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TCS’ passport project misses 3rd deadline

The Indian government’s ambitious ‘Passport Seva’ project, which seeks to give out passports in three days, has missed another deadline – Friday, the 13th of November.

This will be the third time the external affairs ministry’s project – a major e-governance initiative – will not meet its launch date. Officials are blaming software glitches for the delay.

The first deadline was in June, then October, before the revised date of November 13 was arrived at. The pilot project was to take off in Bangalore.

Minister of State of External Affairs Shashi Tharoor had said in a tweet dated October 30 that the project “should be rolled out next month after some technological snags delayed it”.

According to officials, the physical infrastructure is ready. This includes a user-friendly building with swanky interiors, 25 counters and electronic token boards.

“The software which will be the basis for the new system is still having too much problem,” said an official.

Information Technology major Tata Consultancy Services is in charge of implementing the project after it signed the contract in October 2008. The project is reportedly worth over Rs 1,000 crore.

The pilot project would have seen ‘Passport Seva’ centres in Bangalore and later in Hubli and Mangalore, also in Karnataka, followed by Chandigarh, Ludhiana in Punjab and Ambala in Haryana.

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