Passport office now linked to Aadhaar database

Passport seekers having Aadhaar numbers may have to go through another round of credential checks when they submit their applicants at the Passport Seva Kendra in Mundhwa.

From August 21, the city-based Regional Passport Office (RPO) will be digitally integrated with the UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India) database for validating Aadhaar numbers submitted by applicants as proof of identity and address. However, there will be no change in the earlier process as the applicants will have to submit all documents specified on the RPO website.

The interlinking will benefit applicants from Pune (city and rural), Ahmednagar, Kolhapur, Sangli, Satara and Solapur (city and rural). The linkage with the Aadhaar database, done to make the passport issuance process simpler, more secure and reliable, has been successfully piloted at seven passport seva kendras across the country, a statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs stated.

Regional passport officer Atul Gotsurve expressed confidence in successful implementation of Aadhaar interlinking in the city. “Our system and computers have been updated. This is a step forward in the passport issuance process which will help reduce cases of identity theft. The biggest advantage of integrating the RPO with UID database is that the applicant’s credentials, including photo identity, will be verified by the granting officer before the application is accepted,” Gotsurve said.

The passport officer said the integration process has other benefits too. “In future, re-issue applications may be given the benefit of a successful match with the Aadhaar database thus reducing paperwork,” he said.

The passport database has more than 60 million valid passports. The ministry, in coordination with the UIDAI, is working on collecting Aadhaar numbers of the applicants through crowd-sourcing (through web-services/ SMS/Integrated Voice Response System), in accordance with seeding tools available for organic seeding, a statement issued by the ministry said.