The Indian government has initiated a process wherein, all citizens going in for a passport renewal or an issuance of a new passport will get e-passports, beginning from next year, 2021. These e-passports, according to a report, will be embedded with a microprocessor chip.
The government had initially begun issuing e-passports on a trial basis. 20,000 official and diplomatic e-passports with chips were issued on this trial basis.
After this, the government now plans to issue e-passports to every citizen. According to reports, the process of selecting an agency, including the setting up of all the IT infrastructure needed to implement this mega project across the country has begun.
The infrastructure set-up will also look into set-ups to deter forgery, identity theft and in all, provide better connectivity for a streamlined immigration process.
The e-passport will continue to be like your similar old passport, however, there will be an added feature, an embedded microchip. This chip – similar to your phone’s sim card – will contain all the necessary information with decrypted data. The trial of these e-passports, which was done on Indian diplomats, was successful without any glitches.
The microchip embedded within your e-passport will hold all your information needed, including your bio-metric data. Countries across the world have also slowly begun switching to e-passports, and the computerized automation at airports has also become comparatively faster, including more secure.
The e-passports will have an internationally recognized logo dedicated to e-passports. Also, all the new e-passports to be issued from 2021 onwards will follow the rules set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
The entire purpose of switching to e-passports is to keep every person’s data safe and protected, and in turn also speed up immigration procedure times to enable a stress-free travel.
The target for issuing these new e-passports is 10,000 per hour and 50,000 per day. However, it is scalable up to 20,000 per hour and one lakh per day. The IT system will be set up at Data Centres at Delhi and Chennai to handle this load.
The entire process of applying for a new passport, including a renewal continues to be the same. The time-frame for issuing of passports will also remain unchanged with the initiation of this new process.
All the 36 passport offices across the country will issue these e-passports after the components and the systems are in place at the existing passport offices.