E-passports to be rolled out from next year. What does it mean for students studying abroad?

The digital passports will function with the help of an embedded chip and are expected to facilitate smooth international travel
Pic: Edexlive
Pic: Edexlive

The Union Budget 2022-23 has announced the roll-out of digital passports or e-passports from the year 2023. "Issuance of e-passports with embedded chips and futuristic technology will be rolled out in 2022-23 to enhance the convenience for citizens in their overseas travel," said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her speech.

These digital passports will be equipped with advanced security features, said the Finance Minister. Supporting the push towards digitisation of citizen-based services, the government's initiative to add passports to its list of digitised documents comes as no surprise. 

By 2024, the number of Indians going abroad for higher education is expected to touch 1.8 million. Whether or not a digitised passport expedites the process of possessing that document remains to be seen. The digital passport is projected to facilitate smooth international travel and immigration, and the digitally signed personal details of the citizens are to be secured in the chip. 

The Finance Minister tabled the budget at 11 am on February 1. President Ram Nath Kovind kicked off the Budget Session of the Parliament on January 31, following which FM Sitharaman presented the Economic Survey.

Last year's budget was the first one to be presented amid the COVID-19 pandemic and extensive farmers' protest. Announcing the Economic Survey last year, she had pegged the GDP growth at 11 per cent in the Financial Year 2021-22. But the Indian economy has come close to the projection. Advance estimates suggest that the Indian economy is expected to witness a real GDP expansion of 9.2 per cent in 2021-22 after contracting in 2020-21, said the latest Economic Survey.

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