PSKs Set up at Pilot Locations
PSK Staff Training
for pilot locations
Call Centres &
Helpline for PSP
External Communication & Advertising
Training for PO staff
concluded successfully at Bangalore
Access Cards created
for CPO Staff
DPC/SPC Applications trial processing
The Editorial Team
Shri. A.Manickam, JS (CPV) & CPO
Dr. T. V. Nagendra Prasad, Director (PV)
Passport Seva Desk
The past one year had been an eventful journey with accomplishment of several milestones of the
programme which has laid a strong foundation for our future passport issuance system. We hope
the New Year would bring with it new vigour and enthusiasm for the Passport Seva Programme.
Considering the importance of training to adapt to a new working environment, several training
programmes such as Passport Office staff Training, Police Officials Training and PSK staff training at pilot locations have been carried out successfully.
The helpdesk for PSP is ready with call centres becoming operational at two locations to serve the
citizens in various Indian languages. PSK's for pilot locations have been setup and are ready for
Go-Live. The Software application is being tested rigorously in order to have an ideal error free
system in place. Testing is being undertaken by STQC (Standardization, Testing and Quality Certification) Directorate, a body under the Department of Information Technology, Government of
India. We had taken up the challenge of digitizing the entire passport issuance system workflow
and are working hard to achieve our goal. We look forward to your sustained support and active
participation in the project.
Passport Seva Team
Project Updates…The story so far
Status Update of the Project’s progress
Foreign Secretary’s visit to Bangalore PSK
Network Operations Centre
PSKs Set Up at Pilot Locations
PSK Staff Training for Pilot locations
Call Centre Training
Passport Office employees training at Bangalore
Creating a Secure System
The Origins of Passport
Smt. Nirupama Rao assumed charge as Foreign Secretary in July 2009.
She is the second woman to hold the prestigious post of Foreign Secretary. In her distinguished career she has served in several capacities
including, Minister (Press & Information) in Washington, Deputy Chief
of Mission in Moscow, besides stints at headquarters as Joint Secretary
(East Asia), and as the first woman Spokesperson of the Ministry. She
also held crucial positions in the neighbourhood countries as Ambassador to China and High Commissioner to Sri Lanka.
We warmly welcome her and look forward to benefit from her guidance for the Project and the Central
Shri. Ashok Tomar has taken over as Additional Secretary (AD &
CPV) with effect from November 2009. Shri. Tomar belongs to the
1978 batch of the Indian Foreign Service.
We warmly welcome him and look forward to benefit from his guidance
for the Project and the Central Passport Organization.
“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success” – Henry Ford
Project Updates...The Story so far
Major milestones achieved during the journey towards the pilot go-live of the Passport Seva Project
Project Milestones – Pilot
Milestones - Work in Progress
Milestones to be Achieved
Soft Skills Training for Passport Seva Kendra employees recruited for pilot locations completed
Software/Application Training & Hands-On for the Passport Seva Kendra Staff recruited for the
pilot locations at the Prototype & Training Centre completed
Software/Application Training for the Passport Office employees completed at Bangalore
Software/Application Training completed for the Police Officials at Bangalore, Mangalore & Hubli
Software/Application Training planned for the Chandigarh Passport Office employees
Call Centre & Passport Seva helpline established
Demo Software/Application Training for Call Centre Trainers conducted
Training for Call Centre Agents completed successfully at Mohali & Hyderabad
“The nice thing about teamwork is that you always have others on your side”- Margaret Carty
Project Updates...The Story so far
Passport Seva Kendras set up with the installation of the IT system, biometric equipment & camera
completed at pilot locations
Prototype & Training Centre for the Passport Seva Kendra staff created at Kirti Nagar, New Delhi
for Hands-On sessions
Access Cards for MEA staff created
Login User-id and passwords for the application and system usage to be generated for all staff
CCTV monitoring set up at the Passport Seva Kendra & Central Passport Printing Facility
Fire alarm, Smoke detectors, Burglar alarm systems installed at the Passport Seva Kendras
CENTRAL PASSPORT PRINTING FACILITY
Central Passport Printing Facility (CPPF) set up at Delhi
CPPF staff recruited
Soft skills training conducted & Software/Application hands-on training program planned for the
Foreign Secretary’s visit to Bangalore PSK
Foreign Secretary Smt. Nirupama Rao visited Regional Passport Office Bangalore to inspect the progress of
the project and meet the staff. FS was given a detailed walk around of the Passport Seva Kendra facilities
and apprised of the progress. FS addressed the staff on the significance and necessity of the Passport Seva
Foreign Secretary at the Bangalore Passport Seva Kendra
“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful” - Albert
Network Operations Centre
The Network Operations Centre (NOC) is one of the most critical locations of Passport Seva Project. The
entire communication Network comprising multiple locations like Passport Data Centres, Passport Seva
Kendras, Passport Offices and the IT Infrastructure including the application and the portal would be monitored and managed from the NOC. Ministry of External Affairs has allocated a space in New Delhi to build
the NOC. The premises hosts many government organizations and is a highly secured area.
NOC is highly secured with State of Art Access controls, CCTV and 24 hours physical security. Other systems such as Rodent Repellent, Intruder Alarm, Smoke detector, Water Leak Detection (WLD) have also
been provisioned in the facility. Only authorized associates have access to the NOC premises wherein each
associate is provided with an Access Card for the identification and entry to specific area of the premises.
NOC is also provisioned with LFDs (Large Frame Displays) to monitor the entire Passport Seva Network.
All the systems have biometric access control apart from User login and password. It has 24X7 technical
support team backup.
Mr. A.Manickam - Joint Secretary (CPV) and Dr. T.V Nagendra Prasad - Project Director (PSP & CPV)
along with other Senior officials of MEA have visited the NOC facility.
Monitoring Agents L1
Specialist Team L2/L3
“A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new” - Albert Einstein
Passport Seva Kendra: Pilot Location set up Complete
One of the most important aspects of the project is setting up of Passport Seva Kendras (PSKs) all over the
country. PSKs would be extended arms of the Regional Passport Offices where non sensitive and non sovereign functions will be performed by TCS and the sovereign functions including the granting of passport
will be performed by CPO officials. In the pilot phase, seven PSKs will go live at Bangalore (2 PSKs),
Mangalore, Hubli, Chandigarh, Ludhiana and Ambala.
The TCS project team has worked in unison with the MEA leadership at CPV, New Delhi, RPO Bangalore
and RPO Chandigarh to set up PSKs at all the locations. The design philosophy was finalized keeping in
mind the minutest details for the PSK set up. The overall citizen and employee comfort, furniture design,
color scheme, material selection and layout was arrived at with the sole purpose of ensuring excellent citizen experience while availing passport services. The State-of-the-Art centres, with swanky interiors and
world class infrastructure will project a strong commitment of MEA towards the citizens of India with the
best in class service. These PSKs would have modifications in future based on the feedback from the CPO
officials and citizens.
The PSKs at the pilot location are ready and software testing has already commenced at these centres.
There has been active involvement and guidance from the RPOs at both locations in inspecting and certifying the centres. Teams from National Institute of Smart Governance and STQC (Standardization, Testing
and Quality Certification) Directorate, a body under the Department of Information Technology, Government of India, visited Bangalore and Chandigarh Centres to verify the PSKs.
Waiting Lounge at the PSK
PSK Service Area
Token Counters at PSK
“You must be the change that you want to see in the world”- Mahatma Gandhi
PSK Staff Training for Pilot Locations
As the Project steadily moves towards the Pilot Go-live stage, Bangalore and Chandigarh Passport Seva
Kendras (PSKs) are becoming fully functional with the State of the Art technology and personnel. Soon the
rest of the country would witness a new dawn of digitization in the Passport Issuance process.
Primary activities such as form collection and submission, penalty and fee collection, PCC Application
processing and Biometric capturing would be taken care by Customer Service Executives (CSEs) at the
PSKs. Therefore, being the first point of contact for the citizens, the importance of customer friendly behavioral skills can‟t be overlooked. Hence, a comprehensive 3-day training program which included introduction to the Passport issuance process along with soft skill courses for PSK private staff was organized at
Well designed and structured Soft Skills courses module which includes Customer Orientation, Understanding your Customer, Communication and Listening
Skills, Conflict Management, Negotiation Skills etc.
were conducted which exposed the trainees to important aspects of customer facing roles. All the modules
were created keeping in mind the practical aspects by
highlighting the concepts along with real life examples. Open house discussions were encouraged
wherein the participants were asked to share their experiences and learn from them. Focus was laid on the
interactive role plays and group exercises to reinforce
concepts and add value to the learning curve.
A session on Information Security was conducted to
emphasize on the confidentiality and security related
aspects of citizen-centric sensitive and personal information. Along with the soft skills module, a session on
Stress Management was also taken up to highlight the
significance of maintaining a good and healthy lifestyle. Several stress buster and relaxation techniques
were shared with the participants and they were encouraged to use them in their daily lives.
Soft Skills training manual was also distributed to the
participants for their future reference. Formal feedback was gathered using feedback forms while informal
feedback was collected through “My Training Experience” sheet where the participants were free to pen
down their thoughts, suggestions, comments and compliments. A lot of enthusiasm and keenness to learn
was exhibited by the participants. All sessions were thoroughly enjoyed by participants. They are now
equipped with requisite skills set to face the citizens confidently.
“The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary” - Donald Kendall
PSK Staff Training for Pilot Locations Continued...
Software/Application Training & Hands On:
A meticulous training program for 5 days at Kirti Nagar, New Delhi was developed to impart hands-on
training on PSP application module for PSK employees. The Training centre was set-up specifically to resemble the future PSK layout along with the entire infrastructure and equipment to be used there in order to
provide valuable process and application exposure to the trainees.
The training commenced with a detailed knowledge sharing session on Passport issuance process. Thereafter, application demo sessions on different cases such as Fresh, Re-issue, PCC, Walk-in, Penalty Payments,
DPC/SPC applications followed by hands-on practice were conducted. Training was also imparted on the
usage and acceptability parameters for peripheral devices such as camera, fingerprint machine, scanner,
printer and bar-code reader. Every Customer Service Executive was provided with sufficient time to practice in order to gain proficiency in using the application and the accompanying equipment.
A session on Information Security was conducted to emphasize the security and confidentiality aspects of
the Citizen specific information. Tips on how to secure the workstation from any security breach were
shared with participants such as not sharing the passwords, frequently changing them and locking the system when away. Since the employees at PSKs will also handle cash, either as Application Fee payment or
Penalty payment, a session on “how to detect fake currency” was also arranged wherein a Senior Executive
from State Bank of India was invited to share his experience and learnings with the trainees.
Call Centre Training
The Passport Seva Call centre will be one of the touch points wherein citizens will be able to make enquiries, and track their application/ complaint status through a toll free number. The call centre will become
functional just before the launch of pilot PSKs. In the initial phase, call centre services will be available to
applicants from Karnataka, Haryana, Punjab and Union Territory of Chandigarh only. Interactive Voice
Response services will be available 24 X 7 basis and agent support will be available 14 X 7 basis, i.e., between 8 AM to 10 PM round the year except on public holidays.
As call centre agents will be interacting directly with citizens and will be responsible for providing accurate
information, they were trained on Process & Soft Skills in a two days training program conducted at Tata
Business Support Services (TBSS) Office, Mohali.
Business process training comprised two major parts, Process training and a demo of call centre software
module of PSP application. Process training included overview of Passport Seva Project, business operations, process requirements, call centre management, mock calls & feedback sessions. Tracking of different
type of requests & grievances, usage of digital signature, dispatch & email handling functionality etc were
also demonstrated. A half day session on soft skills was also given to the agents. The participants displayed
a lot of enthusiasm and made the entire session interactive. They appreciated the training and suggested
similar training sessions in future.
“Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment, full effort is full victory” - Mahatma Gandhi
Passport Office Employees Training at Bangalore
As the Pilot Go-live is approaching, the Ministry of External Affairs is taking every effort to see that the system
is robust from the security and service standpoint. Software/Application training for Passport Office staff tops
the go-live priority checklist. The journey towards bringing a smooth transition from the old system of Passport
Issuance to the new one can be successful only with the
aid of a comprehensive, rigorous training plan. A week
long training program was designed for the passport office employees at Bangalore, with three days training
dedicated to one batch while the next three days dedicated
to the second batch of the Passport Office staff. A one day workshop was also conducted for the RPO
(Regional Passport Officer), APOs and the Accounts Officer to brief them on the application and their specific modules.
The training commenced with a walk through of the
Passport Seva Kendra (PSK) and overview of the PSK
operations starting from the token issuance at the Token
Issuance counter to the Granting stage. The entire training was scheduled on the basis of different modules like
PSK Overview, DPC/SPC, Verification, Granting, Passport Issuance Authority, Printing, Lamination, Quality,
Dispatch, Disposal, Safe Custody, Store Manager, etc.
All the demo sessions were followed by the hands on
session where the staff was given sufficient time to practice on the PSP application. Since Passport Office employees are expert in the passport process, they could learn the new system quickly.
The Training Manual provide to the employees would
serve as a ready reference while working on the new system. Feedback was gathered on daily basis and the suggestions provided by the staff were acted upon regularly.
The training was appreciated by the staff as it provided
them knowledge and skills to operate on the application
in the new environment and gave them the confidence to
handle the Passport Seva Application effectively.
“Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough we must do”– Goethe
Creating a Secured System
Security and confidentiality are the prime aspects of the Passport Issuance system. In the future scenario,
standardized access cards would be created for all the Passport Seva Kendras and Central Passport Printing
Facility. The MEA, PSK and Support staff at PSKs would be mandated to carry a photo identification card
in order to enter and leave the premises. Access card would carry the photograph of the staff member, their
rank and blood group along with specific color coding to differentiate between Government officials and
private staff. Any official visitor at PSK would also be issued a visitor card which would help in restricting
access to secured areas at the PSKs. Unique login IDs would also be provided to all staff in order to prevent
any unauthorized access into the system.
Access Cards for Passport Seva Project
Access Card for MEA Staff
Access Card for Private Staff
Access Card for Support Staff
Access Card for Visitors at PSK
“Ignorance is always afraid of change” - Jawaharlal Nehru
Technology Trends – Passport Seva System
Getting connected to Passport Seva System Securely
Passport Seva System will be operated by internal stakeholders like the Passport Office
employees and external stakeholders like the service provider staff. Besides, support organizations like police and post will also access the system. The Passport Seva system has
been designed keeping security as the highest priority. Various security concepts like
separation of various zones, restricted access, and use of digital signature mechanism have been used for the
project. Only Government staff will be provided access to the core of the system. Access to the next layer
will be available to the Service Provider staff. External support organizations will be accessing the system
through the internet and cannot come anywhere near the core system.
All users of the system will require Digital Signature for accessing and operating the system. Digital signature is the electronic equivalent of the physical signature which you currently affix on the file. The key uses
of the physical signature namely: (a) fixing the identity of the person who signed, and (b) non-repudiation,
are replicated in the electronic form through the Digital Signature.
Digital signatures are issued by an authority under the Department of Information Technology. This involves the issue of a digital certificate which is nothing but a pen drive. In addition to using the normal user
ID, password and thumb impression to enter the system, each user would have to insert a pen drive (USB)
into the system to digitally sign each document which they are working on.
Just as one protects his/her ATM pin code, all staff are expected to guard their digital signature and inform
the Regional Passport Officer in case of loss/damage of the digital signature pen drive.
Many of our staff had justifiable concerns about how their record and conduct will be safeguarded under the
new Passport Seva System. In the current system there is a paper trail on file recording every stage of the
processing of the file. In case of any problem, the concerned file can be seen to find out the person who
took action on that case and the justification provided. How is this being handled in Passport Seva (PS)
A facility similar to what has been discussed above is available on the PS system. Digital signature fixes the
identity of the person who has worked on the system. Besides from a legal angle, digital signatures ensure
non-repudiation. Detailed audit trail is maintained, forever, of each and every action taken on the electronic
passport application form. Date and time stamp will also be recorded. All these measures, initiated by the
Ministry would safeguard the interests of the staff.
For any query – please write to
Golok Kumar Simli (Principal Consultant - Technology)
S.Chandrasekhar (Principal Consultant - Programme Management)
“The only real security that a man can have in this world is a reserve of knowledge, experience and ability”-Henry Ford
The Origins of Passport
The oldest mention of a legal document used for safe passage and travelling abroad is in the Bible. The idea
of a passport has always existed since people began to travel from one country to another. In the United
Kingdom, the origin of the passport was the 'Safe Conduct', a note signed by the king or queen, asking the
person holding it be allowed to travel freely. Safe Conducts were issued to people of all nationalities and
were mentioned in an Act of Parliament in the reign of King Henry V in 1414.
In European countries the main task of the passport system was to ensure peace and order, whereas in Russia, apart from the above functions the passport also served as a means to oversee the control of tax payments, military service and other duties regulated by the state. As nations have grown in power and authority over social and economic life in the 20th century, governments have made national documents, including passports, as a legal device to facilitate movement and activities around the world.
Passports in India:
Passports were not issued prior to the First World War. During the war, the Government of India made it
mandatory to possess a passport for entering into the country or for leaving the country. The Indian Passport Act of 1920 made this temporary war provision into a permanent arrangement and brought this practice
in line with those of other parts of the British Empire and other countries. The Act was renamed “The Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920” followed by the establishment of the Passports Act of 1967 which is still
Following the India Act of 1935, „Emigration‟ continued to be a Central subject but the power to issue
passports on behalf of Central Government was delegated to the Home Departments of State Governments.
Later on, Passport became a Central subject under the Indian Constitution and was assigned to the Ministry
of External Affairs (MEA).
“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” - Maria Robinson
Worldwide: Passport Card
The cool little passport card is smaller, cheaper and more convenient than the traditional passport book, but
it‟s not for everyone.
A passport card serves the same purpose as a passport book with an exception of being the size of a credit
card. It is used in the United States to attest the US citizenship and identity. The passport card contains a
vicinity-read radio frequency identification (RFID) chip. It was created in 2008 to facilitate the frequent
travel of Americans living in border communities and can be used for land and sea travel between the U.S.
and Mexico, Canada, the Caribbean, and Bermudas. Similar systems also exist in U.K and Singapore for
Stay Healthy: Nature Naturally Helps
It's said that God first separated the salt water from the fresh, made dry land,
planted a garden, made animals and fish... all before making a human. He made and
provided what we'd need before we were born. Fruits and vegetables when eaten
raw nourishes the body and protects it naturally.
A sliced Carrot looks like the human eye. The pupil, iris and radiating lines look just like
the human eye... and science now shows carrots greatly enhance blood flow to and function of the eyes.
Walnut looks like a little brain, a left and right hemisphere, upper and lower cerebellums. Walnuts help develop more than three (3) dozen neuron-transmitters for brain
A Tomato has four chambers and is red. The heart has four chambers and is red. All
of the research shows tomatoes are loaded with lycopine and are indeed heart
and blood food
Grapes hang in a cluster that has the shape of the heart. Each grape looks like a blood
cell and all of the research today shows grapes are also profound heart and blood
“Every human being is the author of his own health or disease” - Buddha
1. Like fingerprints, everyone's tongue print is different
2. Butterflies taste with their feet
3. TYPEWRITER is the longest word that can be made using the letters only on one row of
4. Honey - This is the only food that doesn't spoil
5. People say "Bless you" when you sneeze because when you Sneeze, your heart stops for a
6. The strongest muscle in the body is the tongue
7. The "sixth sick sheik's sixth sheep's sick" is said to be the toughest tongue twister in
the English language
8. If you sneeze too hard, you can fracture a rib. If you try to Suppress a sneeze; you can
rupture a blood vessel in your head or neck and die
Unscramble the words to form meaningful words:
15. LLCCEEANTR (2 words)
“Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you” - Saint Augustine
PO staff members from various locations at MEA,
Bangalore PO staff attending the hands-on session on
Software/Application Training session at Bangalore
RPO (Chandigarh), CPO & PD at the PSK staff
induction program - Chandigarh
SOLUTION TO THE JUMBLE
1.PASSPORT 2.BIOMETRIC 3.DIGITAL 4.HELPDESK 5.SECURITY 6.DISPATCH 7.LAMINATION
8.PRINT 9.COURIER 10.PASSWORD 11.GRANTING 12.VERIFICATION 13.DIPLOMAT
Send your contributions and feedback to us to improvise your own Passport Patrika.
Comments, Queries and suggestions are welcome.
Write to us at email@example.com
“The mind is everything. What you think you become” - Buddha
Warm wishes for a Bright & Prosperous New Year!!
“Year's end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us” - Hal Borland