Govt working on e-passports: Jaishankar

Govt working on e-passports: Jaishankar

To a supplementary question, Jaishankar said the ministry was in the "last stages of the tender", which has two components -- international and domestic. (RSTV/PTI Photo)

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday said the government was working on the introduction of e-passports and aims to issue 22 million in the first phase.

The Ministry has plans to issue chip-enabled e-passports to citizens with advanced security features.

Replying to supplementaries during question hour in the Rajya Sabha, the minister said the personal particulars of the applicants would be digitally signed and stored in the chip which would be embedded in the present form of physical passport booklet.

In case anyone tampers with the chip, the system would be able to identify it resulting in the failure of the passport authentication.

To a supplementary question, Jaishankar said the ministry was in the "last stages of the tender", which has two components -- international and domestic.

"In the first phase we want to bring in about 22 million inlays electronic passports," he added.

The government has given its approval for procurement of electronic contactless inlays for manufacturing of e-passports to India Security Press (ISP) Nashik.

In this regard, ISP, Nashik has been authorised to float a global three-stage tender for procurement of International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)-compliant electronic contactless inlays along with its operating system, which is required for the manufacture of e-passports.

Manufacture of e-passport will commence on the successful completion of the tendering and procurement process by ISP, Nashik.