Indian Passport has got enhanced security features, to counter fake passport menace, says Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). Several national symbols have been selected to be imprinted on passports, to begin with, “Lotus” has been finalized for now. The Central Government says that other national symbols also shall be used in the future. International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), a United Nations’ specialized agency has approved the changes in Indian passport. Abiding by its aim to check the fake passport issue, MEA has said that a series of changes and upgrades shall be introduced in due course of time.
How has the Indian passport changed?
- The new Indian passport has got an imprint of India’s national flower “Lotus”. The MEA spokesperson Mr. Raveesh Kumar says that the Lotus symbol has been imprinted to enhance the security feature of Indian passports. This is one of the several steps taken to check fake passports.
- The earlier passport format had a space for signature and seal of the Passport officer on the second page, which has been changed and replaced by the Lotus symbol.
- No separate columns for name and address of passport holder.
- New codes are being included in the Indian passport, which was first issued in Kochi in November 2019.
- The new Passports are printed in Nashik, with better paper and print quality.
- The passport format has been upgraded by joint efforts of MEA, National Informatics Centre (NIC) and Indian Security Press (Nashik).
- E-Passports, which are biometrically equipped, are also being upgraded. Efforts are being made to automate scanning services at E-Passport gates, by including a chip in the E-Passports.