The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has come up with a new set of rules for passports in India for the year 2018. The major changes have already been implemented while the new rules that are yet to come into effect have been elaborated below. The new passport rules are said to come into effect from June 2018.
Here is the list of proposed changes for passports in 2018:
1. The last page of the Passport will no longer have the applicant’s residential address
The latest update stated that the MEA is considering to exclude the residential information of the applicant on the last page of the passport. The residential details will be stored in the government database but will no longer be present on the passport.
All passports that have been issued since 2012 contain a barcode, which when scanned provides all the information. This measure is taken to ensure that more than the required information is not revealed. However, existing passports will remain the same until the expiry date.
2. Name of the parent will no longer be printed
According to the new rules, the parent’s name will also be excluded from being printed on the last page of the passport. The ministry has been analysing submissions that in cases of “names of estranged mother/father” and “kids of single parents” need not be printed on the passport.
3. Orange colour passports may be introduced
Currently Indian passports are issued in three colours:
Red- for diplomats
White- for government officials
Blue- for citizens of two categories i.e. ECR (Emigration Check Required) and ECNR (Emigration Check Not Required)
Instead of the blue passports for citizens in the ECR category, passports for this category may be issued in orange colour to make it easier during immigration checks.
4. Physical police verification might be replaced with online verification
The MEA will collaborate with the CCTNS (Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems Project) and will replace the traditional physical police verification with online verification. This measure is suggested to reduce the time taken to process passports.
The former process to get a passport took very long. Over the past few years, the government shortened the process by taking part of the process online with the introduction of online forms and online registration of documents. The current procedure will be cut-short further if online verification is introduced.