New Delhi: The ministry of external affairs is planning to issue chip-enabled e-passports to citizens with advanced security features. With these passports, the personal particulars of the applicants will be digitally signed and stored in the chip which will be embedded in the physical passport booklet.
In case anyone tampers with the chip, the system will be able to identify it resulting in the failure of the passport authentication. Also, the e-passport will help save time at immigration counters since it will take only seconds to read.
Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan recently informed in Rajya Sabha that the government has already given its approval for procurement of electronic contactless inlays for manufacturing of e-passports to India Security Press (ISP) Nasik. In this regard, ISP, Nasik, has been authorized to float a global three-stage tender for procurement of International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)-compliant electronic contactless inlays along with its operating system which is required for the manufacture of e-passports.
Manufacture of e-passport will commence on the successful completion of the tendering and procurement process by ISP, Nasik. It is to be noted that the Ministry issued more than 1.12 crore passports in 2018 and 1.08 crore passports in 2017 in India.
Here’s all you need to know about chip-enabled e-passport:
1. E-passport has a thicker back and front cover.
2. A small silicon chip is embedded in the back cover.
3. The chip is smaller than a postage stamp.
4. Data on up to 30 international visits will be stored in the chip.
5. The chip will have a memory space of 64 kilobytes.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar recently said that his ministry has proposed manufacture of e-passports on priority so that the travel document with advanced security features can be rolled out in the near future. Speaking at the seventh Passport Seva Divas, Jaishankar said the ministry has initiated discussions with the ‘India Security Press’ regarding the project for issuing chip-enabled e-passports to the citizens.
He said, “We propose to pursue the manufacture of e-passports on priority so that a new passport booklet with advanced security features can be rolled out in the near future.”
It is worth mentioning that for obtaining a passport, individuals are required to register themselves through the Passport Seva Online Portal. Upon successful registration, a user is required to login to the Passport Seva Online Portal with the registered login ID. The passport has to fill in the personal details in the passport application form. After completion, submission and payment, an appointment is scheduled at the passport office.