Working of e – Passports

The Government of India is to launch e – passports from 2022 – 23. This is to increase the convenience of the citizens. This was announced by the Finance Minister Smt Nirmala Sitaraman during budget presentation.

Working of e – passports

The e – passports have a small silicon chip. It is embedded within the jacket of the passport. The chip has a memory of 64 KB. The chip holds personal information of the holder. It includes their signature as well. The chip can store 30 visits. In later stages, the passport will carry photo of the holder and his biometric data. These passports have thick front and back cover. The e – passports are to carry the same information as that of the traditional passports.

E – Passports in other countries

The e – passports are currently used in 120 countries. This includes Germany, US, UK. These three countries have biometric e – passport systems. That is, just by using finger print or retinal identification, the passport of the person is verified.

Benefits

The e – passports can be scanned very quickly as compared to that of physical verification. It will help to reduce the use of fake passports.

E – Passport manufacturing

The e – passports are compliant with ICAO standards. ICAO is International Civil Aviation Organization. The contract of manufacturing the e – passports was given to Nashik based ISP. ISP is India Security Press. ISP is currently procuring operating systems and electronic contactless inlays. The GoI is to issue new passports after ISP completes procuring.

ISP is to manufacture e – passport

India Security Press is a subsidiary of SPMCIL. SPMCIL is Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India Limited. The ISP prints visas, passports, post cards, postage stamps, inland letters, court fees. It operates under Ministry of Finance. The SPMCIL manufactures bank notes, cheques, security certificates, commemorative coins, security inks, medallions, etc.

Application process

The application process of the new e – passports is same as that of old.

First E – Passport

The first e – passport was presented to former President Pratibha Pail. The passport was issued in 2008. She is the first woman president of India.

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