Indian citizens can shortly apply for a chip-based electronic passport. “The procurement process for the production of an electronic passport is underway,” said S Jaishankar, Union Minister for Foreign Affairs, today.
The introduction of chip-enabled e-passport will strengthen the security purpose, he added.
“I emphasise that it is necessary to roll out the manufacture of e-passports on a priority basis,” Jaishankar said.
What is e-passport?
An e-passport contains an electronic chip that holds the information printed on the data page of the passport. The biometric data of the travelers are also stored in this chip.
- Travellers will no longer need to wait in queues at the immigration counters. The new e-passport can be scanned within a few minutes.
However, e-passport would be a bit heavier and thicker than the regular passport that we use.
- This chip-enabled electronic passport will help curb the menace of fake passport, believes the central government.
- If anyone tries to tamper the chip, the passport authentication will be failed. It is also designed in a way that the data present on the passport cannot be wiped remotely.
The Union’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs is working with the Indian security press and the National IT Center for E-Passport.
At least 120 countries, including the United Kingdom and the United States, already have a biometric electronic passport.
On the occasion of Passport Seva Divas, Jaishankar said the central government is planning to open a Postpass Pass Seva Kendra in every Lok Sabha constituency in India.
There are currently passport offices in 488 Lok Sabha constituencies, he said.
“We must commit ourselves to further improving our delivery systems. To achieve this our focus will be on first to further strengthen our outreach efforts as we take passports to the doorsteps of every citizen of our country,” external affairs minister added.
“Our government is working to build a ‘New India’ where the benefits of modern technology reach the farthest end of society. We have seen a complete transformation in the passport delivery service especially over the last six years,” said Jaishankar.
(Source – Live Mint)