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MEA gets interactive with smatphone app – The Peninsula Qatar

New Delhi: Now, you can access India’s external affairs ministry’s website, its passport services, get to know your Haj status, or even pose a question on foreign policy to the minister, thanks to a smartphone app — MEAIndia — launched yesterday.

“It’s a one-stop-shop to provide you all you need to know,” said outgoing Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai, after inaugurating the app at an event here. He retires tomorrow.

Mathai said that through the app the ministry had tried to “adapt and adopt” to the needs of communication today.

The ministry’s website, which last year took on a new look, was on course to get a million visitors in the first year of its launch, said Mathai.

The ministry’s common digital identity “is falling in place”, with all 120 Indian missions adopting a similar template. While 50 missions had adopted the new template and made the transition, the others were set to do so by 2014, he said.

The ministry is also reaching out across the country in different languages. Besides providing information in Hindi, the ministry is now providing information in Malayalam, Bengali, Tamil and Urdu. Press releases will soon be issued in Assamese and Telugu, too, Mathai said.

“We are also poised to take the audio route and have agreed with Prasar Bharati to tie up for a regular programme on FM Radio on India’s foreign relations,’ he said.

“The idea behind encapsulating all these changes to you today is indicate that we are making every effort in communicating India’s foreign policy to the public at large,” he added.

Earlier, ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said deciding to go in for the interactive app was a “leap of faith” as no other government department had ventured to do it.

The app is supported by ios and android operating systems.

Through the app, people can get help with passport, visa, and if abroad get consular assistance.

Users can also find out how to undertake the Kailash Manasarovar Yatra and Haj pilgrimage. The app will provide Haj news and details of flights, accommodation and tour operators.

IANS

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