What is India’s E-Passport? How Will It Work? All You Need To Know

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By Subham Sharma

IT company, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is working on an e-passport project with the Indian government. One of the company officials said that the chip-based e-passports will roll out by the end of this year.

The Minister of External Affairs, S Jaishankar has said in a recent event that the central government is working to roll out e-passports by the end of this year to make international travel safe, easy, and hassle-free.

“It gives me great pleasure to join all our Passport Issuing Authorities in India and abroad on the occasion of the Passport Seva Divas 2022. As we commemorate the Passport Seva Divas on 24th June this year, we continue our commitment to deliver the next level of citizen experience,” Jaishankar said.

He also said that the passport services were rendered with the same vigor and enthusiasm during the coronavirus pandemic. “The government has set a record while dealing with the increased demand built up due to the pandemic, with a monthly average of 9.0 lakhs and 4.50 lakhs additional applications granted in last one month,” he further added.

Jaishankar also announced that the Passport Seva Programme (PSP) will be embarking on an improved and upgraded version of PSP V2.0 to ensure a digital ecosystem among all stakeholders and offer enhanced passport services to citizens.

“It would ensure smooth governance end-to-end through standardized and liberalized processes, use of latest and emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Chat-Bot, Use of Big-Data, Advance Analytics, etc. The Ministry is also working to roll out e-passports for Indian citizens which would make easier international travel and enable protection against identity theft and greater data security,” he said.

What is an E-Passport? How will it work?

The E-Passport is the smarter version of the regular passport. While e-passports might look and work like a regular passport, they will come with a small electronic chip inside, similar to a driver’s license to some extent. The chip will store all the important information of the passport holder.

E-passports, which will have a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chip and antenna embedded as an inlay in the back cover, will help officials verify a traveler’s details quickly. The idea behind issuing an e-passport is to reduce the circulation of fake passports, enhance security, and reduce duplication and data tampering.

A chip-based e-passport isn’t a new concept. More than 100 countries already offer e-passports. India’s neighboring countries- Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh already have rolled out e-passports, as per the data by the International Civil Aviation Organization.

Soon Indians can too have an e-passport for safe and hassle-free travel. For now, there are not so many details regarding its launch date and how to apply for it. But don’t worry, I will share all the important information related to the E-passport in the coming time.

Watch this space for more information about India’s E-passport. Don’t forget to share your thoughts regarding this post in the comment section below.

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