Major Reforms Implemented by MEA in Provision of Passports, Visas, and Consular Services
1 September, 2023 | Akshara Tyagi
MEA improves regulations on partner visa selection for Indian Diaspora and foreign visitors to combat unfair pricing practices.
With the aim of addressing unfair pricing practices, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has enhanced regulations for the selection of partner visas and consular services for both the Indian Diaspora and foreign visitors. The MEA is dedicated to enhancing its support for Indians migrating abroad and foreigners coming to India, with a primary goal of bolstering India’s global reputation and ensuring a more robust, seamless, and reliable service.
It’s worth noting that the initial contact points for international travelers entering India, including Indian citizens or those of Indian Origin (PIO) and foreigners traveling to India from overseas, are the Indian Missions under the MEA.
The MEA’s reforms prioritize fair pricing practices and emphasize the delivery of high-quality services, sustainable and reliable service charges, data security, and ethical conduct. The objective is to establish an excellent first impression for those traveling to India and to align the MEA’s efforts with the government’s commitment to projecting a positive image of “New India” while building trust with the global community.
Jyoti Mayal, President, of the Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) stated, “The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has embarked on a transformational program to reform and strengthen its tendering and evaluation process in a holistic manner to select the right outsourced service providers. While the focus lies on L1 pricing, there is a strong emphasis on the four pillars of Quality Services, Sustainable and Viable Price, Data Protection and Security, and Ethical Practices and Integrity.”
According to her, considering that the initial encounter of individuals traveling to India shapes their perception, the MEA should concentrate on providing services that are exceptional, effective, and economical.
Commenting on the Endeavour she also added, “It is important that the first impression of any individual travelling to India or having to work with any Indian Mission anywhere in the world needs to be impeccable, as the government is determined to work towards delivering the promise of New India. Therefore, the MEA and its Missions as true representatives of the Indian government to the world must focus on offering superior, efficient, and cost-effective services as perhaps the first step in that direction.”
In her closing remarks, the president emphasized that India is strategically positioning itself as a worldwide frontrunner across various domains including trade, cross-border services, and citizen-oriented initiatives.
“As India marches towards a high momentum growth period, it will be critical to plan for factors that can impede progress and mitigate reputation and image risks for the Indian Government.
Hence it became imperative for the government to focus on the quality, reliability, and credibility of the service providers it engages with, to ensure services are delivered effectively, efficiently, and in line with established standards, else failure in service levels can erode confidence and trust in the government’s capabilities, leading to public dissatisfaction.
The focus on quality also indicates that public resources are utilized wisely and that citizens receive the best possible value for money,” she added.
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