New Delhi | Jagran Business Desk: Indian government will soon start issuing e-Passports for its citizen. "Indian citizens are likely to start getting e-passports soon," said Ministry of External Affairs Secretary Sanjay Bhattacharyya in a tweet.

The Ministry of External Affairs secretary said that the e-Passports will be infused with chips that would be secure with biometric data and will enable smooth passage through immigration posts globally, among other things.

As per several reports, the chip in the e-Passport will be embedded to hold vital information related to the passport holders such as his biometric data, name, and other things. It will also hold security features that will disallow unauthorized data transfer through Radio-frequency identification.

India on a trial basis had issued 20,000 official and diplomatic e-Passports with an electronic microprocessor chip embedded in them. After its successful run, the Centre will begin the process of issuing e-Passports to all the citizens of the country. Currently, passports issued to Indian citizens are printed on booklets.

Earlier in March, the ministry had said in its statement, "India Security Press, Nashik has awarded the contract for procurement of International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)-compliant electronic contactless inlays along with its operating system necessary for chip-enabled e-Passports."

All the Indian e-Passports will follow the standards by International Civil Aviation Organization and will be harder to destroy or hack.
Reportedly, India has a network of 555 Passport Kendras which includes 36 Passport Offices, and all 36 passport offices will provide the service of issuing e-Passports.

Let us inform you, procedures for applying -from filing the application form on the government website to choosing your location and date of the appointment- will all remain the same. The issuance time will also not be affected by the new system.

The government had previously said these passports would be available to anyone seeking a re-issuance or opt for applying for a new passport in 2021, but those plans were delayed.

Posted By: Ashita Singh