02:03 pm - Saturday 18 November 2017

Smartphone app for passport, haj and visa services to launch soon by Ministry of External Affairs

By insightVAS - Mon Jul 01, 4:35 pm

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) is soon to launch a smartphone app to make works like passport, haj and visa/ consular services easier for the citizens, from mid-July. The app, which will be available on both Android and iOS devices, will help Indians access all services that the foreign ministry’s website offers. A tap on the smartphone or tablet is all it will take.

MEA officials involved in the project said it was intended to be a single-window resource to connect media, students, scholars, diplomats, travellers and the average citizen — anyone who wants information or assistance from the ministry of external affairs.

The social presence of MEA in Facebook and Twitter has been a success, so the smartphone app is a logical next step. “With smartphone connections booming and set to grow to 150 million, the MEA has bet on integrating all its numerous websites into one single smart app,” an official said.

Have a question for the external affairs minister? Ask on the app. The most popular question will get a response.

For those seeking passport services, the app can be used for providing guidelines on how to apply, the documentation required, payments for services etc. The app will link with Google Maps to provide the user with directions to the nearest passport office.

Those using the government’s haj committee services to perform haj will be able to get details of which flight they are on, where they would be staying in Saudi Arabia etc. Pilgrims and travellers on the Kailash Mansarovar yatra will be able to access all the information about the annual pilgrimage that the MEA puts out, including information on medical check-ups and confirming their dates of departure. For instance, this year, MEA cancelled batches 2 to 10 — this information would be on the app.

For travellers to India, the app will help with visa guidelines, types of visa services, while Indians going to the Middle East for work will get immediate help regarding the nearest attestation offices for apostile requirements etc.

MEA’s successful public diplomacy (PD) activities will also be showcased. One can now access the PD division’s database of documentaries, India perspectives, public-lecture series etc. The app, officials said, will be integrated with all Indian missions around the world.

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