E-passports are on the government priority list. Soon Indians to have a chip-enabled passport
Indian citizens would soon be able to apply for an e-passport that is being developed by IIT-Kanpur, National Informatics Centre (NIC) and India Security Press (ISP) and the Ministry of External Affairs officials. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Monday proposed the manufacturing of e-passports. Jaishankar said that the ministry has initiated discussions with the ‘India Security Press’ for the chip-enabled e-passports project. This is being proposed so that advanced security features can be rolled out in the near future.
“Indian embassies and consulates are being connected to the Passport Seva Project worldwide,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said while addressing the inaugural ceremony of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) 2019 in Varanasi. He further said that the government’s endeavour is to see that Indians are happy and safe wherever they live across the globe. He also said that over two lakh Indians stranded in crisis situations abroad have been helped by the government in the last four-and-a-half years.
But why would you need a passport with a chip in it when all of your personal data, including your date of birth, address and signature are already printed in your regular passport?
The chip in an e-passport makes it difficult to produce fake or counterfeit copies. Your unique biometrics, along with other key details including information about the last 30 trips and international movements, would be saved inside a chip with 64-kilobytes of data. The postage stamp-sized chip would be paired with an embedded rectangular antenna that allows a passport to be read within seconds, saving crucial seconds at immigration counters. Although your e-passport would be a bit heavier and thicker, it will be more secure as tampering with the chip in any way would result in failure of passport authentication. It is also designed in a way that the data present on the passport cannot be wiped remotely. India will join about 120 other nations, including the US, UK and EU by adopting e-passports.
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