25 June:Government on Wednesday launched the ambitious ‘E-passports’ scheme with President Pratibha Patil receiving the first copy from External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee in New Delhi.
India has become one of the first developing country to introduce this system, which will be available to the general public in a year’s time.
While the E-passports launched on Wednesday are meant for the diplomats, it would be issued for the category of officials from next month and general people from September next year.
"Around 80 lakh e-passports would be issued by 2010," Mukherjee said.The new passports, would have an electronic chip containing all personal data and help reduce the procedure at immigration.
"It is compatible with international standards and identity cards and would protect against fraud and security breaches," Mukherjee said, adding it was easy to verify the authenticity of e-passports.
The new passports have been designed indigenously in India by the Central Passport Organisation, the India Security Press, Nasik and IIT, Kanpur."I call upon the central passport organisation to take steps to upgrade their resources according to international standards," Patil said.
"It will make the passport more secure," she added.A total of 41 countries have adopted e-passports and India is one of the first developing country to have this system, she said.Courtsey : DD NEWS