The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has issued guidelines for issue of Machine Readable Passports (MRPs) by April this year but there would be no ban on the travel of those holding hand-written passports till 2014.
Government stated this in the Lok Sabha while responding to a question by a member who asked whether travel on
hand-written passports would be banned after April 2010 in view of ICAO's guideline.
Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor said the MRPs were introduced in India in July 2000 and all the
passport offices and Indian missions and posts abroad issue such documents.
To another question, he said biometric passports have been introduced only in the diplomatic and official category in
The roll-out of biometric passports in ordinary category is under process, he said.