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Indian missions across the world to issue passports in less than 48 hours soon: V K Singh

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V K Singh

Washington | Indian missions across the world would soon issue passports in less than 48 hours to citizens abroad, Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh said here.

Addressing a gathering after launching the ‘Passport Seva’ project at the Indian Embassy here on Saturday, he said the passport offices at Indian missions have been digitally linked with the data centre back home, which would speed up the process of issuing passport.

Earlier this week, the Indian mission at New York issued passports in less than 48 hours. “This is going to happen across the world,” Singh said, handing over passports issued under the new project to citizens abroad.

Asserting that in the coming days India will have the best passport services in the world, the minister said there has been a major simplification of rules and regulations for passport applicants and verification of a lot of information of the applicants would be done digitally. The ‘Passport Seva’ project was first launched in the UK last month.

In US, the project was first rolled out in New York on November 21, followed by Washington on Saturday. It would be subsequently launched in Indian Consulates at Atlanta, Houston, Chicago and San Francisco.

After the UK and the US, the project would be extended to all the Indian missions across the globe, Singh said.

Navtej Singh Sarna, Indian Ambassador to the US, who was also present at the launch, said, “This is actually going to quantitatively and qualitatively improve our passport services immensely, both in the scope of the applications that can be handled and also in the way they will be handled and the way they will be integrated into the overall much better consular services.”

The minister said in the next few months, the Indian government will issue a new set of passports, the design of which have already been approved.

The new passports will have all kind of security features and better printing and paper quality, Singh said.

However, “there will be no change in the colour of the Indian passport,” he clarified.

Singh further said by March “our effort is to have 500 passport offices or centres across India” to ensure that “no citizen in India has to travel more than 50-60 km to apply for a passport”. Currently the number stands at 336.

Later in the evening, Singh was felicitated by the local Indian community at a reception hosted by the National Council of Asian Indian associations in collaboration with other Indian community organisations.

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Hasmukh Adhia rumoured to be the next RBI governor: sources

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Hasmukh Adhia

New Delhi | After the resignation of Reserve Bank of India governor Urjit Patel on Monday, former Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia is rumoured to be the next RBI governor, as per unconfirmed sources.

Adhia, a 1981-batch Gujarat cadre officer of the Indian Administrative Services (IAS), served as a secretary in the Department of Financial Services after Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister.  A close of aide of  PM Narendra Modi and Arun Jailtley retired on November 30 this year.

Adhia also served as the Union Revenue Secretary and Union Financial Services Secretary, in the Union Government which makes his case stronger for the post of the RBI governor.

Earlier Urjit Patel on Monday resigned from the post of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor. Patel’s three year team was to end in September 2019. Patel is also the first RBI governor to resign since 1990.

Submitting his resignation, Urjit Patel cited personal reasons and stepped down with immediate effect. He said, “On account of personal reasons, I have decided to step down from my current position effective immediately. It has been my privilege and honour to serve in the Reserve Bank of India in various capacities over the years,” Urjit Patel said in a statement. “The support and hard work of RBI staff, officers and management has been the proximate driver of the Bank’s considerable accomplishments in recent years. I take this opportunity to express gratitude to my colleagues and Directors of the RBI Central Board, and wish them all the best for the future,” he added.

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Breaking: Vijay Mallya to be extradited to India

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Vijay Mallya

London | In what could be termed as end of the party for the king of good time, Liqour baron Vijay Mallya to be extradited to India as the London court gives its nod for the same

London’s Westminster Magistrates Court orders the extradition of Vijay Mallya to India. The Court has further referred the matter of extradition of Vijay Mallya to India to the Secretary of State. The Central beaurue of Investigation has welcomed the decision of the London’s court. Chief Magistrate Judge Emma Arbuthnot announcing the order stated that he found prima facie a case against Vijay Mallya for fraud, conspiracy and money laundering.

Speaking on the extradition CBI said,”We hope to bring him soon and conclude the case. CBI has its own inherent strengths. We worked hard on this case. We are strong on Law and facts and we were confident while pursuing extradition process.”

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Urjit Patel resigns from RBI governor’s post

Anil Rajpurohit

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Urjit Patel

New Delhi | Urjit Patel on Monday resigned from the post of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor. Patel’s three year team was to end in September 2019. Patel is also the first RBI governor to resign since 1990.

Submitting his resignation, Urjit Patel cited personal reasons and stepped down with immediate effect. He said, “On account of personal reasons, I have decided to step down from my current position effective immediately. It has been my privilege and honour to serve in the Reserve Bank of India in various capacities over the years,” Urjit Patel said in a statement. “The support and hard work of RBI staff, officers and management has been the proximate driver of the Bank’s considerable accomplishments in recent years. I take this opportunity to express gratitude to my colleagues and Directors of the RBI Central Board, and wish them all the best for the future,” he added.

RBI Governor Urjit Patel earlier appeared before a parliamentary panel to brief on demonetisation and NPA situation in the public sector banks, among other issues. The RBI Governor appeared before the panel days after the central bank’s face-off with the finance ministry over issues ranging from appropriate size of reserves to be maintained by RBI to easing of lending norms for small and medium enterprises.

Business Editor of HW Business and Finance Akhilesh Bhargav states it is not only the failure of the finance ministry but the board of the Reserve Bank of India.

Urjit Patel who was appointed as the 24th Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) succeded Raghuram Rajan on 4 September 2016.

 

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