In the next two months, the country will introduce electronic passports, commonly referred to as e-passports. The strict technical examinations of these chip-enabled passports have been successfully completed.
The Indian Security Press in Nashik will print 70 lakh blank booklets for e-passports in the first year. A contract has been placed for the printing of 4.5 billion passports with integrated chips on the same press.
The new passport, which has 41 advanced features, will allow immigration to be cleared in minutes at airports in 140 countries that meet International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) requirements. It will resemble the current passport booklet in appearance. Only one of the booklet’s pages in the center will have a radio frequency identification chip and a tiny folding antenna at the end.
The second page of these e-passports will contain vital personal information as well as a digital security feature. This distinct digital security aspect includes a ‘digital signature’ unique to each country. Each country can authenticate this new system using its own certificates respectively.
The chip will contain the person’s biometric information as well as everything that is currently in the booklet. The Passport Service Program 2.0 (PSP) system has yet to be implemented. The new plan will be implemented in a phased manner in order to avoid the rush at the facilities for chipped passports. Passport centers are being also technologically improved for this purpose.
Advantage Of The New System
According to Ministry of External Affairs sources, advanced biometric technology for e-passports would be implemented at the airport. The facial picture would be saved in the passport and the live image during immigration will be matched in seconds in this case. If someone comes in impersonating, the system will catch him right away. At the moment, the old photo and the live image in the booklet passport frequently do not match.
Passport Testing Using A Foreign Chip Reader
The supplied passport booklet contained information that adhered to ICAO standards, and the data on the chip aligned with this information. Several nations provided chip readers for testing Indian e-passports. During testing, the chip should not just be read; it should also swiftly match the digital signature and display chip data clearly on the receiving computer. This process indicates the near completion of the technical test.
Currently, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) comprises 193 member countries. The organization has begun the process of developing standardized e-passports across these countries, with the goal of making digital passports of international quality the new immigration standard. The Indian passport has received an update to fulfill these requirements. The National Informatics Center of the Ministry of External Affairs will function as the technical partner in this endeavor, involving the ISP under a tripartite agreement.