Posted on Apr 26th, 2022 by Renu Dahiya, Last updated Jul 12th, 2022, Leave a Comment
The Ministry of External Affairs of India will soon introduce chip-enabled e-passports with advanced security features. Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman during her 2022 Budget speech on February 01st announced that e-passports with embedded chips and futuristic technology will be rolled out in FY 2022-23. But, are you thinking that how safe is it? Well, the e-passports will come with an electronic microprocessor chip and advanced security features. All the information of the passport holder stored in a microchip will be completely secured and prevent fraud.
Secretary in Ministry of External Affairs Sanjay Bhattacharyya had earlier stated that the new electronic passport will secure biometric data and also comply with International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standards.
India ?? to soon introduce next-gen #ePassport for citizens— Sanjay Bhattacharyya (@SecySanjay) January 5, 2022
– secure #biometric data
– smooth passage through #immigration posts globally
– @icao compliant
– produced at India Security Press, Nashik
– #eGovernance @passportsevamea @MEAIndia #AzadiKaAmritMahotsav pic.twitter.com/tmMjhvvb9W
Here is a detailed guide to what an e-passport is and its features, check out now!
The Indian electronic passport is a chip-enabled passport with a biometric identification card ensuring complete transparency and security. It contains a small electronic chip that carries all the information, related to the passport holder, electronically. Information stored on the microchip includes the demographic and biometric data of the passport holder. All Indian passports are not biometric now, only diplomatic and official passports have been biometrically secured.
Apart from knowing what an electronic or biometric passport is, travelers must also know the creators of this innovation. The Association of three major technical institutes in India has developed this great innovation, i.e.:
An electronic or biometric passport has several benefits as compared to a regular or traditional passport. It is beneficial for both travelers and the national authorities. Some of the unique benefits of an e-passport are:
E-passport has 41 security features. It is valid for 5 or 10 years, based on the applicant’s age. Some of the features of an e-passport are:
India has been considering e-passports for several years. The very first electronic or biometrically secure Indian passport was issued in 2008 to the President at the time, Pratibha Patil. On a trial basis, India has issued 20,000 official and diplomatic chip-embedded e-passports.
The recent announcement made by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman states the issuance of biometric Indian passports to Indian citizens will soon be commenced. For manufacturing e-passports, the India Security Press, Nashik has awarded the contract for procurement of International Civil Aviation Organization-compliant electronic contactless inlays along with the operating system necessary for biometric or chip-enabled e-passports. On the successful completion of this procurement process, e-Passports will be issued to Indian citizens.
The concept of an e-passport is not something unheard of. India is following several countries that have already launched the biometric passport. e-Passport’s advanced security has led many countries to adopt electronic travel documents.
Currently, the biometric e-passport system is in use in around 120 countries worldwide, including the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, and Germany. Individuals can use it as a document proof or for the purpose of international traveling. It is helpful for both the government and citizens. The microchip in passport will enhance security and expedite the process of passport verification during traveling.
Indian citizens will be able to procure e-passports with advanced safety features in the near future, according to External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar. However, it is no different from a regular or machine-readable passport (MRP) in terms of application, information, and verification.
From filling out an application form on the government website to selecting your location and appointment date for the verification of the document, the process for applying for an e-passport will remain the same. Even the issuance time will also remain the same in the new system.
Q: Is an e-passport available in India?
Ans: Yes, an e-passport is available in India since 2021. If you are thinking to apply for a new passport or renew of the passport, you will get an e-passport.
Q: How many passport kendras are there in India?
Ans: In India, there are 555 passport kendras, including 36 passport offices, 93 PSK (Passport Seva Kendra), and 426 POPSK (Post Office Passport Seva Kendra
Q: How is an e-passport different from a regular passport or Machine-readable passport (MRP)?
Ans: An Indian e-passport with a microchip (electronic data chip) gives more security compared to a regular passport. It prevents counterfeiting as it better links a passport to its original owner. On the other hand, a regular or machine-readable passport has pages with printed information about the owner that an optical reader can scan.
Q: What’s the data in the e-passport chip?
Ans: The electronic chip in an Indian e-passport will contain data about the owner of the passport which will be scanned at the immigration counters to facilitate the identification and clearance of travelers in a few minutes.
Q: Has there been any change in the passport-making fee and renewal fee for an e-passport?
Ans: No, the fees for issuing and renewing an e-passport are the same as normal passports fees, which are:
Q: Which type of passport do I need to apply for a visa for India?
Ans: There is no compulsion to have a biometric or e-passport to obtain a visa for India. Yes, we agree that only an e-passport is required to get a visa for some countries. But, an Indian visa is available with either type of travel document. The only requirement is that passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the intended date of arrival in India.
That’s all the important information about the Indian e-passport and its advanced security features.
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Renu Dahiya is a passionate writer who worships her profession. Her love for writing has encouraged her to pursue her career as a writer. Her friends call her a “travel worm” and always come to her to know some interesting traveling tips and destinations. Renu is a repository of knowledge about traveling who knows which place should be visited in which season. Oh yes, she is insanely in love with dancing too. Writer, traveler and dancer, a perfect combination! Without a doubt, she is a complete package.