Software External affairs ministry launches smartphone

Have an android or iOS platforms phone? Then tracking your passport application will be just a matter of pushing some buttons with Ministry of External Affairs today launching a mobile application.
NEW DELHI: The external affairs ministry, which enjoys a reputation for taking information and public diplomacy functions seriously, has now expanded its digital footprint by launching a mobile application for smartphones and tablets. No other central ministry offers an app for its services.

On the MeaIndia app, available for free download on the Apple and Android app stores, users can access a range of information and services, including details of Indian missions overseas, information on passport and visas, details of Haj and Kailash Mansarovar yatra, India’s foreign policy initiatives, official visits etc. Users can also track status of their passport applications.

“When I joined the Foreign Service in 1974, conventional wisdom had it that diplomats were not meant to be seen or heard in public. We were told to do our vital work of communicating messages to our interlocutors discreetly, quietly and in a detached manner. In short, we were required not to be visible and encouraged to work in anonymity. As this function demonstrates, all this has now changed,” outgoing foreign secretary Ranjan Mathai said at an event to launch the app.

Mathai said that MEA’s new website is on course to get a million visitors in a year-a four-fold rise in traffic from its previous iteration. He said the ministry’s move to have all Indian missions sport a common digital identity is expected to be completed by 2014.

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