The free application, MEAIndia, was launched by Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai at a function in New Delhi for Android and Apple smartphones. The app for the other platforms like Blackberry and Windows is likely to be launched later.

Addressing media at the event, Mathai said, “A lot of changes have taken place since the time I had joined the Indian Foreign Services. We were told to do our vital work of communicating messages to our interlocutors discreetly, quietly and in a detached manner.  We were required not to be visible and encouraged to work in anonymity.  All this has now changed.”

“The requirements of communications have changed and so have we brought changes in the Ministry of External Affairs.  We have adapted to the new demands of technology and means of communications,” he added.

Speaking about the app, MEA’s spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said, “For some it (MEA mobile app) may be a small thing but this is a great leap of faith for us.”

Using MEAIndia, now people can have access to the information regarding passport, how to apply for it and even track status of their applications. The MEA will also regularly conduct quiz with users on foreign relations to increase interactivity with people.  It can also be customized as per the user’s wishes.

Government offices across the world have such kind of mobile apps but it is a new step for any Ministry of the Indian government.