New Delhi: The government has announced intentions to provide e-passports to all residents using technology and digital processes. In a tweet, Ministry of External Affairs Secretary Sanjay Bhattacharyya stated, “Indian citizens are likely to start getting e-passports soon.”
The MEA secretary emphasised the importance of speeding up the rollout of e-passports, saying that they will be safe with biometric data and allow for fast entry through immigration offices around the world, among other things.
Passports for Indian people are currently printed on booklets. On an experimental basis, India issued 20,000 official and diplomatic e-passports with an implanted electronic microprocessor chip. The decision, according to the administration, was made to make passport fraud more difficult and to help people get through immigration more quickly.
There are 555 Passport Kendras in India, with 36 Passport Offices, 93 Passport Seva Kendras (PSK), and 426 Post Office Passport Seva Kendras (POPSK).
Here’s what we need to know about e-passport:
According to Bhattacharya’s tweet, the new e-passports would be based on secure biometric data and will ensure easy worldwide immigration. It’s part of the government’s effort to combat forgeries while also making the immigration process easier.
“The e-passport will be compliant with ICAO.” The government has given Indian Security Press (ISP) Nashik permission to purchase electronic contactless inlays for the production of e-passports. The government press is a division of the Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India Limited (SPMCIL), a government-owned company in India. In this context, ISP Nashik has been given permission to issue a global tender for the procurement of ICAO-compliant electronic contactless inlays and their operating systems, which are essential for the production of e-passports.
E-passports were first proposed in 2017. India has granted 20,000 official and diplomatic passports on a trial basis since then. There is a chip placed in every passport. In addition, the country intends to implement fully digital passports that may be saved on smartphones. PM Narendra Modi stated in 2019 that efforts are on to issue chip-based e-passports to Indian people through a centralised system. “All of our embassies and consulates across the world are connected to the Passport Seva Project.”
For the second phase of the Passport Seva Program, the government chose Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). TCS transformed the passport area into a digital one, providing services online and setting global criteria for timeliness and dependability, thanks to the programme, which began in 2008. TCS will introduce new capabilities to facilitate the issue of e-passports throughout this phase.