I recently applied for Avani's passport on http://passport.gov.in/ and have to say that the new system and process has come a long way from when I renewed my passport about a year back.
- You start by filling an online application on the website above
- Pay online and book an appointment. You do not need an appointment for minors. I had taken an appointment but had to cancel it and take a fresh printout of the receipt.
- Print your receipt (no need to print form) and carry self attested copies and originals of your documents. There is also a nice document advisor that gives a list of documents that are needed as proof
- The passport office in pune is locate here
- Do not forget any printouts. The only shops to take printouts opposite the passport office are notary offices who charge a bomb for a single printout. Even though I had a pdf on a USB drive, one guy asked for Rs 30 for printing my cancelled receipt. I did find a cyber cafe (a little down the road towards Ghorpadi) who was reasonable at Rs. 3/printout
- The document verification has been outsourced and you have to go through 4 levels (Foyer - where you are given a bar-coded folder, A, B, C) of verification to finish the process.
- Overall the process has been streamlined (I had spent 2 full days at the old office for my renewal), though the waiting times between subsequent levels needs to be reduced. I was in by 10 AM and out by 12.30 pm
- There is a photocopy machine inside the office that can be used to take copies
- The office has a decent waiting area, is air conditioned and clean. Rarely found luxuries in govt. offices across the country :)