New Delhi: With 21 lakh e-visas issued this year till November 3, electronic visas now constitute around 40 per cent of the total number of visas issued to foreigners, Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba said on Tuesday.
"The number of e-visas issued has seen a tremendous growth during the last four years from 5.17 lakh in 2015 to 21 lakh this year till November 30," Gauba said while addressing a conference "Streamlining of India's Visa Regime" here.
"The number of visas issued through e-visa system is now approximately 40 per cent of the total number of visas issued and the figure is soon expected to cross the 50 per cent mark, which is an indication of its popularity. Our e-visa regime is one of the best in the world," he said.
The Home Secretary said in order to facilitate arrival and stay of foreign travellers into the country, the government is working on creating a simple and hassle-free visa regime.
He said the e-visa facility now covers 166 countries and foreigners can obtain online visa within 72 hours for travel related to tourism, business, health, medical and conference purposes.
He said India had the potential to become a global education and tourism hub but there is a need for change in the mindset at the ground level to make foreigners feel welcome in the country.