E-passports coming soon! Modi govt to allot 2.2 crore chip-enabled passports with superior security features

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New Delhi | Updated: July 26, 2019 7:05:49 PM

The main benefit of this chip-enabled e-Visa is that in case someone tries to tamper with the chip, that person will be identified by the system. This would lead to the failure of the passport authentication.

e passportIn India, three types of passports are issued. These three categories are ‘Ordinary Passport’, ‘Diplomatic Passport’, and ‘Official Passport’.

E-passports: Modi government was aiming to allot 22 million (2.2 crore) E-passports in the first phase, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said. Jaishankar said the External Affairs Ministry, which issues passports, was in the “last stages of tender”. The tender has two components- international and domestic. The central government wants to roll out electronic passports in a phased manner. In the first phase, the central government wanted to bring-in about 22 million inlays electronic passports, Jaishankar stated.

Jaishankar, while addressing Rajya Sabha, stated the central government was planning to issue chip-enabled e-passports which will have advanced security features. Jaishankar said that personal particulars of the applicants of e-passports would be digitally signed and stored in the chip. This chip in e-passport would be embedded in the existing form of physical passport booklet.

The main benefit of this chip-enabled e-Visa is that in case someone tries to tamper with the chip, that person will be identified by the system. This would lead to the failure of the passport authentication. The Central government has given its nod for procuring electronic contactless inlays. These electronic contactless inlays are essential for the manufacturing of e-passport. The procurement will be done by India Security Press (ISP), Nashik.

ISP, Nashik is the nodal body to float a three-stage tender for procurement of electronic contactless inlays along with its operating system. These inlays must be an International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)-compliant. This criterion is essential for manufacturing e-passports. Once ISP, Nashik completes the tendering and procurement process, manufacturing of e-passport will begin.

In India, three types of passports are issued. These three categories are ‘Ordinary Passport’, ‘Diplomatic Passport’, and ‘Official Passport’. The ordinary passport has a blue cover. This passport consists of 36 or 60 pages. This passport is valid for 10 years. An ordinary passport can be renewed for another 10 years. A citizen can use the passport for ordinary vacation or business travel. A diplomatic cover is maroon in colour. This type of passport is issued to designated members of government, statutory authorities, judiciary, diplomats, any other person authorized by the government and official public couriers. An official passport has a grey cover. The official passport is issued to designated non-gazetted government servants or any other person whom the central government has specifically authorized.

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