India passport portal fiasco

I recently applied for the renewal of my passport. The application process has been considerably revamped but there still exist some hiccups. Still considering the sorry state of affairs which existed as recent as 5 years ago, this is heaven sent. One must pay obeisance to the “babus” and ministers who could agree to the change. Considering the state of affairs in India, this seems like divine intervention.
However, all is NOT well. For online application of passport, the link is in this page for applicants living within Bangalore and Chandigarh. One clicks on the “How to Apply” link in the left side of the above page and it takes us to a page which has more information on the application process. All this is fine. There is also a “Login/Register” link for new users. For a number of days, I have been seeing that after entering the username, password and the “captcha”, the site seems to have “lost” the security certificate. This, in Firefox, results in a security warning. I have to add an exception to reach the page. Most of the time the page does not load. The page is maintained by none other than India’s premier software merchant Tata Consultancy Services. I feel no need to say more. If a maintainer cannot maintain a security certificate for such an important portal in order, I shudder to think of the security of the database. Such a shoddy maintenance of an essential portal is only possible in the IT “superpower” that is India. Let us not lose hope though. Some countries are worse. Let us sing “jai Ho” and “all is well”.
Also, one can apparently check the status of one’s passport application here. The file number which we are supposed to enter is a letter followed by 6 digits. Somehow, mine is much bigger. Of course, who cares.

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