E Passport India – e Passport India launch date 2022: Know Everything Here

E Passport India – Indian citizens will likely get e-passports, starting in 2021. Reportedly, anyone seeking a re-issuance or opting to apply for a new passport in 2022, would be able to get an e-passport with an electronic microprocessor chip embedded in it. The Indian government has already initiated the said process, whereas the infrastructure is also in place to ensure upgraded and future-ready documents are provided to deter identity theft, forgery, and enhanced connectivity for a streamlined immigration process.

The Centre has announced plans to leverage the use of technology and digital systems to issue e-passports for all citizens. “Indian citizens are likely to start getting e-passports soon,” said Ministry of External Affairs Secretary Sanjay Bhattacharyya in a tweet. Emphasizing the need to expedite the roll-out of e-passports, the MEA secretary said the said passports would be secure with biometric data and enable smooth passage through immigration posts globally, among other things.

As per the latest reports, the government initially issued 20000 official and diplomatic e-passports embedded with such chips on a trial basis. Now, after a successful run, it has begun the process for the issuance of e-passports for all citizens. Till now, passports were issued to citizens in the form of personalized printed booklets.

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Currently, passports issued to Indian citizens are printed on booklets. India issued 20,000 official and diplomatic e-passports on a trial basis with an electronic microprocessor chip embedded in them. The government earlier said that the move was to make forgery of passports difficult and to help faster immigration for passengers.

  • The e-passports will follow the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standards and will be tougher, as well as harder to destroy.
  • The chip at the front of the passport will come with an internationally recognized logo meant for e-passports.
  • Regarding procedures for applying, all remain the same, i.e., from filing the application form on the Indian government website to choosing your location and date of the appointment.

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,” the ministry said in a statement released in March 2021.

In India, there is a network of 555 Passport Kendras which includes 36 Passport Offices, 93 Passport Seva Kendra (PSK), and 426 Post Office Passport Seva Kendra (POPSK).In August 2020, the government said that all 36 passport offices in India would issue e-passports after the components of the personalization system are inducted into the existing issuance system.

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Indians To Get E-Passports From Next Year


The microchip embedded in the passport will hold all vital information related to the passport holder’s biometric data, as well as security features that will disallow unauthorized data transfer through RFID (radio-frequency identification). 

As Said by Ministry of External Affairs: e-Passport | Smart Card Operating System (SCOSTA) | India

Almost all major airports have faster processing times for e-visa and e-passport holders due to a higher level of automation from gaining access to immigrations areas to security checks, as computerized authorization is much more secure and faster.

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Reportedly, all 36 passport offices in India under the Ministry of External Affair will start issuing the said e-passports soon. The issuance time will remain the same, i.e., with no disruptions or delays caused due to the new system. Referring to this development, Minister for External Affairs S Jaishankar emphasized the need for higher security protocols for passports and the need for e-passports being at the forefront of achieving that goal.

Introduction to e-passports

MEA Secretary Sanjay Bhattacharya has confirmed the issuance of chip-enabled e-Passports with advanced security features to citizens. Check launch date, benefits, and other details here.

India To Introduce E-Passports For Its Citizens: Check Launch Date, Benefits And Other Details Here

India to introduce e-passports for its citizens: Check launch date, benefits, and other details here

e passport India: The Ministry of External Affairs will soon issue chip-enabled e-Passports with advanced security features to citizens. The development was confirmed by MEA Secretary Sanjay Bhattacharya in a tweet.

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e passport India

  • The personal details of the applicants would be digitally signed and stored in the chip, embedded in the passport booklet. 
  • In case of tampering with the chip will result in the failure of the passport authentication.
  • The e-passports will be produced at India Security Press, Nashik.  
  • Up till now, passports are issued in the form of personalized printed booklets. 
  • The first e-passport in India was issued to the then President of India Pratibha Patil on 25 June 2008 by the Indian Passport Authority.

Benefits of e passport India

The e-passport will have the following benefits:

  • The e-passport will be secured with biometric data.
  • The e-passport will enable smooth passage through immigration posts across the world. 
  • The e-passport will be in compliance with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standards.
  • The chip on the e-passport will restrict the unauthorised transfer of data through radio-frequency identification (RFID).
  • The e-passport will also deter identity theft and forgery. 

e passport India Launch Date

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India has already issued 20,000 official and diplomatic e passports having chips embedded in them on a trial basis. The e-passports will be issued to the citizens on the successful completion of the procurement process by India Security Press, Nashik.

Application for e passport India

From filing the application form on the government website to choosing your location and date of the appointment for document verification, the procedures for applying for an e-passport will remain the same. The issuance time too will remain unaffected by the new system.

How many Passport Kendras are there in India?

There are a total of 555 Passport Kendras, including 36 Passport Offices, 93 Passport Seva Kendra (PSK), and 426 Post Office Passport Seva Kendra (POPSK).

Ministry of External Affairs: e-Passport

Indianpassportimg

In the year 2008 at the request of MEA, NIC had conducted a pilot project for the issuance of ePassports. About 20,000 ePassports for diplomats and officials have been issued. Based on this experience, NIC has been entrusted to design, develop and execute the issuance of ePassports for Indian citizens, officials, and diplomats.

The ePassport will enhance the security of passports, eliminate duplication, eliminate data tampering, and will be used by border control authorities for monitoring the entry and exit of passengers.

The e-Passports booklets are embedded with an electronic chip to enhance security and to improve the level of identity verification. e-Passports and readers at the border inspection system must be able to communicate with each other.

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Interoperability testing of electronic passports is a process that starts typically with the specification of standards and continues with testing. Interoperability tests for e-Passports are performed to ensure international interoperability.

The creation of Test Bed for the interoperability of ePassports at NIC Head Quarters will include:-

  • Testing of Indian ePassport for ICAO Compliance
  • Development of Platform for Reading and Verifying ePassport Issued by other countries
  • Provide Technical Inputs to ePassport Committees
  • Upgradation of Smart Card OS from time to time to suite new technology requirements
  • Testing / Masking of  upgraded Operating System on the Chip in the future

Testing shall be divided into two parts:-

  • Crossover tests: Every e-Passport is tested with every inspection system
  • Conformity tests: Every e-Passport is tested against the test specification as per ICAO standards

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What exactly is the proposed new ePassport ?

Currently, passports issued to Indian citizens are printed on booklets. The government wants to upgrade them in line with international standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

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There are two distinct developments in this process. The first is ePassports, which add a layer of security to traditional non‑electronic passports by embedding an electronic chip in the passport booklet. It stores the biographical information visible on page 2 of the passport as well as a digital security feature. This digital security feature is a ‘digital signature’ unique to each country and can be verified using their respective certificates.

India had issued 20,000 official and diplomatic ePassports on a trial basis with an electronic microprocessor chip embedded in them. The MEA is working with the Indian Security Press in Nashik and National Informatics Centre on chip-enabled ePassports with advanced security features.

The other plan is to introduce fully digital passports that can even be carried on mobile phones.

Do other countries use them?

  • According to the ICAO, more than 100 states and non-state entities such as the United Nations, currently issue ePassports. There are over 490 million ePassports in circulation. In India’s immediate neighborhood, Nepal began its own exercise of issuing ePassports to citizens in November 2021. Bangladesh has phased out the issuance of older machine-readable passports in favor of ePassports.
  • In the ePassport issued by some countries, the machine-readable data, which is usually scanned through a barcode, has now been transferred directly to the polycarbonate paper that makes up the pages of the passport booklet.
  • According to Pune-based Allied Market Research, the global ePassport market size is expected to grow from $20.9 billion in 2020 to $ 97.6 billion by 2027, at a compound annual growth rate of 27.5 percent from 2021 to 2027.

What will be the benefits of ePassports ?

  • The security of travel documents would also be significantly upgraded as a result. Officials say the move is to make forgery of passports difficult and to help faster processing at immigration counters for passengers. These ePassports will be based on ICAO standards.
  • Increased security features will also make the passport more acceptable by a wider list of countries that already use these features. Consequently, the number of countries one can access with an Indian passport without a prior visa may also go up.
  • According to the Henley Passport Index for 2021, a ranking of all the world’s passports according to the numbher of destinations their holder can access without a prior visa, the Indian passport ranks 90th globally in terms of its strength.
  • Despite being a large geopolitical power, India’s ranking has fallen from 74 in 2013. Indians can currently access 58 countries without a prior visa, choosing to get visa on arrival or other systems such as the Electronic Travel Authorization in Sri Lanka.
  • The overall time required for issuing passports is also set to minimized. The process is geared towards reducing the current delays in police verification by ensuring information passes electronically from a centralized database to which all relevant authorities would connect.

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Why is the government trying to push digitization ?

The move is also part of the Centre’s efforts to digitize government services. Currently, the total number of Passport Kendra’s functioning in the country stands at 517, comprising six Regional Passport Offices, 93 Passport Seva Kendras, and 424 Post Office Passport Seva Kendras, according to MEA data. Despite this, there exists a major gap in inaccessibility as people in large swathes of the country have to travel hundreds of kilometers to access a passport center.

With an increase in the number of blues- and white-collar workers moving abroad for employment, the problem of low access to passport services has reached critical proportions. As a result, the government announced its intention to open a Post Office Passport Seva Kendra in every Lok Sabha constituency. But the plan was shelved in favor of pushing online services.

To remedy this, the government has launched the mPassport Seva app, through which users can directly access all passport-related services from applying for a passport to scheduling appointments and registering changes. Similarly, the mPassport police app has been launched for police personnel who are part of background check and field verification teams.

When will the e Passport launch?

The idea of upgrading the features and look of India’s physical passport has been around for quite some time. In 2016, then Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh said chip-embedded ePassports would be introduced by early 2017.

The initiative missed several deadlines. In June 2020, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said the procurement process for the production of chip-based passports was underway. He also said the process needs to be hastened. All 36 passport offices in India are set to issue e Passports after components of the personalization system are inducted into the existing passport issuance system.

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How to apply for an e-passport in India?

From filing the application form on the government website to choosing your location and date of the appointment for document verification, the procedures for applying for an e-passport will remain the same. The issuance time too will remain unaffected by the new system.

What is a Passport Kendra in India?

Post Office Passport Seva Kendra abbreviated as POPSK is an Indian government initiative by the Ministry of External Affairs (India) (MEA) and the Department of Posts (DoP), where the Head Post Offices (HPO) and post offices are being utilized as Post Office Passport Seva Kendra (POPSK) for delivery of passport related services to the citizens of India.

What is a POPSK?

Post Office Passport Seva Kendra abbreviated as POPSK is an Indian government initiative by the Ministry of External Affairs (India) (MEA) and the Department of Posts (DoP).

How many Passport Kendras are there in India?

There are a total of 555 Passport Kendras, including 36 Passport Offices, 93 Passport Seva Kendra (PSK), and 426 Post Office Passport Seva Kendra (POPSK).

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