Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday announced that women need not change their surnames after marriage in passports.
While speaking at the gathering of the Indian Merchants Chambers’ Ladies Wing, he said, “From now onwards, women will not have to change their names in the passport after marriage.”
He asserted that it was not necessary that women have to submit their marriage or divorce certificate to apply for a passport. The PM said it would be her choice if she wanted to use her mother/father’s name in the passport and if they wanted they did not change their names in the passport after marriage.
On this issue, the instructions booklet of the passport application form on the Passport Seva website reads, “This will be applicable to an applicant who has even marginally changed the name or a female who has changed her name or surname after marriage.”
The statement means if a woman has used her maiden name, nothing changes in the passport for the application process.
In July 2016, The Wire reported that while applying for the passports the women generally complaining of their harassment.
In the same year in December, the PM referred the changes in the passport rules notified by the external affairs ministry.
The notification said, “Married applicants would not be required to provide Annexure K or any marriage certificate. The passport application form does not require the applicant to provide the name of her/his spouse in case of separated or divorced persons. Such applicants for passports would not be required to provide even the divorce decree.”
The instruction also said when applying for a minor “If parent(s) hold a valid passport, but spouse name is not endorsed, then they must get the spouse name added in their passport. For this, they have to apply for a reissue of passport and get the specified change in personal particulars”.
The PM said he wanted the women to be the centre of the development scheme and his government is working in various schemes to empower women such as Mudra and Ujjwala schemes.
Mr. Modi asserted more than 70% people receiving their loans under Mudra Yojana were women and more than 1.20 crore rural women got benefits from the Ujjwala Yojna.