The central govt plans to make police verification process for issuance of passports hassle-free by linking passport offices with an online crime-tracking network.

“The CCTNS will soon be linked to the passport service of the external affairs ministry. Online verification will make issuance of passports faster. It will help reduce time,” Union home minister Rajnath Singh said while launching a digital police portal that will be a part of the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS).

90 % of country’s nearly 16,000 police stations have already been linked with CCTNS, The move will help in reducing the time taken for the physical police verification for passports. In some cases, the verification can even take several months resulting in delay in issuance.

“Police in some states are already using CCTNS for passport credentials. Police will be given hand held devices to go to an applicant’s address and his or her details will be uploaded with the network. It will minimise contact with police and reduce time,” Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi said during the event.

Once the process of linking is finished, passport offices will be able to check the criminal record of an applicant. If there is no criminal case, the verification will be done right away.