If you own an Indian passport, you would know that Indian passport can't be considered as an E-Passport as they don't have a chip embedded inside, thus depriving travelers of E-Channel facilities available across distinct parts of the world. However, the good news is Indian passports are soon to get electronic, with added security measures and a more compact way of storing our information.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while addressing the ceremony at Pravasi Bhartiya Divas, said that the government is not only working on E-Passport, but also a centralized passport system, wherein all passport services will be provided from consulates and embassies across the world.
The move will ensure simplicity in the process of issuing visas to PIO (persons of Indian origin) and OCI (overseas citizen of India) cards. He further mentioned that this move is, in fact, the government's attempt to ensure that Indians feel safe and happy no matter where they live across the globe.
What is E-Passport?
An electronic passport has personal data of passengers stored on a chip. In its most basic form, the chip is a way to ensure the passport is genuine and has not been tampered with. In case someone tries to tamper with the chip, the system will be able to identify the breach and lead to the failure of passport authentication.
In many cases, the chip also carries additional biometric information, like fingerprints and iris scans, about the passport holder. At several airports, the e-passport allows quick access through security gates. As many as 100 states and non-state entities (i.e. United Nations) have introduced e-passports for their citizens, according to the International Civil Aviation Organization.
Features of E-Passport
The passports will be ‘digitally signed’ – i.e. all the required information of the passenger will be stored on a chip.
They will have thicker front and back covers. The digital chip – which will be smaller than a postage stamp – will be inserted in the back cover.
Reportedly, IIT-Kanpur and the National Informatics Centre have been approached to develop the software that runs the e-passport thus ignoring commercial agencies.
The new, updated passports are lighting fast and capable of sharing are necessary information in a few seconds, cutting down the time needed at immigration counters.
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