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Passport Seva Project Stabbed Again!

One of the recent projects aimed to be an aid in the development of the country, the Passport Seva Project has found another barrier on its way. The main purpose of this E – Project is to ensure the speedy processing and delivering of the passports. The obstacles this time include employees who are seeking clarification and asking for a review.

The entire project costs Rs. 1,000 Crore. This contract was signed in October 2008 for the process to be implemented by June this year and has been outsourced to the renowned Tata Consultancy Services. The assignment was initiated as a part of the government’s many E – Governance projects in order to boost the efficiency in the management and distribution of passports.

However, many such timelines have been fixed and the deadlines have passed but it all seems to have gone in vain. With this, TCS is also unable to provide with fool – proof software that could be applied to the regular functioning in the new procedure.

The All India Passport Employees Association wrote to Mr. Shashi Tharoor, expressing their opinion to review the entire project. The AIPEA allowed the project to be executed after an agreement which included the committing to the overdue promotions. The

AIPEA has around 2,400 employees who are posted at the regional Passport Office across the country. Also, no fresh recruits have been done inspite of the increasing delays. Hence, the association raised its voice against the unjust happenings.

As per the plans, the TCS employees would be handling the Passport Seva Kendras and the employees from the Ministry would be responsible for the back end jobs. This would include the Ministry officials handling the matters of high sensitivity.

In order to convince the Ministry employees, a tour was conducted for them to the Passport Seva Kendra in Bangalore which happens to be pilot project location. All the major civil work has been completed here. Yet, they seemed displeased with the TCS officials. The main reason for this was no demonstration of all the testing which was supposed to be shown during the tour.

On the other hand, the Department of Information Technology’s Standardization Testing and Quality Certification is responsible for all the auditing of the software made by TCS. According to them, large numbers of bugs have been found in the developed software which has led to its malfunction. Additionally, it being an external dependency module, a fixed timeline or a date cannot be provided.

Above all, TCS has ensured that the project would be on the run by January end; although the foreign ministry officials are still not sure.