Indian govt reduces passport fee for senior citizens, minors
The Government of India has announced that Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) over 60 and below eight years of age will get a ten per cent discount on passport fee. Also, new passports will have details printed in both Hindi and English.
An official from the India’s Ministry of External Affairs confirmed the new development to Muscat Daily.
At present, an adult passport costs RO28.9 while a minor one (up to 18 years) costs RO19.3, according to the Indian Embassy in Muscat website. “The date from which this new decision will be applicable has not been decided yet,” the official said.
The Union government has also informed Parliament that birth certificates are not a prerequisite to apply for passports in India. It has said that Aadhaar or PAN card could be used to establish the date of birth (DoB).
According to the Passport Rules, 1980, all applicants born on or after January 26, 1989, had to submit a birth certificate, a mandatory provision. Now, the applicant can submit any one of these - transfer/school leaving/matriculation certificate issued by the school last attended/recognised educational board containing DoB of the applicant, PAN card, Aadhaar card/e-Aadhaar, driving licence, Voter ID card and even LIC policy bonds.
Answering a question in Parliament, V K Singh, Indian Minister of State for External Affairs said the aim is make the whole process easier and allow more people to apply for passports.
Also, neither divorce nor adoption certificates need to be submitted any longer to get a passport. Orphans only need a document from their orphanage to confirm DoB. Online applicants only need to provide the name of one parent or guardian, not both, helping single parent families.
The annexes to the passport form have been reduced from 15 to 9, and they only need to be printed out in plain paper, and self-attested. No attestation/ swearing by/before any notary/executive magistrate/first class judicial magistrate would be henceforth necessary. This also means married applicants don’t need to provide a marriage certificate, nor name of spouse if they are divorced or separated.
All these rules have been in operation since December 2016.