New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday lauded all government staff involved in timely issuance of passports to citizens notwithstanding the coronavirus pandemic.
In an address at an event to mark ‘Passport Seva Divas’, Jaishankar particularly mentioned maintenance of “high standards” of passport services by the Ministry of External Affairs and other agencies during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Despite the pandemic, we continue to deliver passports in a timely manner and hope to reach the pre-pandemic level as soon as possible,” he said.
Jaishankar said the ministry has integrated 174 Indian embassies and consulates abroad with the passport service programme.
“I am happy that continuing with our global outreach exercise, the ministry has integrated 174 embassies and consulates abroad with the passport Seva programme enabling a centralised passport issuance system for our citizens in India and diaspora abroad. We should complete the mission integration process on priority,” he said.
The minister also referred to the simplification of the passport issuance process and said the ministry is continuing to look to reducing the compliance burden on citizens.
Jaishankar said some of the staff members in the central passport organisation lost their battle against COVID-19.
“I would like to convey my heartfelt condolences to their families… It has indeed been a very difficult period for all of us. Some colleagues were sick and have now recovered and rejoined work. I applaud their spirit,” he said. (PTI)
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