked to the userid. Instead a temporary unique No. should be given to each applicant who fills up the passport form. And for booking of a slot user MUST provide- Unique temporary no and Full Name. Also, complete details of slots booked should be available online. Slot status- booked/ available, Temporary unique no , Full name of user who booked it. This will ensure efficiency in booking as agents can not book extra slots since they must provide unique no with Full name of candidate which only be known to candidate who fills up form.

2) There should be 2 ways of submitting forms. Online form or Offline . In online form - 200 to 300 window can be made open. In offline form submission, candidate has to personally visit the center , stand in queue and submit it. (For offline- again 300-400 slots can be made available daily). As soon as user enters the premises of office, A token machine will give him token no (with date printed on it). As in case of SBI bank, we get tokens and we wait for our token to appear on window. It is also called thru speaker.

3) In online mode, special case can be created and considered for senior citizen and for females(pregnant/handicapped)
Such people should have some fixed slots each day

Pls let me know your feedback on the same. I willing to discuss this further. You can pls mail me on [email protected]

Thanks and regards
sagar shinde
om bansal
1 decade ago
i think , the division of responsibilities between tcs and mea is the rootcause of the problem. tcs should take over the entire chain of process, ie getting an appointment quickly without pain, answer queries on status, digitise the police records of applicants, so that verification can be done almost instantly. as of now, one does not know whom to blame for delays and harrassment, tcs, mea or police
Vinay Joshi
1 decade ago
Ms.Vinita Deshukh,
Mr. Vijay Kumbhar &
Mr. Sandeep Khardekar,


Define the role of TCS in PPP as mandated - sadly you have never yet -& then only cast aspersions on TCS!

You all are casting aspersions - not defined - by your say - rather someone's say - on a $6bn co.WHICH is always a preferred partner for augmenting techno services in India, the biggest s/w platform.

Vinita, all 68 complainants - pl give each & every aspect - where TCS figures in & THEIR GROUSE.

Why can't you file a petition? - both TCS & passport office/MEA for deficiency in service, delinquency of responsibilities to 'issue passport', WITHIN 45 days!

Anyway, Tue,12th, TCS, Pune Head will be answering the questions in the said meet, please do let me know the outcome & HIS statements.
[I do not hold any brief for TCS, if they are deficient they should be equally responsible.]

TCS should not be made a fall guy.

In issuance of passports, 'genuine' applicants should not suffer because of 'regional office' apathy or lethargy.

However i appreciate you all for the services rendered [thankless]to the society at large & not many may acknowledge it, you all are doing great work & for the first time i've this opportunity to thank Mr.Kumbhar.


Vinita Deshmukh
Replied to Vinay Joshi comment 1 decade ago
Mr Vinay Joshi - since you are so concerned about TCS having been made a fall guy (which i haven't accused it of - (i have been harping on the public-private-partnership which has unfortunately not delivered as it should in Pune, for which TCS has a vicarious responsibility for sure, since it has entered into the public domain through this venture. Thus, transparency is an essential factor). Thank you also for informing us that Pune head of TCS will be attending the meeting (I have been indirectly told so; none of my emails have been replied) pl procure the MoU copy between TCS and Ministry of External Affairs to know what its role is. You may use your good offices with TCS or use RTI for that. Going by the official communication, in the press release dated October 13, 2008 issued by TCS when it entered into PPP in 2008 (http://www.tcs.com/news_events/press_rel... ). Tanmoy Chakrabarty, Vice President, Global Government Business Group stated that, TCS's commitment would be: “A call center would be established to help the applicants with information regarding passport procedures and the status of submitted requests. Grievances would be tracked and closed. Passport Facilitation Centers (PFCs) will be the primary hubs supporting all activities including biometric capture, photograph, payment and verification and issue of passports in the presence of applicants for most cases… Complete tracking of the process would be possible in the system. Police nodal offices will be facilitated by TCS personnel and it will be possible to download passport forms there directly, thus eliminating any logistic delay.’’
The press release tom-tommed this PPP as “India's Largest Mission Critical E-governance Project of over Rs10,000 million; Passports to be delivered after three working days post police-verification.’’
However, there is no doubt that the Passport Office and Police dept are largely responsible but corporates who are now getting into PPPs must remember that they are an integral part of a citizen's life.When they come out in the open, people will be thankful to them. TCS has an impeccable track record and there is no reason why it cannot play a major role in this particular e-governance partnership. I think there is a disconnect between the three agencies. Looking forward to this evening's meeting and by the way, let me inform you that the objective of Pune Passport Grievance Forum is not to create `fall guys' but to address an issue which is bothering citizens and to sort it out with the authorities. As you know Passport is almost become an essential commodity specially in a global city like Pune!
om bansal
1 decade ago
i dont think TCS is the cause of delays, they have almost 25 cubicles in section A at PSK, its at section B, manned by MEA which has 10 desks and then further reduced to 4 or 5 desks in section C. but all this comes , if you successfully upload your application, which most people can not do, so comes the touts of the yore, now called consultants, who do it for 2000.haveing got ARN, to get an appointment is next to impossible as window opens for 5 minutes at 3 pm each working days.it may take a month to get a slot. why not do what the US embassy do at VFS, its open 24x7, take an appointment on available slot in advance up to 90 days, like we do in railway booking .
police verification is another point which needs relook. presently the file moves manually from PSK to police commissioner, then to concerned police station for physical verification, which takes time , then it goes back to PSK via police head quarters. this could be done digitally. what needs co location is not TCS at PSK, but police verification wing with PSK, so this delay due physical movement can be reduced/eliminated.this process needs serious work study solution.
funneling at section B and C needs to solved by additional staff.
Vinita Deshmukh
Replied to om bansal comment 1 decade ago
Dear Mr Bansal, your suggestions well taken. Tks. Public-Private-Partnerships are being opted for by the govt to outsource efficiency and e-governance. So, people expect that if TCS has come into the passport venture, it would mean quick delivery and no harassment to citizens. The contrary has happened in Pune. We are not saying that TCS has the ultimate responsibility but the major issue of not getting online appointments easily can surely be sorted out in co-ordination with MeA as it relates to e-governance. Surely, the citizen should be able to track his status with the click of his mouse(now he gets different versions when he goes to Passport office and police). When he contacts TCS office, he is told its responsibility ends with digitalisation of his documents. So, it is all v frustrating for citizens.
om bansal
Replied to Vinita Deshmukh comment 1 decade ago
well, it depends on what the contract says between mea and tcs. its quite possible that the deal with tcs ends after the docs are digitised. if that be the case, then next step needs to be taken to improve the subsequent process. this is exactly what i have said.
1 decade ago
It is quite amazing that a company like TCS is quiet and does not respond and come clean about what the real issue is. The least it could do is specify what it has done with the grievances filed by applicants. TCS - a company from the Tata Group needs to decide whether it needs to be in such a business where its reputation and ethics will be questioned or be bracketed along with companies like IRB - who get into the businesses they do because of their closeness to all political parties and who do not care about what their users think about them.
Vinay Joshi
Replied to Sunil comment 1 decade ago
Dear Mr. Sunil,

Please find out what TCS is?

Vinita Deshmukh
Replied to Vinay Joshi comment 1 decade ago
Dear Mr Vinay Joshi
This is with reference to your statement int he above comments section: ``Anyway, Tue,12th, TCS, Pune Head will be answering the questions in the said meet, please do let me know the outcome & HIS statements'' - well, Mr Manoj Raghav, Pune's TCS head strangely did not attend the meeting although he had confirmed in the morning. He told the Regional Passport Officer that he was in Goa. So I am sorry I cannot tell you the outcome of HIS statements but we are lodging a complaint with the ministry of external affairs for avoiding a meeting which was not only initiated by Rajya Sabha MP Vandana Chavan but was for the cause of hardships faced by citizens in getting their rightful passports. So, Mr Joshi don't be too confident of your friends and like a good journalist learn to be objective in your predictions! By the way, you may also tell your friends in TCS that they do not come under the Official Secrets Act once they have joint venture with the govt but come under RTI Act. Thank you
Replied to Vinay Joshi comment 1 decade ago
Dear Mr. Joshi

I know what TCS is , if you mean their role in the above, I think this is addressed in the reply by Ms. Vinita in one of the comments.

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