From Friday, passport application fees have been reduced for applicants under the age of 8 and over the age of 60. The announcement was made official by external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj.
Swaraj further added that from now, all new passports issued will be in Hindi and in English, unlike earlier, that it was only issued in English. One of the big changes announced in December was the removal of the mandatory requirement of the birth certificate as the proof of date of birth.
Swaraj added that the applicants below the age of 8 and senior citizens will have to pay 10 percent less fee for new passports. On the fiftieth anniversary of Passports Act, Swaraj said, “We have brought improvement in passport rules, services & focused on doorstep delivery.”
In addition to this, the new rules said that separated or divorced applicants will not have to mention the name their former spouse in the application form. As well, ‘sadhus’ and ‘sanyasis’ were allowed to mention the names of their spiritual gurus instead of their biological parents on their application forms.
Notably, it was decided last December that those applying for passports can submit any one of the following documents – Matriculation Certificate, PAN Card, Aadhaar Card or E-Aadhaar – that have the date of birth of the applicant. They can also provide a copy of the extract of their service record, driving licence, Election Photo Identity Card or LIC policy bond.