New Delhi [India]: The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has initiated discussions with the ‘India Security Press’ regarding a project for issuing chip-enabled e-passports in the future, said External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Monday.
Speaking at the seventh Passport Seva Divas held here, Jaishankar said that the Ministry has also proposed the manufacture of e-passports on priority so that a new passport booklet with advanced security features could be rolled out in the near future.
“The Ministry has initiated discussions with the India Security Press regarding the project for issue of chip-enabled e-passports to the citizens,” said Jaishankar.
“We propose to pursue the manufacture of e-passports on priority so that a new passport booklet with advanced security features can be rolled out in the near future,” he added.
The External Affairs Minister noted that the MEA issues an average of one crore passport every year after it underwent a “passport revolution” owing to the various initiatives taken to bring about a visible change in the delivery mechanism of passport services to citizens both within the country and abroad.
“The last five years of passport services delivered by the Ministry, in the words of my illustrious predecessor External Affairs Minister Smt. Sushma Swaraj ji, indeed constituted a “Passport Revolution,” said Jaishankar.
“Under the leadership of Prime Minister, various initiatives that this Ministry took in bringing about a visible change in the delivery mechanism of passport services to our citizens both within the country and abroad,” he added.
Jaishankar added that the Ministry would continue its work on the further simplification of the rules and process for issuing passports without compromising the legitimate security concerns.
“Issue of passports would definitely remain a core area for us. As we move ahead, our focus would continue to remain on proactive outreach and further simplification of the rules and processes for issuing passport without compromising the legitimate security concerns,” the External Affairs Minister said.
To this end, we should make optimal use of the technology available with us and the tools provided by the Government’s initiative under “Digital India,” he added.