Getting Indian passports as citizens of India is somewhat tricky, and most of us have experienced it – the trickiest part could be penned down as the police verification part. But soon, the physical passport verification will not be required, because we are getting ‘online’.

The final phase called police verification of passport will soon be a history gone far away with time because the Government is planning to make the entire verification process – online, within a year. After implementation of a structured workflow for issuing Indian passports, the whole application process has become truly systematic: apply for passport online, select a day, select suitable time, get an appointment for visit at Passport office, get the process done within an hour or two if everything goes well; I mean if you have all your documents set straight legitimately, these steps must be buttery. But the final step – physical police verification was the level which glitches the efficiency of passport granting.

Passports are often delayed merely due to the lack of timely police verification and there have been cases of bribery, because why not. So considering this point, a branch of Home Ministry –  Crime and Criminal Tracking Networks and Systems (CCTNS) has finally stepped ahead and taken an initiative to curb the problem. And since we are on the track of making everything online, Digital India, you know, so the obvious solution was making the entire verification process online. The implementation of this process if pretty interesting – CCTNS’s exhaustive national database of crimes and criminals will be linked with passport services and candidates will be directly checked in through that system.

The Digital Police system electronically integrates India’s 15,398 police stations and allows citizens to report crime and request antecedents’ verification online. Now, as per the statements of Union Home Secretary, Rajiv Mehrishi, the Digital Police System will be linked with Passport Seva software. For verification of passport, the criminal records database will be directly looked into and if no matches will be found, the candidate will be verified clean – much more efficient.

In certain cases, where physical verification will still be needed, the verifiers and witnesses will be input their feeds through hand-held mobile/tablet devices which will be transmitted back electronically to the passport office. This system will be implemented within a year, so you can ditch buttering your neighbours and friends so that they would show up as witnesses at passport verification. And you can buy a nice treat to yourself after you save the bribery amount.

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