Tag Archives: Ministry of External Affairs

4th Global Exhibition on Services to be held from May 15-18 in Mumbai

The 4th Global Exhibition on Services is set to take place from May 15-18, 2018 at the Bombay Exhibition Centre in Mumbai. A curtain raiser for the event was held in New Delhi at the Shangri-La hotel. Organised by Ministry of External Affairs and Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Govt of India, GES is meant to promote the services sector including tourism as well as education. This year, the focus is on Northeast India and ASEAN region as it is themed on ‘The Northeast India-ASEAN Opportunity’.

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MEA issues travel advisory for Indian nationals travelling to Maldives

Expressing concern over the prevailing political developments in Maldives, the Ministry of External Affairs issued an advisory to Indian nationals to defer all non-essential travels to Male and other atolls until further notice. It also alerted Indian expatriates in Maldives to the need for heightened security awareness. “The prevailing political developments in Maldives and the resultant law and order situation is a matter of concern for the Government of India. Indian nationals are, therefore, advised to defer all non-essential travels to Male and other atolls until further notice. Indian expatriates in Maldives are also alerted to the need for heightened security awareness, and urged to exercise due caution in public and avoid public gatherings,” the MEA said in an advisory. SOURCE: UNI

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Govt eases passport application process

The Ministry of External Affairs has eased the process of issue of passport by allowing applicants to submit any one of their photo identification cards with date of birth (DOB) as proof of DOB. Applicants of passports can submit any one of the following documents – Birth Certificate, PAN card, school certificate, Adhaar card, driving licence, or election card, etc. as proof of date of birth. The online passport application form now requires the applicant to provide the name of father or mother or legal guardian, i.e., only one parent and not both. This would enable single parents to apply for passports for their children and to also issue passports where the name of either the father or the mother is not required to be printed at the request of the applicant. The total number of Annexes prescribed in the Passport Rule, 1980, has been brought down to 9 from the present 15. No attestation/swearing by/before any Notary/Executive Magistrate/First Class Judicial Magistrate would be henceforth necessary. Married applicants would not be required to provide Annexure K or any marriage certificate.

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India’s 1st SAARC Tourism Summit in Aurangabad

The Ministry of External Affairs will organise the country’s first SAARC Tourism Summit in Aurangabad, Maharashtra, in the second week of October. The announcement of the two-day summit, also being aimed at tapping FDI under Make in India and Make in Maharashtra schemes, was made by Valsa Nair Singh, IAS, Principal Secretary Tourism and Culture, Government of Maharashtra at the Sensitisation Session on Aurangabad Tourism Development Program organised by the State Government, Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) and the Confederation of Indian Industry in Aurangabad on July 4, 2016. Highlighting the reasons behind the decision to host the summit in Aurangabad, Singh said, “The Ajanta-Ellora caves have always remained the biggest tourism attraction in the state among foreigners and Indians. The historical silk route and connect of the place with the Buddhist circuit across world, including China, is significant. Ajanta also has one of the world’s best visitors centre with several life size replicas of Padmapani (sculptures of Buddha). All these are reason enough for Aurangabad to be the preferred choice. The conference aims at promoting Aurangabad and other destinations of Maharashtra.” “The Department of Tourism (DoT) is trying to seek appointment of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to inaugurate the event. On the first day, officials from SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) countries, which include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, would attend the conference. On the second day, the ministers of tourism from these countries and from Indian states would participate.” Singh said.

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Service tax exemption on pilgrimage from July 2012- Aug 2014

The Central Government has notified travel serivce providers that it has exempted service tax on religious pilgrimage for Kailash Mansarovar, Haj Yatra or pilgrimage facilitated by the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, between July 1, 2012 to August 19, 2014. A notification was issued to TAAI members on September 2, 2014, specifically exempting service tax on services provided by specified organisations in respect of religious pilgrimage for Kailash Mansarovar, Haj Yatra or a religious pilgrimage facilitate by MEA, GoI, with effect from August 20, 2014. However, for the period from July 1, 2012 to August 20, 2014 service tax was applicable on the aforesaid services but due to common practice prevalent during that time, no service tax was paid on the services.

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Passport services eased with 5-day appointment window

Passport services can now be availed with greater convenience in a five-day appointment window, shared the Ministry of External Affairs, Govt. of India, on Twitter. As part of a citizen-centric initiative, the new provision would allow applicants to choose any appointment date online from the earliest five available dates while scheduling appointment for passport related services. Steps to liberalise the police verification procedure for passport issuance have also been implemented with the paperless end-to-end digital flow of Police Verification Report (PVR) process, further reducing the time required for PVR within the desired time limit of 21 days. Henceforth, normal passport applications of all first time applicants furnishing Aadhaar, electoral photo identity card (EPIC), permanent account number (PAN) card, and an affidavit in the format of Annexure-I will be processed on post-police verification basis without payment of any additional fees, subject to successful online validation of Aadhaar number. Furthermore, mPassport Police app has been launched for digital submission of PVR by field officers. 1.20 crore passport services were rendered in 2015 registering an increase of 21 per cent over 2014.

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