Chip-enabled Indian passports to get advanced security options

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Chip-enabled Indian passports to get advanced security options
Chip-enabled Indian passports to get advanced security options

New Delhi : Indian government will soon be issuing passports with chip-enabled advanced security feature that will be aimed at checking the misuse of the document. This chip will have the capability to store personal details of an applicant that are there embedded in the physical passport booklet, Minster of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan informed Rajya Sabha.

What is e-passport?

The new e-passport will be having a smart chip to ensure the security of the passport holder's data. If anyone tries to tamper the data stored, the authorities will be informed automatically. This would lead to the failure of the passport authentication and prevent the misuse of it at the same time.

As mentioned by the government, the smart chip will be carrying personal particulars and these will be digitally signed. Muraleedharan said that the central government has given its approval for procurement of electronic contactless inlays for manufacturing of e-passports to the India Security Press (ISP) Nasik. 

Key points about the e-passport with a smart chip in it:

# An e-passport has thicker back and frontier covers.

# The small silicon chip is part of the back cover and it is smaller than a postage stamp.

# The e-passport will help save time at immigration counters because it will take only second to read.

# Data on up to 30 international visits will be stored in the chip which will have a memory space of 64 kilobytes.

# The central government has authorized ISP, Nasik, to float a global tender to procure the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)-compliant electronic contactless inlays. The three-stage tender will also see the procurement of the operating system of electronic contactless inlays. This is essential for the manufacture of e-passports, Muraleedharan said.

# Once the tender as well as the procurement process is completed by the ISP, the manufacturing of e-passport will commence, Muraleedharan said.

# Ministry of External Affairs has issued over 1.12 crore passports in 2018 and more than 1.08 crore passports in 2017 in India through Passport Seva Project.