External Affairs Minister announced the Passports will now be bilingual.
New Delhi: External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj on friday announced the passports will now be bilingual with both English and Hindi. The personal details in the passports would henceforth be bilingual. Currently, personal details in passports are printed only in English.
“All passports will be in English and Hindi languages from now on”, said Swaraj, according to PTI.
The minister also announced a 10% cut in passport fee for applicants who are under the age of eight and over 60 years of age. Swaraj made the announcements while addressing an event to mark 50 years of the Passport Act, 1967.
“We often receive complaints as to why our passports are only in English,” Sushma Swaraj said. “When all Arab countries have their passports in Arabic and Germans and Russians have it in their own languages, why can’t we have ours in Hindi.”
The postal department released a commemorative stamp on the occasion. The event was attended by Communications Minister Manoj Sinha and Ministers of State in the External Affairs Ministry V K Singh and M J Akbar.
Swaraj said there was a rise in the demand for passports for the elderly.
She said there had been an increase in application for passports from elderly citizens who wish to visit their children or relatives working or studying abroad.
While applying for tatkal passports, the minister said, applicants could give a copy of their Aadhar card, PAN card or ration card, voter identification card apart from a self-attested letter that he/she does not have any criminal compliant against him/her.
Police verification, a major part of the passport issuing process, takes time, the minister pointed out.
Sushma Swaraj and Minister of State for Communications Manoj Sinha unveiled a commemorative postage stamp to mark the completion of 50 years of the Passport Act, enacted on June 24, 1967.
The people of non-hindi speaking states took to social media to voice their opinion at the move.
What is logic in printing a Tamil Nadu residents Passport in Hindi when neither he nor immigration staff in country he visits can read Hindi
— Sumanth Raman (@sumanthraman) June 23, 2017
India's population living abroad is 16 million according to 2015 UN survey.
5.7 million (35% of Indian NRI's) are from Kerala & Tamil Nadu. https://t.co/gDMG4OlzM9
— Advaid (@Advaidism) June 23, 2017
Source: (The times of India)