Indian embassy outsources services
Manama, January 25, 2011
Consular, visa and passport services at the Indian Embassy are to be outsourced in the next few days, it has emerged.
The finishing touches are now being given to the offices of Octic International, the company contracted to do the work.
Indian Ambassador Mohan Kumar confirmed the offices, near the Kuwaiti Building, would start operations soon.
'A decision had already been taken before I arrived in Bahrain to outsource these services to Octic. This decision is now being implemented,' he said.
Though Kumar was noncommittal on when the services would begin, he said it would be 'soon after Republic Day', which falls tomorrow.
He said the decision was in line with an Indian government initiative to outsource such services around the world to improve customer convenience.
However, sources told our sister newspaper Gulf Daily News (GDN) a decision on the exact date could be taken during the visit of Overseas Indian Affairs and Civil Aviation Minister Vayalar Ravi to Bahrain on Thursday.
They said the government was keen to reach out to the ever-expanding Indian community in different parts of the world, including the Gulf, and provide efficient and transparent services in a comfortable environment with minimum additional cost.
They said the outsourcing of Indian passport, visa and consular services had been divided into three offices.
The first, the India Passport and Visa Application Centre, will provide passport and visa services, while the India Passport Collection Centre will accept only Indian passports and passport-related applications from individuals, families, agents and companies.
The third office, located at the embassy and managed by Octic International, will deal with the attestation of documents and related consular services.
Sources said the existing facility offering some of these services at the Bahrain Keraleeya Samajam will no longer function after the Octic offices start operations.-TradeArabia News Service