Contactless Smart Card, RFID Chip: E-passports to be Rolled Out With Latest Security Features
Giving details, Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said the personal particulars of an applicant would be digitally stored in the chip that would be embedded in the passport booklet.
New Delhi: During her Budget 2022 speech, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said e-passports with embedded chips will be rolled out in the country in 2022-2023. Prior to that, Sanjay Bhattacharya, Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs, had said on Twitter that India would soon get e-passports with secure biometric data. He had said that the e-passports would be in accordance with the standards of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
Giving details, Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said in Rajya Sabha on Thursday that the Centre it is planning to roll out e-passports with advanced security features such as Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chip.
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He added that the personal particulars of an applicant would be digitally stored in the chip that would be embedded in the passport booklet. The government is expected to roll out e-passports this year.
“The ministry is planning to issue chip-enabled e-passports to citizens with advanced security features. The e-passport features contactless smart card technology, including an embedded Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chip embedded in the front or back cover or page of the passport,” he said in a written reply to a question on e-passports.
He said the “chip characteristics” are in line with guidelines of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a specialised agency of the United Nations which defines standards for travel documents.
“The personal particulars of the applicants would be digitally stored in the chip, which would be embedded in the physical passport booklet,” the minister said.
“In case, anyone tampers with the chip, the system shall be able to identify it, resulting in the failure of the passport authentication,” he added.
He said in addition to providing protection against fraudulent practices and tampering, the e-passport will help in substantially upgrading existing passports and services to the citizens.
Giving more information, Muraleedharan said that 93 passport seva kendras and 428 post office passport seva kendras are operational in the country at present.
What is special about e-passports?
- The Central government hopes that the advanced security features of e-passports would check forgery and also facilitate the immigration process at airports.
- As per the updates, the attempts to tamper with the chip will be detected by the system and lead to verification failure at the airport.
- In this regard, the Centre has already given its approval to India Security Press-ISP, Nashik, to procure electronic contactless inlays for e-passports.
- Earlier this month, Tata Consultancy Services had also announced that it would introduce e-passports.
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