The new Passport Seva app, which offers a variety of passport-related services to users on smartphones, has crossed 1 million downloads on the Google Play Store in just two days since its launch. The app is the official one for the Passport Seva department, the branch of the External Affairs Ministry of the Government of India that deals with issuing of the travel documents to Indian citizens.
External Affairs Minister of India Sushma Swaraj has been at the lead in the roll-out of the app, which offers information and services to users looking to apply for a new Indian passport or renew their existing passport. The app is available on both Android and iOS, and allows users to apply for, schedule appointments and pay the application fee for a passport.
Incidentally, the app has been launched alongside a new scheme by the Passport Seva division of the External Affairs Ministry that allows citizens to apply anywhere for a passport. Earlier, you could only apply at the passport office closest to your current residence, but the new scheme will let applicants choose the office. This is useful to citizens who are living in a different place from where their permanent address is.
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The app offers the same services as the Passport Seva website, but a lot of users have been complaining of crashes and functionality issues with the app. This could be due to teething issues, as well as the servers not being able to cope with the sudden surge in use. The app also makes it easier for users to gain access to passport services without the use of a computer, thanks to the affordability and widespread connectivity offered by smartphones.