New Delhi, June 25 : President Pratibha Patil today launched the E-passports scheme in the country.
Speaking on the occasion, Patil said E-passports will make the Indian passport more secure and less open to fraudulent misuse and tampering.
"It will also make it easier for the Indian citizens to cross border control points with E-passports reading facilities," Patil added.
The President said with India's rising international profile and growing global linkages, travel from India has become far more frequent. The passport issuance is an area where the government has to constantly balance the needs of security with making passports and travel facilities easier for the people.
External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said the government would issue E- passports to the diplomatic category at present and to other officials from next month.
"The government is planning to issue E-passports to the citizens from September 2010," Mukherjee added.
He also presented an E-passport to Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh.
The E-passport, also called biometric passports, will carry a chip that will have personal information, including fingerprints and facial imprint of the holder
The step is aimed at curbing the misuse of a passport, including through impersonation and make immigration process easier.