To keep in line with the international standards, Indian passports may soon not include any information printed on its last page. The information will be available in the government’s database and can be checked by authorities through the barcode placed in the passport. As of now, on the last page of the passport includes names of father/legal guardian, mother, spouse, and address. The decision has been taken by the government in order to lessen the information on the passport.
The Indian Express report stated that while applying for a new passport, the applicant needs to enter the address, however, the same will not be printed on the last page. The police will carry out the necessary verification of address as mentioned in the application.
In a statement, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, “A Committee has been set up which includes the officials of the Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Women and Child Development. This has been done to examine various issues relating to passport applications where mother/child had insisted that the name of the father should not be mentioned in the passport. Also, issues relating to the passport of children with a single parent and adopted children.” He also said, “The report of the Committee had been accepted by the Ministry. One of the recommendations of the Committee was that the Ministry of External Affairs should explore the possibility of doing away with the printing of information contained in the Passport color such as names of father/legal guardian, mother, spouse, and address contained in the last page of the passport.”
Raveesh Kumar continued, “The Ministry has examined the recommendation of the Committee in consultation with the various stakeholders, examined the guidelines of the International Civil Aviation Organization regarding Machine Readable Travel Documents and decided that the last page of the passport and other travel documents issued under the Passports Act, 1967 and Passport Rules, 1980 would no longer be printed.” The MEA spokesperson said, “…the passport holders with ECR status would be issued a passport with orange colour passport jacket and those with non-ECR status would continue to get a blue passport.”
“The Indian Security Press (ISP), Nasik, would be designing the new passport booklets in due course. Till such time the new passport booklets are designed, manufactured and made available to the Ministry by ISP, Nashik, the passports and other travel documents would continue to be printed on the last page,” he said, adding that existing passports would continue to remain valid till the date of expiry printed in the passport booklet.