Tag Archives: Staff Writer

Public Notice Regarding Change of Passport Outsourcing Service Provider

Embassy of India

Washington DC

Public Notice Regarding Change of Passport Outsourcing Service Provider

1. The existing India Passport Application Centre in Washington DC, which is operated by M/s BLS International Services Limited [Address: BLS India Passport, USA, 800 K Street NW, Suite MR-12, Washington, D.C. 20001; website: www.blsindia-usa.com/passport/index.php; Email: Email: dc@blsgroup.in; Helpline: +18459990726] will close operations at COB on 6 May 2016 (Friday).

2. With effect from 9May 2016 (Monday), Embassy of India, Washington DC will accept passport applications through the new India Passport Application Centre (IPAC) in Washington DC, which will be operated by M/s Cox and Kings Global Services. A service fee of US$ 19.95 (inclusive of all taxes) per application will be charged at the IPAC in addition to applicable passport fees.

Details of new IPAC in Washington DC

India Passport Application Centre

Cox and Kings Global Services

Suite 100-90,1250 23rd St NW Washington, DC 20037

Website: www.passport.in.ckgs.us*

*CKGS website containing contact details including telephone and Email will be operational with effect from 2 May 2016 (Monday).


Monday to Friday except holidays

Submission of passport applications: 0900 hrs. – 1530 hrs.

Collection of processed passports: 1530 hrs. – 1800 hrs.

Call Centre and Information Desk: 0900 hrs. – 1900 hrs.

3. Transition Arrangements: During the transition of outsourcing services from M/s BLS International Services Limited (BLS) to M/s Cox and Kings Global Services(CKGS), acceptance of passport applications and return of processed passports will be handled as follows:

  • BLS will not accept any postal application after 22 April 2016 (Friday). Only postal applications post-marked on or before 22 April 2016 will be accepted by BLS.
  • BLS will not accept regular walk-in/appointment applications after 29 April 2016 (Friday).
  • BLS will only accept Tatkal walk-in/appointment applications from 2 May 2016 (Monday) to 6 May 2016 (Friday).

4. Return of processed passports: Renewed passports for all passport applications accepted by BLS will be returned to applicants by BLS through walk-in collection or through postal dispatch, where the applicant has chosen for postal delivery. For passport applications under processing at the Embassy during the transition period, renewed passports will be returned to the applicants by Embassy of India, Washington DC. Applicants are advised to check tracking status of their applications on BLS website. BLS will also inform all those applicants by email whose renewed passports will be returned directly by the Embassy. In such cases, renewed passports will be available for walk-in collection at the Embassy’s Consular Office [2536 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC 20008] or will be dispatched by post,where the applicant has chosen for postal delivery.

5. All applicants who have submitted their passport applications to BLS IPAC are advised to check status of their application on the BLS website and make immediate arrangements to pick up their renewed passports from BLS, if they are now available at the BLS IPAC.

6. In order to avoid any inconvenience, applicants who are not in immediate need for renewal of their passports are advised to submit their passport applications to the new IPAC on or after 9 May 2016 (Monday). However, applicants may take care that their postal applications do not reach CKGS IPAC before 9 May 2016.

7. For further information / clarification, applicants may send an email to the Consular Wing of the Embassy of India, Washington DC at consular@indiagov.org with subject head “Transition”.

8. For information regarding new India Passport Application Centres at Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, New York and San Francisco, please visit the websites of Consulates General of India at Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, New York and San Francisco respectively.

Celebration of 125th Birthday of Dr. B R Ambedkar

The Consulate General of India, San Francisco, in association with the Indo-American Community in Bay Area of San Francisco, celebrated the 125th Birthday of ‘Bharat Ratna Dr. B R Ambedkar on 14th April, 2016 (Thursday) at India Community Centre, Milpitas from 5.00 PM onwards. Approximately 500-600 people representing several Indian- American Community Associations have participated in the event. In addition, many academics, social activists, local officials and the media persons have also attended the event.

The event was inaugurated by Consul General Ambassador Shri Venkatesan Ashok by lightning the lamp. He also paid floral tributes to the photograph of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. Later, a Souvenir was also released on the occasion.

In his inaugural address, Consul General underlined Dr. Ambedkar’ s contributions towards bringing social change in India through constitutional means. He highlighted Dr. Ambedkar’s efforts in bringing about social justice by doing away with various divisions in society. He praised Dr. Ambedkar’s work towards making India modern, and described his contribution towards the nation-building as precious and special. He mentioned Dr. Ambedkar’s invaluable role in making the Constitution of India and his emphasis on the need for the use of constitutional means in the process of addressing challenges before the nation.  In his address, Prof. Ronki Ram, Head of the Department of Political Science, Punjab University, Chandigarh, highlighted various aspects of Dr. Ambedkar’s multifaceted personality, his social movement and his contribution towards building India a Nation. The event was also addressed by Shri O.P. Balley, Member of Supreme Committee of Shri Guru Ravi Das Temples, Shri Harmesh Kumar, Community leader, Concord and also by Shri Ram Kumar of Ambedkar International Centre. Several Cultural programmes including classical dances and songs were performed by participants from different cultural schools in the Bay Area and by well known singers. A short film on the life of Dr. Ambedkar was also screened during the event. Later, Consul General presented certificates of appreciation to all participants/organizers of the event. The program ended with a vote of thanks, which was followed by a dinner reception.


Akshaya Patra USA’s Youth Ambassador Program Seeks Compassionate High Achievers

Stoneham, MA – In 2014, Akshaya Patra USA launched the Youth Ambassador Program, an elite social justice engagement program for students in the US.  Today, Akshaya Patra USA has over 100 youth activists in the Ambassador Program. Akshaya Patra USA is the US branch of a charitable organization in India that provides nutritious school meals to more than 1.5 million children in India’s government schools daily. Akshaya Patra’s Youth Ambassador Program is actively recruiting compassionate and ambitious young people from across the US to act as representatives for the organization in their communities.

Admission to the Youth Ambassador Program is on an ongoing rolling basis.  The program has been expanded and admission is open to middle school, as well as high school students.

Rhea and Rohan Bansal, from Jacksonville, Florida, are two of these 100 young caring high achievers who exemplify the fiery and generous spirit of Akshaya Patra Youth Ambassadors.  According to Rhea and Rohan:  “two highlight events of this school year have been the Car Wash we hosted in partnership with the Hindu Society of Northeast Florida Ripples Youth Committee, and the Eat2Feed event held during the Hindu festival of Navratri. The Car wash was a thorough success, with over 35 youth and 7 adult volunteers. We danced, sang, and laughed for over 4 hours… Somewhere along the way we washed around 60 cars and raised over $1300!  For the Eat2Feed event, we worked with our father and his friends to make and sell Indian fast food at the Hindu Temple. Between the food cooked by volunteers and food donated by a local restaurant, we raised $450.

Read more youth ambassador profiles at: https://www.foodforeducation.org/ambassador-achievements

“Akshaya Patra is very fortunate to have so many enthusiastic young supporters who are passionate about spreading awareness of the school meal program and helping 1.5 million children in India realize their dreams through education”, Desh Deshpande, Chairman of Akshaya Patra’s Board of Directors remarked.

The Youth Ambassadors Program supports Akshaya Patra USA fundraising and awareness efforts and offers a unique opportunity for middle and high school students to build leadership, networking, and public presentation skills while improving the lives of children in India.  Youth Ambassadors are also given the opportunity to participate in an India Service Trip to volunteer with Akshaya Patra’s school meal program.

Akshaya Patra runs the world’s largest NGO-run school meal programs and serves children in 11,600 schools across India. Akshaya Patra’s meals have contributed to increased enrollment, lower attrition rates, and better student health and academic performance in the schools it serves. Cost-effective technology in food preparation and partnerships with the state and federal governments of India, allow Akshaya Patra to support one child with meals at school each day for a year for just $15. Akshaya Patra USA provides vital funding and helps to create greater awareness of the organization’s work in India.

To learn more about and sign up to become a learn more about the Youth Ambassadors Program, please visit http://www.foodforeducation.org/youth-ambassadors-program or contact Krista McCarthy, Krista@apusa.org or 781-438-3090 x 7.   For more information about Akshaya Patra USA, please visit http://www.foodforeducation.org.

The photos below are of Akshaya Patra USA Chairman, Desh Deshpande; Youth Ambassadors Rohan and Rhea Bansal; and of Youth Ambassadors Meghana and Rishika Prakash (far right) visiting beneficiaries of our school meal program with their mother Mamatha Prakash (far left).