As per the Economic Times report, the government has initiated the process of issuing e-passports for all its citizens and likewise is on the hunt for an agency that would develop IT infrastructure and solution for implementing the large scale project.
So, from next year onwards it is highly likely that on applying for a new passport or making a reissue application, you will be given an e-passport with an electronic microprocessor chip. The move will render forgery of passports tougher and also enable speed immigration for international passengers.
Earlier on a trial basis, the centre had issued 20,000 official and diplomatic e-passports with such chips. In the present scenario, passports issued to Indians are personalized and printed on booklets.
Such e-passports will be based on the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards.
All of the 36 passport offices in the country will be issuing e-passports as and when the elements of the personalization system are incorporated into the current issuance system, said the ET report.
On the need to hasten the launch of e-passports, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on June 24 said their roll-out will fortify the safety of Indian travel documents.
For chip-based e-passports, external affairs ministry has collaborated with Indian Security Press, Nashik, and National Informatics Centre.
"I am very confident that the introduction of e-passports will greatly strengthen the security of our travel documents. I understand that the procurement process for its production is currently underway and I would emphasise the need to hasten that as much as possible," he had said.
"I emphasise that it is necessary to roll out the manufacture of e-passports on a priority basis," Jaishankar added.