The Ministry of External Affairs in a slew of announcements, eased some of its norms for applying for new passports and renewals.
In what has come as a relief to single mothers, the MEA has liberalized rules, whereby the passport need have the name of only one parent or the legal guardian. Those separated or divorced need not have to furnish divorce papers nor disclose the name of their partner.
Married applicants earlier who had to furnish their marriage certificates wonâ€™t have to do so any longer, said the MEA.
The governmentâ€™s new passport rules will also allow orphans, who do not have any proof of DOB such as Birth Certificate or the Matriculation Certificate or the declaratory Court order, to submit a declaration given by the head of the orphanage on their official letter head.
For children born out of wedlock, the applicant for the passport of such children should submit only Annexure G while submitting the passport application.
Perhaps, the most head turning modification is that sadhus can now choose to have their gurusâ€™ names listed in their passports, instead of their parents, on the condition they produce a government document with proof of the same.
In another major change, applicants can provide their driving license, voter ID, PAN card, Aadhar/ E-Aadhar cards and even policy bond issued by a government insurance program as a proof of their date of birth.
The earlier process dictated that only a birth certificate or school leaving certificate could have been used for this purpose.
In another relaxation, the number of Annexes mentioned in the Passport Rule, 1980 has been brought down to nine from 15.
Moreover, all the annexes can now be given as a self-declaration as opposed to as an affidavit signed by the Notary/Executive Magistrate/First Class Judicial Magistrate.