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13th January 2022

 

An incredibly significant announcement for frequent travelers is the ministry of external Affairs plans to introduce chip-enabled e-passports soon. According to MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi, "The ministry has always worked to improve its passport services and all of its citizen services." The MEA strives to add updated facilities and features to its passport services.

 

E-passport rollout should be accelerated, said MEA secretary, since they are safe for biometric data and enable fast entry to immigration offices in different countries. Currently, Indian passports are printed on booklets. An electronic microprocessor chip was inserted into 20,000 official and diplomatic e-passports as an experiment. According to the administration, it was made to mitigate the risk of financial crime. 555 Passport Kendras exist in India, with 36 Passport Offices, 93 Passport Seva Kendras (PSKs), and 426 Post Office Passport Seva Kendras (POPSKs).

 

According to the Ministry of External Affairs:

  1. Bhattacharya said in a tweet that the upcoming e-passports would be based on biometric data and would ensure a smooth immigration process worldwide. Government officials are attempting to eliminate forgery while facilitating the immigration process.
  2. The e-passport will comply with ICAO regulations. India Security Press (ISP), Nashik, was awarded the contract for manufacturing electronic passports using contactless inlays. Security Printing & Minting Corporation of India Limited (SPMCIL), a government-owned company, owns the government press.
  3. Indian passports are currently issued as traditional booklets by the government. A report from MoneyControl.com indicates that the Passport Issuing Authorities (PIA) issued 12.8 million passports in 2019. At the time, this made India the largest passport issuance country after China.
  4. In 2017, the idea of e-passports in India was floated. Indian officials and diplomats have since obtained 20,000 e-passports as a trial. These passports all contain microchips. Furthermore, the country plans to introduce fully digital passports that can be stored on devices such as mobile phones.

Source: Zee News

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