The External Affairs Ministry on Wednesday said it has integrated the passport issuance systems in 42 Indian missions and posts into the Passport Seva Project (PSP) so that people can directly apply from abroad.
In response to a Lok Sabha query, Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said the countries where the integration has been done include Australia, Canada, China, France, Italy, Kuwait, Malaysia, New Zealand, United Arab Emirates, UK and the US.
He further said the Ministry is in the process of linking and integrating all the Missions and Posts abroad with the PSP.
"The MEA has integrated the passport issuance systems in 42 Indian missions and posts abroad into the PSP to facilitate people to apply for a fresh passport or renew their existing passport from an Indian Mission or Post abroad," he said.
In response to another question, Muraleedharan said 16 countries provide visa free entry facility to Indian passport holders and there are 38 countries that offer visa on arrival. He said 35 countries offer e-Visa facility to Indian passport holders.
Responding to a question on India's low ranking among BRICS countries as per the annual Henley Passport Index, Muraleedharan said the index ranks all the passports of the world according to the number of countries their holders can travel without a prior visa.
"The ranking is based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association and lists the countries that can be accessed visa-free, with an electronic visa (e-TA), or with a visa on arrival," he said.
"According to the Henley Passport Index 2019 available on this website, India is ranked at 82," he added.