MEA signs pact with TCS aiming to set up Seva Kendra at every constituency
On Friday, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) inked an agreement with Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS) for the second phase of the Passport Seva Programme (PSP-V2.0) that envisages rolling out chip-enabled e-passports, increasing data security and ensuring the next level of customer experience.
Eyeing to open a Seva Kendra in every Lok Sabha constituency where there is no Passport Seva Kendra (PSK) or Post Office Passport Seva Kendra (POPSK), the Ministry of External Affairs has signed an agreement with TCS.
Tata Consultancy Services Ltd has been involved as a service provider in the Passport Seva Project for over 10 years.
As of date 93 PSKs, 428 POPSKs and 36 Passport Offices are operational. The Programme has recently been connected to more than 176 Indian Missions/ Posts through Global Passport Seva Programme (GPSP), providing “seamless” delivery of passport services to the Indian diaspora, the ministry has said.
The PSP-V2.0 is a continuation and enhancement of PSP-V1.0, an e-Governance instrument, which introduced “unprecedented transformation” in delivery of passport-related services to citizens, the ministry added.
“The issuance of e-Passports for enhanced customer satisfaction, increased security and next level of citizen experience will also be unveiled in the upgraded PSP-V2.0,” it said.
“The world-class experience delivered at the TCS-run Passport Seva Kendras (PSK) across the country made the service immensely popular and a source of national pride. Accessibility was further enhanced by extending the service through designated post offices and Indian missions and posts across the world,” it said in a statement said.
The key elements of PSP-V2.0 are setting up a state-of-art digital ecosystem, process overhauling and integration among various stakeholders and databases, improving citizen interface, upgrading technology, adopting best practices, and strengthening data security.
Security aspects, including strategic assets such as data centers, database, and application software will be owned by the government. There would be strict access controls across the system, incorporating biometrics.
On the digital front, the programme envisages a Data Centre, Disaster Recovery Centre and Government Secure Repository networked to all PSKs/ POPSKs, Passport Offices and also to Indian Missions/ Posts abroad, an electronic file system for passport processing running across the passport issuance ecosystem and 24x7x365 monitoring and supervision through state-of-art Network Operation Centre (NOC) and Security Operation Centre (SOC).
According to the ministry, the Passport Seva Programme would be embarking on technology upgrades with the use of biometrics, artificial intelligence, advanced data analytics, chat-bot, auto-response, natural language processing, cloud enablement.
[With Inputs from IANS]
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