E-Passports With Embedded Chips To Be Rolled Out In 2022-23

Union Budget 2022 has been released by the Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman recently. Many changes have been made to the budget-making it a unique one unlike the previous year’s budget through the online system. The Indian Government has decided to inject technological advancements in different fields for the rapid development of the country. As per the latest Union Budget 2022, the Government has brought an interesting advancement to the Indian Passport. With the entry of E-Passports, the processing turns out to become pretty quick and easy.

However, it is not the initiative of the Finance Minister as the Ministry of External Affairs has conducted the initial phase of issuing E-Passports to the bureaucrats and government servants in India in 2008. Earlier, the Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh, the Ex-President of India – Pratibha Patil, and the Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari had received the biometric e-passports. Almost 20000 E-passports were issued to the government officials and bureaucrats in the same year. Now, India has decided to issue E-passports to the public instead of printed booklets.

E-Passports will be officially rolled out in 2022-23 with futuristic technology and embedded chips announced by the Finance Minister through the Union Budget 2022. Originally, the E-Passports concept was introduced in 2019 and the Government stated that To enhance the ease or convenience of the Indian citizens to travel abroad, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has introduced E-Passport issuance in 2022-23.

How do E-Passports operate?

An E-passport functions based on microchip technology. The e-passport is also referred to as a biometric passport that comes embedded with a security chip on the 2nd page of the passport wherein the personal data is provided.  On the 2nd page, the biometrics of the passport holder alongside the digital signature will be embedded. As per the information from the official sources, Indian E-Passports might sport thicker front and back covers. A tiny silicon chip that can hold 64 Kilobytes of memory will be embedded in the back cover of the passport. The chip holds the confidential data of the passport holder alongside the photograph and fingerprints as well. E-Passports can store about 30 visits.

As the digital signature remains unique to each country, it can be easily verified through a certificate. The personal details of the passport holders will be digitally signed and embedded in the electronic chip. In case of any manipulations, the system will be capable of identifying it instantly. This, in turn, fails passport authentication so that no other person can travel with another person’s passport.

The major difference between ordinary passports and e-passports is that the e-passports come with additional security features and also utilize biometrics and Radio-Frequency Identification of the passport holders. E-Passports will be rolled out in alignment with the international standards, rules, and regulations. A Passport jacket comes with an in-built electronic chip that holds security-specific data. The highly secured data of the passport bearer will be encoded on the chip.

As of now, the basic passports are issued to the citizens of India in booklet format. E-Passports are anticipated to render a smooth passage to travellers through immigration across the globe. Moreover, the e-passport is linked with biometric data that in turn offers extra security. The Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, and National Informatics Centre has jointly developed the e-passports software. 

The Indian Security Press in Nashik and the Ministry of External Affairs manufactures blank e-passports with electronic chip inlays and designs with improved security features. The electronic contactless insets of the e-passports will be designed following the standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization so that the passports can be read globally.

Several countries across the world have been already using e-passports including Ireland, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, etc. The key benefits of e-passport are that it eliminates data duplication, data tampering and enhances the passport security and data security of the bearers. Moreover, the border control authorities can quickly and easily supervise the entry and exit of passengers from different countries with e-passports. With the radio-frequency identification system, illegitimate data transfer can be stopped.

This is everything you need to know about the Epassports that come with embedded chips. Stay tuned to MoneyCompass for more related posts on Passports, the latest news about Indian passports, and more.

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