The Indian government will start to issue e-passports embedded with electronic chip from next year. As per the report, if you apply for a new passport or a re-issue of one in the year 2021, you could get an e-passport.
This will help in making passports difficult to forge and will allow quicker migration for international passengers. Presently, passports are issued to citizens which are personalised and printed on booklets like other countries. A dedicated unit will be set up by the agency for preparing personalised e-passports.
The process will issue 10,000 to 20,000 e-passports per hour and IT systems will be set up in Delhi and Chennai to carry out the load. The National Informatics Centre, which is working with the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) for the project has sent a Request for Proposal (RFP) on Wednesday for selection of an agency for setting up an IT infrastructure. According to the RFP,
It will require a completely dedicated set-up and processes for e-passport document issuance. The e-passport has international ramifications because of its usage as credible identity document issued by any sovereign country, it is absolutely necessary to keep track of any security and quality issues.
Previously 20,000 official diplomatic e-passports were issued on a trial basis with such chips. These e-passports were earlier issued only from CPV Division at MEA headquarters for diplomatic and official passports. The government has now decided to begin the same process for issuance of e-passports for all Indian citizens.
The government is in the process of selecting an agency that will set up the IT infrastructure and solution to carry out the nationwide project. If this proposal goes through, all 36 passport offices in the country will issue e-passports once the components of the e-passport personalisation system are included in the present issuance system.