The cabinet Thursday approved a Rs.1,011 crore e-project to streamline and integrate the visa, immigration and foreigners registration and tracking process and enable information sharing across the concerned agencies.
The core objective of the project, to be undertaken by the home ministry under the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP), 'is to develop and implement a secure and integrated service delivery framework that facilitates legitimate travellers while strengthening security', a government statement said.
The project was approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here.
It has a global outreach since its scope includes 169 missions, 78 Immigration Check Posts, seven Foreigners Regional Registration Offices, and Foreigners Registration Offices in state and district headquarters across the country.
'India has become a major tourist destination and there is need for an integrated service delivery framework for the tracking of foreigners through information sharing across the concerned agencies,' an official said of the project, which is targeted to be completed by September 2014.
'It will also facilitate the visa-on-arrival regime as and when this is expanded,' the official added.
'Of the total project cost, Rs.132 crore is proposed to be spent during April 2010-June 2011 with the remaining amount of Rs.879 crore earmarked for July 2011-September 2014,' the statement said.
The National Institute for Smart Government (NISG) had been tasked with the responsibility for generating a comprehensive e-governance solution for the immigration, visa issuance and foreigners' registration and tracking functions, and to prepare a detailed project report for the same.
The report about the scope of the project, solution design, manpower requirements, implementation and the cost estimates has been finalised by NISG in consultation with the home ministry, external affairs ministry, Department of Information Technology, Bureau of Immigration and the National Informatics Centre (NIC).