As part of the Passport Seva Project, 77 Passport Seva Kendras (PSKs) are being established across the country on public-private-partnership basis as approved by the Union Cabinet in September 2007. Tata Consultancy Services have been entrusted inter alia with setting up the PSKs in cities as well as smaller towns, providing IT infrastructure and manpower.
As per the Passport Act 1967, the powers to issue passport vests with the Central Government. Under the Project, only non-sensitive functions like checking the entries in the application form, scanning and uploading of supporting documents, taking the applicant’s photograph and biometrics and accepting the application fees, are performed by the Service Provider. The sovereign and fiduciary functions of verification, granting, printing and dispatch of passports are performed by Government officials. In order to ensure security of the system, the Government has appointed the Standards, Testing & Quality Certification, Department of Information Technology to act as the Third Party Audit Agency. Strategic assets like Data Centre, Application Software, System Software, Disaster Recovery Centre and Central Passport Printing Facility are owned by the Government to have the strategic control over the Passport Seva System.