The Consular, Passport and Visa Division of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) – the issuer of Indian passports – has said that it will soon issue newer passports that will not feature the last page with the holder’s address on it, reports Mint. This move would also effectively remove the passport’s status as a proof of address.
MEA spokesman Raveesh Kumar yesterday (12 January) said that the decision follows the recommendations of a three-member committee comprising of officials from the MEA and the Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD).
Kumar said that the committee looked at matters relating to “various issues pertaining to passport applications where mother/child had insisted that the name of the father should not be mentioned in the passport and also relating to passport issues to children with single parent and to adopted children”.
One of the recommendations of the Committee was that the ministry of external affairs should explore the possibility of doing away with the printing of information contained in the Passport Booklet such as names of father/legal guardian, mother, spouse, and address contained in the last page of the passport.MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar
The MEA made the changes after examining the committees recommendations as well as the guidelines on machine-related travel documents issued by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
Passports in several countries don’t list the holder’s address anywhere on the document. The United States passport in fact has a page with blank fields for the holder to enter their address and emergency contact details and asks them to regularly update the page in pencil.
The new passport will be issued in three variants– red diplomatic passports, white for government officials and the regular blue civilian passport. The regular passport too would be in two colours - blue for those who don’t require emigration checks and orange for those who require them.
Existing passports will remain valid till their expiry. The Indian Security Press in Nashik will prepare the new design for the MEA’s approval following which it would officially be issued to applicants.