E-passports will do the same work as a normal physical passport but will come with a small electronic chip inside. Here’s all about it.
The Indian government is working to introduce e-passports very soon in order to facilitate international travel and protect the data of passport holders. The idea of e-passports was first introduced by the government last year, but on Friday, S. Jaishankar, the minister of external affairs, reiterated that e-passports will begin to be issued by the end of this year. According to Jaishankar, the Indian government wants to enhance “citizen experience and public delivery” through e-passports.
At the Passport Seva Divas 2022, Jaishankar said, “It gives me tremendous pleasure to join all our passport issuing authorities in India and overseas.” He continued, “We maintain our commitment to providing the next level of citizen experience as we commemorate the Passport Seva Divas on June 24 this year.”
Notably, the idea of a chip-based e-passport is not new. E-passports are currently available in more than 100 nations. According to data released by the International Civil Aviation Organization, a number of nations have implemented e-passports, including Ireland, Zimbabwe, Malawai, and India’s neighbours Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh.What precisely is an e-passport and how will it facilitate safe and convenient travel? Here is all the information about the upcoming chip-based e-passports.
What is an e-passport?
While an electronic passport will function in the same way as a traditional physical passport, it will also have a small electronic chip inside that is reminiscent of a driver’s licence. All of the passport holder’s vital information will be stored on the chip utilized inside the document. Name, birthdate, address, and other details are included in this information.
These electronic passports will use an RFID chip and have an antenna built into the back cover as an inlay. This chip will make it easier for officials to immediately check a traveler’s information. The purpose of producing an electronic passport is to decrease the use of counterfeit identification documents, improve security, and minimise duplication and data manipulation.
Who will make e-passports?
The Indian government has already announced that tech giant Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is developing e-passports and will launch the service by the end of this year. According to rumours, TCS will establish a new command and control facility with the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and a new data centre to cover all of the project’s backend needs.
When will e-passports roll out?
E-passports could materialise by the end of this year, the exterior minister confirmed. The precise date has not yet been disclosed.
Will existing passport holders’ need to upgrade?
The government hasn’t said if all current passport holders must switch to an e-passport or if they can wait until their current one expires before applying for one. The e-passport application procedure is anticipated to be the same as the physical passport application process. However, once the service is formally offered in the nation, new applicants will immediately receive e-passports.
How will e-passports look like?
Indian e-passports, like those in other nations, will resemble regular passports but contain a chip. Therefore, whether you go internationally by land or sea, you must carry a physical passport.