On February 1, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that India shall soon launch e-passports with embedded chips and futuristic technology to ensure hassle-free international travel. These e-passports will be rolled out in India in the financial year 2022-2023. They will comply with the standards of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). While e-passports are widely available in 120 foreign countries like the USA, Germany and the UK, India currently only issues printed passports. External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar added that the E-passport with chips will contain multiple layered security as all the data will be on paper like regular passports.
With the launch of e-passports in India, travel abroad would be much smoother. Here’s how.
What Are The Features Of E-Passports?
India’s e-passports will secure biometric data like fingerprints. It will ensure smooth immigration across the world. The new passports shall have a thicker front and back cover, with a 64-kilobyte silicon chip firmly inserted. It will contain the passport holder’s personal details like fingerprint and photograph. With an embedded rectangular antenna, it can store up to 30 visits. In case anyone attempts to tamper with the chips, there will be a failure in the passport authentication. While 20,000 diplomatic and official e-passports have been issued they haven’t been launched for the public yet. The first-ever e-passport in India was issued for India’s former President, Pratibha Patil in 2008.
The issuance of e-Passports using embedded chips and futuristic tech will be rolled out in 2022-23 to enhance the convenience for citizens in overseas travel. #AatmanirbharBharatKaBudget pic.twitter.com/Y6uiLIV1St
— BJP (@BJP4India) February 1, 2022
How Does It Ease Global Travel?
So, now you’d wonder how e-passports will ensure hassle-free travel abroad. Well, firstly it will eliminate the need to stand in hour-long queues at immigration counters. Since physical verification won’t be needed, it will just take a few minutes to scan e-passports at airports. Moreover, the micro-chip embedded will carry all necessary details of the passport holder like name, date of birth, fingerprint and others. Since micro-chips involved incorporating futuristic technology it will help curb the fake passport business. After all, it will be hard to tamper with the data recorded on the microchip.