TCS To Automate Indian Emigration System

The Indian Ministry of Overseas Affairs has selected Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. (TCS), the country’s largest software exporter, to implement a project to computerize and automate the country’s emigration system.

The project will enable the automation of the clearance process by electronically linking the offices of the Protector-
General of Emigrants. The project is to facilitate the tracking of all Indians on work visas abroad and provide
support services to them.

According to the ministry of overseas affairs Web site, the new project is aimed at “achieving greater user convenience and effective protection and welfare of the emigrant.” TCS is also handling the Passport Seva Project (PSP) of the Government of India, which aims to reduce the time taken to issue passports to three days compared with the current 45 days.

Slow servers?
The project is facing several issues such as slow servers, which are said to crash frequently. According to local newspaper reports, TCS software has not been able to handle pressure. After the launch, the system has broken down so frequently that applicants who registered online had a trying time filling in the information.

However, the Ministry has denied such reports. The novel scheme for issue of passports using TCS has been a success in the four centers where it was initially launched, the Ministry says. The Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur said the PSP has been launched at four centers in the state of Karnataka to provide passports in a timely, transparent, more accessible and reliable manner.

TCS has been selected as the service provider for the front-end operations, she said. “Its successful implementation will lead to a speedy delivery of all passports.” The PSP has been hugely successful at four centers in Karnataka and in Chandigarh where it is on trial run, she said.

Once the award is made for automating the emigration system, TCS will develop and deploy the required technology over a year. The project also involves providing five years of maintenance support. In May, the cabinet of Ministers had approved funding of $220 million for the immigration, visa, and foreigners registration and tracking project.

Uday Lal Pai,, is a freelance journalist based in India.

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