Govt changes its mind on orange passports, removing last page with address proof | Hindustan Times
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Govt changes its mind on orange passports, removing last page with address proof

Owing to protest and concerns from various quarters, the government has reversed its decision to make changes to the passports, the ministry of external affairs (MEA) said

india Updated: Jan 31, 2018 07:18 IST
HT Correspondent
Experts and campaigners argued the plan to introduce orange-colored passport jackets for some migrant workers was discriminatory and could increase the vulnerability of workers often duped by middlemen who promise them jobs.
Experts and campaigners argued the plan to introduce orange-colored passport jackets for some migrant workers was discriminatory and could increase the vulnerability of workers often duped by middlemen who promise them jobs.

Your passports will retain the last the page with your address and other personal details. Yes, they can be used as address proof. And, they won’t sport orange jackets.

Owing to protest and concerns from various quarters, the government has reversed its decision to revamp passports, the ministry of external affairs (MEA) said in a release on Tuesday.

“After comprehensive discussions with the various stakeholders, the MEA has decided to continue with the current practice of printing of the last page of the passport and not to issue a separate passport with orange colour jacket to ECR (emigration check required ) passport holders,” the ministry said in the release.

Opinion | Issuing coloured passports is cruel and discriminatory

A decision was taken by the ministry on the recommendations of a three-member committee comprising officials of the MEA and the Ministry of Women and Child Development, not to print the last page of the passport booklet. The MEA had decided to issue a passport with an orange jacket to holders with emigration check required (ECR) status, with a view to help and assist them on a priority basis. ECR status is issued to citizens who have not passed 10th standard and such passport holders have to take clearance from the immigration office while travelling abroad for work.

The ministry had received several individual and collective representations requesting it to reconsider these two decisions.

“The decision of the MEA on both these issues was reviewed in the light of these representations”, said the release.

Without the last page, the practice of using the passport as an address proof would have stopped. The decision to have an orange jacket, critics said, would discriminate against citizens on the basis of educational qualifications.