Was simply superb. I had visited the office to apply for a duplicate passport as I had lost my passport. The process was smooth. Very similar to the system for grant of US visa. The applicant has to fill up a form online, and she gets an appointment. She has to print out the form and carry the same with her. Token numbers are allotted at the outset, after a quick confirmation that all necessary documents are attached. (This process could get a bit friendlier and better-managed, though). Then, one waits for one's turn in an air-conditioned hall. The most one has to wait is about 45 mins to 1 hour, if you have got the token number before 11 am. The important thing is, you know where you are relative to those being served; and you know that the first-come-first-served rule is being scrupulously followed.
Then, a week after I had applied (not tatkal; ordinary class), I found my lost passport. So I wanted the process of issue of new passport to be cancelled. This was an exception process, and I expected it to be a bit of heavy weather. I was surprised there, too.
I enquired at the enquiry counter (there was a queue there too, but I was early, so it did not trouble me). I was directed to meet the Asst Passport Officer in a particular cabin. The Officer concerned (R Vijaykumar) was exceedingly soft-spoken and polite. I saw that he treated everyone the same way. He told me that he would have to check the status of my application; if it was already marked on their record as lost, then I would have to address to him a letter along with my old passport, and request that both passports (old and new) be returned, so that the visas in the old one remained valid. Else, he would cancel the process.
As it turned out, even though it was barely a week since the application for new passport was filed by me, the passport had already been marked as lost on their record, so I submitted the letter and got an acknowledgement on a copy thereof, and was out of the office in little over than 90 minutes, including the time to procure blank paper, write the letter, photocopy it, etc..
I now am looking forward for this process to smoothly complete without any hitch.
India is on the move, and I am proud to be an Indian. I am proud to say that at least some Government departments are getting more efficient and less corrupt.