On a surprise note, a Passport Seva Kendra (PSK) that was functional in Belagavi city till 2006 was later shifted to Hubballi. Yes, you heard rite.
Shifted due to political lobby from neighbouring districts & Negligence of local leaders causing much inconvenience to the residents of Belagavi, particularly in completing the police verification process. Nearly 3000 applications from Belagavi were pending before the PSK at Hubballi.
Seeing this inconvenience, The Ministry of External Affairs proposed to open additional Passport Seva Kendra (PSK) in Belagavi and the city was included in the list of prospective PSKs across the country. But however later Post office Passport Seva Kendra (PoPSK) was sanctioned to Belagavi with just 50 slots a day.
In a letter to then mayor Sarita Patil, Arun Chatterji, joint secretary, SPS and chief passport officer, has informed the inclusion of Belagavi in the list of prospective additional PSK. The feasibility study is being conducted and the PSK would be opened in the city based on the recommendations.
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The Past Presidents Council of Belagavi Chamber of Commerce and Industries, comprising Satish Tendulkar, Shevantilal Shah, Basavaraj Javali and Vikas Kalaghatagi, has strived to launch a PSK in Belagavi. Also, they had met then mayor Sarita Patil, urging her to follow up the issue. However Belagavi got 50 slot PoPSK which is not sufficient for the city with population more than 7 lakhs.
Currently, The one has to wait for minimum of 12-14 days for the slots booking as there are only 50 slots allowed per day, people of Belagavi has to Travel to Hubballi to get slots and verification in case of emergency.
What are PSK and POPSK?
Passport Office (PO) has a number of Passport Seva Kendras working under it, similarly, Regional Passport Office (RPO) has a number of Post Office PSK (POPSK) working under it.
PSK is Passport Seva Kendra which is located only in the Tier-1 and Tier-2 cities. Each PSK has specific cities to be covered under its geographic limit. They would process the applications which are filled by the applicants under those cities covered by a particular PSK. Totally there are 77 passport Seva Kendra in India.
POPSK is Post Office Passport Seva Kendra located in every district of the state. Applicants in a district need not travel far for passport appointment and their process gets over in the post office of their district. This facility is beneficial if the applications are kids and senior citizens, who are reluctant to travel farther distances. In total, there are 192 POPSK as of May 2018 in India.
It’s nothing mandatory and totally applicant choice to prefer a PSK or a POPSK as per the requirements and other factors.
Passport Verification Process under PSK:
PSK works with a direct partnership with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) & Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). Here you can find many verifications and granting officers allotted in one PSK.
The Passport Application procedure under PSK is fully online. It is usually time-consuming as they would get thousands of applications every day. But the applicant file gets processed and granted on the same day of the appointment due to the availability of a team of officers working on the same file.
Fresh, renewal, reissue, tatkal and complicated cases get processed easily here. PPC and diplomatic passports are issued with proper documents for official and job purposes.
Verification Process under POPSK:
POPSK works directly under RPO. The initial process takes place in the post office and the next process in RPO. The verification process is less time consuming inside POPSK as there only a few passport applications to be verified every-day.
But there would be a delay in the total time taken to get a passport in hand, as the files processed in POPSK have to be taken to RPO for final verification. Once it is done successfully, only then the passport application becomes eligible to receive a passport.
Here only the limited cases are accepted and that too it’s not totally online. The only submission happens online and the rest takes place offline.