UNSTARRED QUESTION NO-2141
2141. DR. KANIMOZHI NVN SOMU
Will the Minister of EXTERNAL AFFAIRS be pleased to state:
(a) the details of Passport Seva Kendras (PSKs) opened during the last three years and the current year, State-wise including Tamil Nadu;
(b) the details of funds sanctioned, allocated and utilized, State-wise including Tamil Nadu;
(c) whether Government is planning to make some changes in the passports currently being issued;
(d) if so, the details thereof and if not, the reasons therefor; and
(e) the time by which it is likely to be implemented?
THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
(SHRI V. MURALEEDHARAN)
(a) 174 Post Office Passport Seva Kendras (POPSKs) were opened across India including 19 in Tamil Nadu. The details are attached at Annexure-I.
(b) Expenditure for PSKs and POPSKs is met from the budget of Ministry of External Affairs directly without any earmarking of funds separately for particular States, including Tamil Nadu.
(c) to (e): The Government is planning to issue e-Passports to its citizens, starting in 2022-23. This will be a combined paper and electronic passport, with an embedded Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chip and antenna embedded as an inlay in the back cover. The passport’s critical information will be printed on its data page as well as stored in the chip. The characteristics of the document and the chip are specified in International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) document 9303. For the objective of issuing e-passport, the Ministry has entrusted National Informatics Centre (NIC) with the technical responsibilities. The e-Passport booklets will be produced by the India Security Press, Nashik. Sample e-Passports have been tested and the full-scale manufacture and issue will commence with the completion of the technical eco-system and infrastructure. The said facility would be made available in phases at all Passport Offices across India.