India may soon upgrade its existing Passports to e-Passports

This post was originally published on 21 November 2016 and the content may be outdated.

New generation e-passport featuring enhanced security features such as biometric details may soon be rolled out by India government.

The e-passport which would contain an electronic chip and enhanced security features was announced earlier in 2015. This high security passport is likely to be implemented soon as the tender process for the same has already begun.

According to reports, India Security Press (ISP) in Nasik, which prints the passports, has already begun tendering to procure electronic hardware needed for it.

Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh had said in July 2016 that government was in the process of introducing e-passports, which would contain bio-metric details to curb the menace of fake passports.

“The Government has plans to issue e-passports to the citizens. The Government has given its approval for procurement of electronic contactless inlays for manufacturing of e-passports to India Security Press (ISP) Nasik.

“In this regard, ISP Nasik, has been authorised to float a global three-stage tender for procurement of International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)-compliant electronic contactless inlays along with its operating system which is required for manufacture of e-passports,” Mr Singh said.

He said manufacture of e-passport will commence on the successful completion of the tendering and procurement process by ISP Nasik.

The e-passport is likely to secure the data and curb the menace of fake passports. An e-Passport contains an electronic chip. The chip holds the same information that is printed on the passport’s data page.

India is the third largest passport issuing country after China and US. A total of 2,54,708 passports were issued by India in 2015.

As of 31 December 2015, 63.2 million citizens held valid passports (up from 57 million in 2014 and 51.9 million in 2013).

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