PSGA for Passports

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has lived up to his promise of bringing the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) clearance for passport issuance within the ambit of Public Services Guarantee Act (PSGA). Despite the odds, that the government has been able to overcome the initial hurdles is being welcomed in public circles. However, this move is far from perfect, and more needs to be done to actually simplify procedures and bring some transparency in a system long shrouded in unnecessary secrecy and mired in excessive delays and denials. In recent years, the Passport Authority has greatly simplified its procedures for the issuance of passports. It has brought in decent transparency and accountability for its bit of work. But the challenges continue to remain in the CID clearance system. Even as the CID inquiry system has been brought under PSGA, it does not automatically guarantee clearance, nor is there a provision of a third party appellate authority. As such, it is debatable how the in-house appeal system will work, and how violations will be dealt with. It is also not clear how the large number of the pending and current applications will be cleared with the same cumbersome procedures and systems. For improving its work efficiency, CID, and its allied wings of inquiry, must improve their procedures. Although 60 days for obtaining a CID report is reasonable, but the systemic and procedural challenges that have accumulated in the CID clearance system require a far greater process reform than what is being envisaged. Thousands of passport cases remain pending and an ever-increasing number of people, particularly youngsters, apply for passports in the state every year. Although the CID has achieved some degree of computerisation of some of its procedures, most of the work continues to be manual. The concept of Awami Darbars held by the Department sounds very primitive in these modern times. Every democratic government owes it to its people to facilitate their free movement in this globalised world. It helps nobody in creating a system that impedes rather than facilitates free movement of people, particularly the youngsters for jobs.

Lastupdate on : Fri, 28 Dec 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 28 Dec 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 29 Dec 2012 00:00:00 IST

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