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QUESTION NO.646 NEW DIVISION

February 05, 2020

LOK SABHA
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO.646
TO BE ANSWERED ON 05.02.2020



646. SHRI E.T. MOHAMMED BASHEER:

Will the Minister of EXTERNAL AFFAIRS be pleased to state:

(a) whether the government has decided to setup a new division called NESD and if so, the details thereof including the aims and objectives of this institution ;

(b) whether India had a bilateral discussion with Myanmar in regard to the return of displaced persons from Rakhine state and if so, the details thereof ;

(c) whether India has made pre-fabricated houses under Rakhine state development programme and if so, the details thereof ;

(d) whether the Government has made efforts to simplify the passport verification process and if so, the details thereof;

(e) the steps taken by the Government to make post offices as extended arms of passport office along with the details in this regard, State-wise ; and

(f) whether the Government has extended this facility to more post offices and if so, the details thereof?

ANSWER
THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
[SHRI V. MURALEEDHARAN]

(a) New, Emerging and Strategic Technologies (NEST) Division has been set up in the Ministry of External Affairs for technology development in the country and to deal with the foreign policy as well as the international legal aspects of new & emerging technologies and engage in technology diplomacy.

(b) The humanitarian, developmental and other dimensions of the situation in Rakhine State have been discussed between the two countries at high level meetings. Discussions include India’s commitment to support socio-economic development of Rakhine State including to facilitate the return of displaced people. One key modality for India to effect this objective is the Rakhine State Developmental Program, signed in 2017 between Government of India and Government of Myanmar.

(c) Yes. India has completed the construction of 250 prefabricated houses under the Rakhine State Development Program. The first 50 houses was handed over to Government of Myanmar by the President of India during his State Visit to Myanmar in December 2018. The remaining houses were handed over in July 2019. India has committed financial assistance of US $ 25 million (US $ 5 million per year) for undertaking projects in Rakhine State. The construction of 250 prefabricated houses comes under the first phase of this program.

(d) The Ministry has successfully connected, till date, 741 Police Districts with the Passport Seva Project digitally under the District Police Headquarter (DPHQ) model. The Ministry has launched the mPassport Police App for speedy submission of Police Verification Report (PVR). With the launch of this App, the need to download and print the physical Personal Particular Form and Questionnaire would no longer be required resulting in paperless end-to-end digital flow of the Police Verification process, further reducing the time required for completion of PVR at field level.

(e) In the year 2017, a decision was taken in co-operation with the Department of Posts to open ‘Post Office Passport Seva Kendras’ (POPSK), in order to bring passport services closer to people residing in remote areas of the country. The POPSK are functioning like the other existing 93 Passport Seva Kendras (PSK).

(f) As on 29 January 2020, 424 POPSK have been established making a total of 517 ‘Passport Kendras’ operational in the country (Annexure-I)Tamil.pdf

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