New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Wednesday said that the centre is working with Indian Security Press Nashik and the National Informatics Centre for chip-enabled e-passport system for all Indians. Also Read - Indian Army Planning to Change Rules Of Engagement With China After Ladakh Standoff: Report

Addressing a press conference, the minister said that the introduction of e-passport will strengthen the security of travel documents. He further added that the procurement process for this production is underway and he would emphasize the need to hasten that. Also Read - First Ministerial-level Talks Since Ladakh Face-off: India, China Agree to Resolve Border Clash in Fair Way

The External Affairs Minister also added that the Centre is also planning to open Post Office Passport Seva Kendras in every Lok Sabha constituency of the country where no PSK exists today. Also Read - As COVID-19 Peaks, EAM Jaishankar Participates in Video Meet With Counterparts of 6 Countries

“We’ve so far been able to provide for 488 Lok Sabha constituencies. This process which we were going forward with very ambitiously, stopped momentarily due to COVID-19,” he added.

“I would like to felicitate all our passport issuing authorities in India and abroad on Passport Sewa Diwas and I’m sure, you all appreciate we’re meeting under unique circumstances. I acknowledge how well all of you have responded to changing public requirements amid COVID-19,” he added.

What is an e-passport?

A chip embedded to it, the e-passport will ensure the security of the passport holder’s data. The chip in the e-passport adds advanced security features to it. With the security features, if anyone tries to tamper with the chip, the system will be able to detect it. Moreover, it can’t be tampered with and the misuse of the passport will be prevented.

What are the salient features?

1) Digitally signed, the chip in the e-passport will have the personal particulars of the applicant.

2) For better protection, the e-passport will have thicker back and frontier covers.

3) It will facilitate the passengers while travelling as the e-passport will help save time at immigration counters because it will take only second to read.

4) In the 1-passport, data on up to 30 international visits will be stored in the chip with memory space of 64 kilobytes.