India to Launch Biometric Passports by 2013
The Regional Passport Office (RPO) in Bangalore started accepting manual application of passports at its Koramangala office on July.
“Beginning with the Passport Mela scheduled on June 30 and July 1, the applicants for passport can directly approach the counters at RPO and the passports issued at RPO will have all security precautions, though the applications are accepted manually,” disclosed by a spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
Starting 2013, the Ministry will begin to incorporate the use of biometrics in passports as required in most countries abroad.
“The passports with biometrics will be introduced from next year and the ministry is trying to install required technical back up by then. For the present, the passports will not have biometrics as per international standards,” the spokesperson added.
The Ministry of External Affairs together with various branch employee representatives of RPO has concluded and considered on imposing a seven-working day schedule for RPO in order to accommodate the overwhelming number of pending passport applications in RPOs across the country.
“We have convinced the employees of RPOs about the fatigue factor they had to face because of the long working hours, that include the week-end holidays.” said a spokesperson of MEA. “Once we stabilize the pending numbers of passport applications through the exercise we will revert back to five-days a week schedule. We hope that the pending applications can be cleared by July 7 and July 8, the last two days for Passport Mela,” he added.