March 23, 2017
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO.2412
TO BE ANSWERED ON 23.03.2017
LAUNCH OF CHIP ENABLED e-PASSPORTS
2412. SHRIMATI RENUKA CHOWDHURY:
Will the Minister of EXTERNAL AFFAIRS be pleased to state:
(a) whether Government proposes to launch chip enabled e-passports;
(b) if so, the details thereof along with the details of enhanced security features to be included therein; and
(c) the steps taken by Government to secure the data and curb the menace of fake passports?
THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
[GEN. (DR) V. K. SINGH (RETD)]
(a) & (b) Yes. The Government has plans to issue chip enabled e-passports to the citizens. The Government has given its approval for procurement of electronic contactless inlays for manufacturing of e-passports to India Security Press (ISP) Nasik. In this regard, ISP, Nasik, has been authorized 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 manufacture of e-passports. Manufacture of e-passport will commence on the successful completion of the tendering and procurement process by ISP, Nasik.
The personal particulars of the applicants would be digitally signed and stored in the chip. In case, anyone tampers with the chip, the system shall be able to identify it and resulting in the failure of the passport authentication. Access of information is protected in a way that the chip cannot be read without physical possession of the passport.
(c) The process of issuance of passports has been made foolproof under the Passport Seva system. Before granting any passport, in-person appearance is mandatory avoiding chances of impersonation. Background check is carried out from the entire Passport database for duplication and criminality status. Capture of Biometric data and photograph on the spot and matching of biometric data with Aadhar database (fully integrated since August 2015) also ensure issuance of the passport to the right person. Police Verification of personal particulars and antecedents of applicants including address, where required, is very critical for the issue of passports. All these measures and precautions available in the system have made the passport issuance process foolproof.
With the introduction of advanced security features in recent years, possibilities of issuance of fake Indian passports have been eliminated. However, forgery cases, whenever reported, are duly investigated by this Ministry in co-operation with the Ministry of Home Affairs and the concerned police authorities.
Source: Ministry of External Affairs