E-passports to be a reality in India

The ministry of external affairs has expressed plans to introduce a microchip-based e-passport. This will be a next-generation e-Passport for citizens in India which will introduce new features and facilities in the passport service. 

What is it?
An e-passport is an electronic passport and provides high-level confidentiality and practicality for keeping personal details, in addition to an electronic system that can be read by a chip that belongs to security offices.

A digital passport is also the same as the traditional one. The only addition is a chip that will carry the personal information of the passport holder along with the travel details. An e-Passport is more secure and comprises biometrics.

The new e-passports will help passengers to move smoothly through immigration posts across the world, and it is currently in the second phase of the Passport Seva Programme, developed by Tata Consultancy Services. The first phase took over a decade of work.

The good news is that India has already issued about 20000 official and diplomatic e-passports, containing an electronic microprocessor chip embedded in them. This is all a part of the pilot project before the final project gets rolled out.

However, the final project will not be rolled out anytime soon, as the second phase of the Passport Seva Programme is going to take about 9.5 years. It is the largest mission-critical e-governance programme in the country currently.