Government of India Launches e-Passport

The Government of India plans to issue e-Passports to diplomats from next month and to the citizens from the September 2010 onwards.

The biometric passports was peresented first to President Pratibha Patil, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Vice-President Hamid Ansari.

Globally, forty – one countries have incorporated e-Passports in the country, and India is now the new entrant in the list.

Speaking on the initiative, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee stated that “Around 80,000 e-passports would be issued by 2010,”

The e-passports would consist of an electronic chip containing all relevant personal data of the holder. This would simplify the procedures of immigration to a large extent. The Central Passport Organisation, New Delhi, India Security Press, Nashik, and the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur are the main organisations behind the biometric passports.

Pratibha Patil said that, “I call upon the Central Passport Organisation to take steps to upgrade their resources according to international standards. It will make the passport more secure,”

She also commented that, security is a major issue in the e-Passport scheme.