On Friday, the Ministry of External Affairs announced that the rules for obtaining passports have been eased for single mothers, orphans, sadhus and adopted children.

Now, a single mother won’t have to give the name of her partner. The passport needs to only have the name of the legal guardian or one parent. The same rule applies to those who are separated or divorced — they need not furnish the divorce decree.

Furthermore, married applicants do not need to provide their marriage certificate. Sadhus can apply for passports with the name of their spiritual gurus in lieu of the names of their biological parents. However, they must provide at least one government document such as the PAN card or Aadhar Card.

You can use the Aadhar card as proof of date of birth. The new rules were formulated based on a report by a three-member committee with representatives from the Ministry of Women and Child Development and the MEA. Women’s groups have been demanding easier passport regulations for some time.

Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh said the rules are being introduced keeping in mind the “societal need”, according to the The New Indian Express.

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