Beginning from 2021, if a citizen of India applies for a new passport or for re-issue of a passport, chances are he/she will receive an e-passport. This e-passport will be embedded with a microprocessor chip. After issuing 20,000 official and diplomatic e-passports, the government has begun the process of issuing e-passports for all citizens.

The process of selecting an agency that will set up the IT infrastructure and solution to implement the big project is under process. This new technique of issuing e-passports will make it difficult for forging of passports and help faster immigration for passengers. These e-passports will be matching the standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

The agency set up will have a dedicated unit for preparing personalized e-passports, will allow issuance of 10,000- 20,000 per hour. IT systems will be set up in Delhi and Chennai. All 36 passport offices in India will issue e-passports after the components of the personalized system are inducted in the existing issuance system.

The National Informatics Center, which is working in tandem with the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), has issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) on Wednesday to select an agency to set up an IT Infrastructure and solution for e-personalisation of passports.

“I am very confident that the introduction of e-passports will greatly strengthen the security of our travel documents. I understand that the procurement process for its production is currently underway and I would emphasize the need to hasten that as much as possible,” said Jaishankar, who is working with the Indian Security press, Nashik and the National Informatics center for chip-enabled e-passports with advanced security features. He added, “I emphasize that it is necessary to roll out the manufacture of e-passports on a priority basis.”

The e-passport system will be incorporated without disturbing the existing processes and there will be no significant increase in the time required to issue a passport. The IT system to be set as Data centers at Delhi and Chennai will handle the load.