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eGovernment Forschung | eGovernment Research 2001 - 2017

The pile of paper work for visa application each time you plan to go abroad may soon go digital, making it much easier to travel abroad, if the Indian government and other 14 countries including European Union member nations accept their nationally approved digital systems of authentication for visa applications.

A proposal to reduce the cost as well as the necessity to produce the same documents again and again by travellers has been proposed by BLS International, India’s largest and the world’s second largest Indian outsourcing and technology company, specialising in operating visa application centres for governments and diplomatic missions globally.

“We have presented a plan that includes all national safety and security aspects to reduce the paper work by 25-30 per cent. BLS completely follows the guidelines of the government and embassies currently, but we have recommended a few changes to the government to expedite the process and ease of securing visa,” Shikhar Aggarwal, joint managing director of BLS International, told Express.

The company’s proposal includes using data analytics; authentication using biometric linked to various governments approved authentication parameters and use of latest technology to check any aberrations.

“During R&D process, BLS realised the problems that applicants face while applying for visas and decided to use technology for the convenience of the applicants. We have developed back-end software in-house to fill the applications, which has reduced the time taken at the centre for applying,” said Aggarwal. The firm has also started an SMS system to decrease the situation of fake appointments. This SMS system allows the firm to authenticate the appointment through verifying the unique appointment number, passport number and ID card.

BLS International is going to launch Spain visa application centre in Chennai and Bengaluru, and it is toying with the idea of opening centres in more southern cities. “We will offer visa application facility for customers in the south in their own city so that they need not have to travel out to consulate, leaving their work,” Aggarwal added.

The company expects about one million applications a year for its visa services and it has witnessed a 30-40 per cent year-on-year growth.

The firm plans to replicate its visa services through 2,147 sewa kendras in Punjab. “Some other states such as Kerala, Haryana, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra have shown interest to replicate the e-governance model,” Aggarwal adds.

With around 7,000 employees, BLS works with 23 Indian missions and eight foreign missions and handles 60-70 per cent of inbound travel in India.

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Autor(en)/Author(s): M Rajendran

Quelle/Source: The New Indian Express, 26.02.2017

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