New Delhi: Serpentine queues and endless waiting will soon be passé with the External Affairs Ministry planning to outsource passport-related work that will make it possible to get passports in three days flat.
"We are planning to outsource the front office work of the passport office. Very soon, one can get passports in three days flat," Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon said after releasing Asian Diplomacy a book authored by veteran diplomat Kishan S Rana at Sapru House on Saturday.
If all goes well, what seems like a dream now will become a reality before the end of 2008, Menon later told reporters on the sidelines of the book-release function.
Around 120 outlets all over the country will be handling the delivery of e-passports after necessary security checks are done by the passport office.
"Quicker processing and delivery of passports is part of the larger pattern of modernisation the External Affairs Ministry has embarked on to adapt to changing needs of diplomacy," Menon said.
"We have a huge opportunity to remake ourselves in the foreign ministry. Technology makes it easier to change the way we work," he said while lauding the book authored by Rana, a former ambassador to Germany and Algeria.
Menon also spoke about the plan of the foreign ministry to outsource work and recruit more personnel to handle increasing diplomatic responsibilities as India's stature grows on the global stage.
The External Affairs Ministry is planning to introduce a spate of far-reaching changes that includes Internet-based governance and management systems, internal monitoring, mid-career training for diplomats and a new system of promotions and appraisals, Menon said.
Rana stressed on reinventing diplomacy and adopting new strategies and practices to manage a radically changed international environment that has brought with it a new set of challenges, which is also the main theme of his book.