Government to launch e-Passports in next 6 months

Recently, Foreign Secretary Dr Ausaf Sayeed informed that the new age e-chip passport is likely to be launched by the end of the year 2022 or by the first week of January 2023. In this passport the details of the applicant will be kept digitally in the chip which will be embedded in the passport booklet. It will provide security upgrade of Indian passport and enable machine reading.

What is e-passports?

The e-passports comprise of a microchip with secure biometric data. Chip of an e-passport usually contain biometric information of the holder. The biometric information is printed on the data page of document and a biometric identifier. Such passports are digitally secured, in a bid to prevent unauthorised reading of data stored on the chip.

Who will bring technology for e-passports?

India’s largest software exporter, TCS, is likely to bring in technology for e-passports. However, authority to grant and print passports will remain with the government. All security aspects, including strategic assets like database, data centres, and application software will also be owned by government. The e-passports will also comply with the guidelines of International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

Who is designing the security features?

National Informatics Centre and Indian Security Press in Nashik are involved in designing security features for the e-passport.

About Passport Seva Programme

  • The PSP-V 2.0 provides for rolling out of microchip-embedded e-passports.
  • It is the largest e-governance programme of India, wherein TCS would deploy the latest technologies to ease the services.
  • During this phase, e-passport will be unveiled.

Significance of PSP-V 2.0

The PSP-V 2.0 will ensure a digital ecosystem, improve citizen interface, process overhauling & integration among different stakeholders & database, upgraded technology, as well as a stronger data security.

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