E-passport with electronic chip in India
The Govt. of India has taken a very major decision to digitize the passports of the citizens by making e-passports. The idea was introduced, some eight years ago, but its implementation is going to be done in 2017. The Narendra Modi govt. with its pro-digital political measures has announced that the passports of Republic of India will soon have electronic chips embedded into them. This will help not only in proper verification of the passport electronically when required, but also storing all the biometric details of the passport holder for lifetime. This step by Narendra Modi govt. is aimed to curb the practices of forged passports and immigrations.
Till now, India was only issuing physical copies of passports to its citizens. But, the decision of converting the traditional passports to new e-passports is not new in the world. Globally, around 93 countries issue such e-passports to its citizens. An electronic passport or e – passport is embedded with an electronic chip which stores all the valuable information which are traditionally printed and recorded in a physical passport. Along with the documents of identity, address proof, DOB document, document of educational qualification, etc. which are generally required for passports, the e – passports will also contain the biometric information of the passport holder stored in the electronic chip.
Announcement by Ministry of External Affairs regarding e – passports
The Ministry concerned for the issue of passports has made it clear that all passports will be embedded with the electronic chips in 2017. Also all the new passports which will be issued will have this feature included. This announcement was made in a media program held in the passport office located in Thiruvanthapuram. The Minister has also announced the idea of carrying one’s passport in their mobile phone might be introduced after completion of the digital passport process. As per the announcement, the digital passports will help in lessening the time taken for documentation, verification and processing of the passports in the country, which is one of the important agenda of the present govt. The Narendra Modi govt. has introduced some relaxation measures in issuance of passports recently for various category of citizen such as sadhus, single mothers, etc.
Advantages of having digital passports
- Any passport related information and documentation will be stored digitally. So renewal of lost or damaged passports will be an easy process.
- The electronic chip incorporated in the e – passports will store the biometric details of the passport holder. This will help in identifying the person easily and uniquely and also help in eliminating fake passports.
- The police verification process will become easier.
- The menace of illegal immigrations using the forged passports will be banned as any such lawful activities will easily be detected in the check points.
The scheme to roll out e – passports for its citizen will be carried out in phases. The Indian Security Press located in Nasik will manufacture the e – passports. All necessary tendering activities for the procurement of the electronic chips will be done very soon. The existing passports will also expected to get incorporated with the new digital ones in 2017.