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E-passports to replace booklets by '13

That blue document will soon be a thing of the past as the Govt is going to introduce a new system.What do you think should be the alternative?

india Updated: Feb 11, 2006 03:42 IST

E-passports, which could be the size of an ATM card, would replace present day passports by 2013, Minister of State for External Affairs E Ahmed said in Thiruvananthapuram on Friday.

"We have already begun work for this and we expect that by 2013 every passport holder would have an e-passport. This is part of an international agreement. With this, the entire problem of fake passports would be solved," the minister said while inaugurating new facilities at the passport office in Thiruvananthapuram.

He added that a decision was yet to be made on whether to issue e-passports in phases or at one go.

Officials in Thiruvananthapuram said the e-passports could be as small as an ATM card with a chip on it instead of the far bulkier booklet.

Ahamed inaugurated three new facilities at the passport office in Thiruvananthapuram -- a touch screen passport information kiosk, an electronically controlled token and queue management system and an automated telephone inquiry system in three languages.

The passport office issued a record 132,000 passports in 2005.

First Published: Feb 10, 2006 17:53 IST