The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) of India has recently announced to introduce a service under which ePassports will be issued to citizens applying for the first time or renewal of their old passport. It has joined hands with Tata Consultancy Services Limited (TCS) to facilitate the upcoming phase of the Passport Seva Programme which will be known as PSP-V2.0. An agreement between MEA and TCS was done in 2008 to digitalise and simplify the process which requires effort of multiple stakeholders.
While the TCS will ensure the smooth functioning by providing citizen friendly interface, technical support, establishing call centres, training and change arrangement, the government look into the sovereign and security matters in issuing passports.
- It is among various Mission Mode Projects (MMPs) of India which falls under the National e-Governance Plan that regulates electronic governance such as banking, land records or commercial taxes, etc.
- Lately, major development has been done to improve the previous version which was an e-government tool for delivering passport related services.
- The aim is to form a transparent, accessible and reliable digital platform administered by a trained team.
- It will develop a state-of-the-art digital ecosystem to amend current processes and connect other government departments that are involved in issuing of the passport.
- The new technological update will contain biometrics technology, Artificial Intelligence, Advanced Data Analytics, Chat-Bot, Auto-response, Natural Language Processing, Cloud Enablement etc.
- The key feature will be that it will issue the new generations passports known as e-passports.
- It will be comparatively more secure than traditional one and allow easy movement through immigration posts internationally.
- The new type of passport will have biographical and personal information pinned inside the chip.
- IIT Kanpur and National Informatics Centre have collaborated to develop this software.
- It will be designed and regulated according to the International Civil Aviation Organization standards. Thus, it will be difficult to destroy.