To get a passport one does not need to travel up to Guwahati. A new Passport Seva Kendra in Imphal is in the offing. The Chief Minister declared on the opening day of the Assembly Session. His government has taken up efforts. Three officers in the rank of deputy secretary have already been deputed. Indeed a relief for those who want to apply for passport. One can save time and money once it is materialised. Passport is a primary travel document. Without this particular document it is impossible to travel to any other country. The concept is of giving validation of a citizen by her country seeking protection while in the territory of other country. For instance, the Indian passport has a note from the President of India, requesting protection of the bearer and be allowed to move freely, and be treated as per international norms. Author and feature writer of the Guardian, Leo Benedictus, while digging into the history of passport, holds that in Britain, the earliest surviving reference to a “safe conduct” document appears during the reign of Henry V, in an Act of Parliament dated 1414. It was in the early 20th century that passports as we would recognise them today began to be used. Passport standardisation came about in 1980, under the umbrella of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Empowered by an Act of the Indian Parliament, 1967, the Consular Passport & Visa (CPV) Division of the Ministry of External Affairs functioning as the central passport organisation, is responsible for issuance of Indian passports on demand to all eligible Indian citizens.
The two day passport fair in Imphal conducted by the issuing authority saw tremendous response from the public. Evidentially a large number of people from the state are ready to spread their wings. Manipur is second to Assam among the North eastern states in terms of receiving applications seeking passports. It reaffirms the surge of global mobility. The contemporary generation is all set to take part. An apparent call of opportunity to swim in large water should not be missed. A Passport Seva Kendra in Imphal has therefore become indispensable. To have a passport in hand one has to go through a lengthy process. Documents like identification proof, residential proof, are a prerequisite. It must be obtained from different layers of authorities. A relative or an acquaintance in an office would make the job easy. If not one has to please a set of people. What could be more ironic than the fact that you need to please people in order to get an identification proof? So the only option left is to exchange the proof of identity with a few notes. Patience is not a problem. Manipuris have imbibed that quality at petrol stations, ATM kiosks and domestic gas centers. The point we want to drive home with the coming of an important office like Passport Seva Kendra at Imphal is that it should not be ghettoised like other public offices. Let it serve the public in right spirit.