Indian passport is all set for a revamp. The Ministry of External Affairs, on Friday (January 12), announced it would end printing the information of the individual’s family and the person’s address in passports. The Ministry will also offer a new jacket colour, based on an emigration check requirement status. India’s Foreign Ministry issued new rules saying citizens who require emigration checks will now carry orange passports, while those who don’t will carry blue ones. As per a report by The Indian Express, the government has decided to not print the last page of the passport, which contains information like the name of the passport holder’s father, mother or spouse, address, Emigration Check Required (ECR) and any old passport number with the date and place of issue.
Explaining the reason behind the revamp, the MEA stated, “A three-member committee comprising the officials of the MEA and the ministry of women and child development was constituted to examine various issues pertaining to passport applications where mother/child had insisted that the name of the father not be mentioned in the passport, and also relating to passports issued to children with a single parent and to adopted children.”
With the last page blank, passports will most likely cease to be a valid address proof. Under the changed system, those with ECR status would be issued orange passports, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement. “The Ministry has 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 said.
As per media reports, the new orange passports are supposed to protect vulnerable labourers from exploitation abroad, but critics argue that the orange and blue colour coding could lead to discrimination against poor and illiterate workers
Reportedly, the Indian Security Press at Nashik will design the new passports. It must be noted that the existing passports will remain valid till the date of expiry printed on them.