Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Tuesday that the government would issue e-passports in the 2022-23 fiscal year. Presenting the Union budget, the minister said the e-passport will use radio frequency identification (RFID) and biometrics to verify people’s identity and will be an upgrade over traditional printed passports.
The e-passport aims to make it more robust in terms of security and ensure smooth passage through immigration posts around the world.
Sanjay Bhattacharya, Secretary of the Ministry of External Affairs, said India would get an e-passport with secure biometrics and it would be in line with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards.
The ePassport chip will be integrated and contain important data relating to the passport holder such as name, biometrics and other information. Currently, India issues passports in the form of printed booklets.
If there are malicious intentions to tamper with the chip, the system will become aware of it and cause the passport authentication to fail.
Bhattacharya revealed that the e-passports will be manufactured at India Security Press (ISP), Nashik.
Issuance of the ePassport will commence upon completion of the provisioning process by the ISP, Nasik.
External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar had previously said that the government was exploring the feasibility with the PSI regarding the applicability of the project.
“We propose to continue manufacturing e-passports as a priority so that a new passport book with advanced security features can be rolled out in the near future,” Jaishankar had said.
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