Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman stated in her budget speech that India will begin issuing e-passports with embedded chips in 2022-2023.
Previously, Sanjay Bhattacharya, Secretary of the Ministry of External Affairs, confirmed on Twitter that India would soon receive e-passports with secured biometric information. He stated that e-passports would be in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization regulations (ICAO).
The minister stated during her Budget Speech that the e-passports will serve the same role as existing passports but will include embedded chips and futuristic technologies. The e-passports would include microchips that would store vital security information. Users in India are now issued paper passports, however, e-passports are accessible in nations such as the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany.
The Secretary of the Ministry of External Affairs previously stated that the password would contain secure biometric data, that it would allow for simple travel through immigration checkpoints worldwide, and that the e-passport would be ICAO compatible. It will be produced at India Security Press in Nashik. The External Affairs Minister, S Jaishanker further stated that India is in discussions with the ‘India Security Press’ on microchips.
“We propose to pursue the manufacture of e-passports on priority so that a new passport booklet with advanced security features can be rolled out in the near future,” Jaishanker had said.
What is an E-Passport?
An e-passport will perform the same tasks as a regular passport, but it will be more secure. This is due to the e-passport containing an electronic chip with the same information as the paper passport. The passport holder’s name, date of birth, and other information would be stored on the microchip. The e-passport would be highly beneficial to passengers since it would eliminate the need to wait in large lines in front of the immigration counter. In comparison to the physical verification at the immigration desk, the e-passport might be scanned in minutes.
In comparison to the physical verification at the immigration desk, the e-passport might be scanned in minutes. It will also assist to reduce the number of false passports issued because scammers will find it difficult to tamper with the data stored on the microchip. Over 120 nations, including the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany, have already implemented biometric e-passport systems.
Features of E-Passport
The e-passport will include an embedded chip with all of the passport holder’s personal information. The chip on the back of the passport will have 64 kilobytes of storage space and an inbuilt rectangular antenna. Initially, the chip will save data from up to 30 overseas trips.
Furthermore, in the future, the chip is expected to contain the passport holder’s image as well as biometric data such as fingerprints. According to sources, tampering with the chip will result in the failure of passport authentication.