This year will see the introduction of electronic passports; what exactly are they, and how will they function?

Electronic passports, sometimes known as e-passports, will perform the same functions as traditional paper passports, but they will have a microchip on the inside. This article will explain everything in detail.

HIGHLIGHTS

The Indian government is working on developing passports that contain chips.

These chip-based passports are currently in development by TCS.

These electronic passports will become available by the time the year comes to a close.

The government of India is working hard to bring about the rollout of e-passports as soon as possible to facilitate simpler international travel and ensure the safety of the data held by passport holders. The government first introduced the idea of electronic passports one year ago; however, on Friday, the minister of external affairs, S Jaishankar, underlined that the introduction of electronic passports will begin before the end of this calendar year. According to Jaishankar, the goal of the Indian government is to improve “citizen experience and public delivery” with the use of electronic passports.

On the occasion of the Passport Seva Divas 2022, Jaishankar expressed his excitement by saying, “It gives me tremendous pleasure to join all our Passport Issuing Authorities in India and overseas.” He continued by saying, “As we mark the Passport Seva Divas on June 24 of this year, we maintain our commitment to give the next level of citizen experience.”

Notably, the idea of an electronic passport that is based on a chip is not brand new. E-passports are already available in more than one hundred countries. According to statistics published by the International Civil Aviation Organization, several nations, including India’s neighbours Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh, as well as others, have begun issuing electronic passports. These nations include Ireland, Zimbabwe, and Malawai.

So, what exactly is an electronic passport, and how would having one make travelling simpler and safer? Everything you need to know about the upcoming chip-based electronic passports may be found here.

What exactly is an electronic passport?

E-passports will perform the same functions as traditional paper passports, but they will be equipped with a small electronic chip similar to those found in driver’s licences. E-passports will be issued in much the same way. The chip that is inserted into the passport will store all of the necessary information about the person holding the passport. This information includes items like your name and date of birth, in addition to your address and sometimes other details.

These electronic passports will be equipped with a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chip, and the rear cover will have an antenna that is implanted as an inlay. The use of this chip will make it possible for authorities to rapidly check a traveler’s data. E-passports are going to be issued with the intention of lowering the number of counterfeit passports that are used, improving overall security, and cutting down on instances of data duplication and manipulation.

Who is going to produce the electronic passports?
The Indian government has previously announced that the IT giant Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is working on electronic passports and would roll out the service by the end of this year. e-passports are currently being developed by TCS. It has been reported that TCS would establish a new command and control centre with the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) as well as a new data centre to cover all of the project’s backend requirements.

When will e-passports be available to the public?
E-passports have the potential to become operational by the end of this year, as revealed by the minister of state for external affairs. There has not been an official announcement made on the date yet.

Will those who already have passports be required to upgrade?
The government has not yet announced whether all current passport holders would be required to upgrade to an e-passport or whether they will have to wait until their current passport expires before applying for an e-passport. It is anticipated that the application procedure for an electronic passport will be the same as that for a physical passport. E-passports, on the other hand, will be issued automatically to new applicants as soon as the service becomes legally available in the country.

How will e-passports look like?
E-passports in India, like its counterparts in other nations, will take the form of a standard passport that has a computer chip embedded in it. Consequently, if you are going to go internationally, you are going to need to bring along a real passport. Watching Live TV

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