India: Chip-Enabled E-Passports

Practice Areas

By: Ajay Hasija

India’s External Affairs Minister shared plans last week to issue new e-passports to all citizens. The proposed e-passport will include a 64-kilobyte chip containing the citizen’s personal data, biometrics, digital signatures and their last 30 trips.

The newly included chip is expected to make it more difficult to produce fraudulent passports and would cause a passport to fail authentication if the chip has been tampered with. In addition to the security features, the slightly-thicker e-passport will also allow immigration counters to read the passport in seconds, saving time for immigration officials and travelers.

External Affairs Minister S Jainshankar said that the first of the 3-phase project will “bring in about 22 million” chip-inlayed e-passports. Manufacturing is expected to begin once the procurement process is completed by ISP-Nashik (India Security Press).