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E-Passport for Indians

E-Passport for Indians

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  • GS2 || International Relations || Indian Foreign Policy || Indian Diaspora

Why in news?

  • Speaking about the welfare of overseas Indians at the inauguration of the 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas here, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said passport and visa rules have been simplified and e-visa has made it much easier for them to travel.

What is e-passport

  • A biometric passport (also known as an e-passport, ePassport, or a digital passport) is a traditional passport that has an embedded electronic microprocessor chip which contains biometric information that can be used to authenticate the identity of the passport holder.
  • The chip holds the same information that is printed on the passport’s data page: the holder’s name, date of birth, and other biographic information. In some countries, including Germany, ePassports include two fingerprints as well.

Why e-passport

  • ePassports are designed to increase security, making it more difficult to change data recorded on a passport and therefore limiting the chance of fraud.
  • In addition, all e-Passports issued by Visa Waiver Program countries and the United States have security features to prevent the unauthorized reading or “skimming” of data stored on the e-Passport chip.
  • Currently, 96 countries are issuing e-passports and this number will only increase.

About india’s passport

  • According to the Henley Passport Index, which periodically measures the access each country’s travel document affords, India jumped two positions from 81st in 2018 to 79th this year.
  • Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nepal ranked further low at 104, 102 and 94 respectively.
  • Japan retained its top spot as the world’s most travel-friendly passport

About the 15th pravasi bharatiya divas

  • Its theme will be “Role of Indian Diaspora in building a New India”
  • Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is celebrated every year in India on 9 January.
  • The day also commemorates return of father of nation Mahatma Gandhi from South Africa in Mumbai (then Bombay) on January 9, 1915.
  • The day is celebrated to mark contribution of overseas Indian community to the development of India.
  • Prime Minister of Mauritius, Pravind Jugnauth will be the chief guest.

Additional information – Types of Passports currently issued :

  • Following are the different types of passports issued to different categories of people:
  • Official Passport–It has a jacket of white colour and issued to government officials.
  • Diplomatic Passport-It has a jacket of maroon colour and is issued to Indian diplomats and top rank officials (joint secretary and above).
  • Regular Passport-Barring above two categories all Indian citizens are issued navy blue passports. The blue passport has two categories – one that requires emigration check and one that does not.