New-Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman made a big announcement in the Budget speech today. Issuance of E-passports will be issued in 2022-23 to enhance convenience for citizens.
Currently, India issues passports for its citizens in printed booklets.
Earlier Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar had earlier said that the ministry has initiated discussions with the ‘India Security Press’ regarding the project for issuing chip-enabled e-passports to the citizens.
“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,” the minister had said.
What is an e-passport?
An e-passport will have the same functions as a traditional passport but it will be more secure than a traditional passport. That is because the e-passport would contain an electronic chip that will carry the same information as the printed passport.
The microchip would include information such as the passport holder’s name, date of birth, and other details. The e-passport would turn out to b extremely useful for travelers as it would eliminate the need to stand in long queues in front of the immigration counter. The e-passport could be scanned in minutes as opposed to the physical verification at the immigration counter. It will also help curb the fake passport business as the scammers would find it hard to fiddle with the data recorded on the microchip.
The concept of an e-passport has already been introduced in over 120 countries, including the US, UK, and Germany that already has biometric e-passport systems.