The government on Thursday, said that it is planning to roll out e-passports with advanced security features such as Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chip.
Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan, said in Rajya Sabha that the personal particulars of an applicant would be digitally stored in the chip that would be embedded in the passport booklet.
The government is expected to roll out e-passports this year. He said in a written reply to a question on e-passports that, "The ministry is planning to issue chip-enabled e-passports to citizens with advanced security features. The e-passport features contactless smart card technology, including an embedded Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chip embedded in the front or back cover or page of the passport."
He said the "chip characteristics" are in line with guidelines of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) - a specialised agency of the UN defining standards for travel documents. The minister said, "The personal particulars of the applicants would be digitally stored in the chip, which would be embedded in the physical passport booklet."
"In case, anyone tampers with the chip, the system shall be able to identify it, resulting in the failure of the passport authentication," he added. He said that in addition to providing protection against fraudulent practices and tampering, e-passports will also help in upgrading existing passports and services to the citizens.
He said that 93 passport seva kendras
and 428 post office passport seva kendras
are operational in the country at present.