The regional passport office in Kochi has been declared as India’s best passport office in an annual performance appraisal conducted by the Ministry of External Affairs.
This is the fourth time that Kochi is bagging the top honour among 'category A' offices. Regional passport offices processing over four lakh applications a year fall under category A.
The appraisal was based on a 10-point performance parameter for the financial year 2016-17. Kochi came first with 9.85 points, while Jalandhar bagged the second spot with 9.75 points and Ahmedabad was third with 9.3 points.
According to reports, one of the biggest achievements of the Kochi office, which has jurisdiction over the region between Alappuzha and Palakkad, was it's efficiency in reducing the time taken for printing passports after approval from 16 days to around 24 hours.
Apart from Kochi, other passport offices in Kerala also fared well in the MEA's performance appraisal.
Among category B offices, which process two to four lakh applications, Kerala offices took home the first, second and third places. Thiruvananthapuram and Malappuram grabbed the first and second spot, while Kozhikode shared third place with Tamil Nadu's Madurai.
Meanwhile, in category C, Coimbatore, Amritsar, Shimla won the top three spots, respectively.