After the highly acclaimed launch of the Nagarik App, Nepal’s government is gearing up for further digital reinforcements. Now the government is setting up infrastructure to issue e-Passport soon in Nepal. This type of ePassport would bring convenience to Nepalese from having to stay in a long queue for verification.
Passport Department under Foreign Ministry wants to materialize the plan within the fiscal year 2077/78. Currently, the government is issuing a machine-readable passport. However, it is still not well equipped to meet the desired standards. Talking about the issue, Rajendra Pandey, the director of the Passport Department told that “e-Passport would displace the existing MRP altogether and render passports more reliable with dual ID verifications; electronic chip and biometric data consisting of fingerprints of a citizen.”
To spearhead the initiative, the foreign ministry has already set up a contract agreement and according to it, the design for the e-Passport configurations would be presented before the council of ministers and get the green signal. After This, the passport department will import machinery for printing the documents.
The government has reached an agreement with the French company IDEMIA Identity and Security France SAS which will be responsible to print 2 million copies of passports at the expense of around NRs. 3 Billion.
After obtaining the e-Passport Nepalese travelers would receive international standards of services. Many airports in the world have electronic ID verification setups. Those would verify the identity of the travelers by just scanning the face of the e-Passport holders.
Currently, those carrying an MRP passport would have to wait in a queue to get them verified manually at the counters that take minutes. As mentioned already, an e-Passport verification will complete in a few minutes and it will be time-saving for everyone involved at the counters too.
What is an e-Passport?
Also known as a biometric or electronic passport, an e-Passport comes embedded with an electronic chip that carries the same information which is printed on the passport itself but in digital form. the chip on it saves all the data of the individual so that they could be read by machines and help travelers for a comfortable procedure before they board their flight.
How is an ePassport different from MRP?
Most of the countries in the world implement MRPs. They bear information of the individuals on the ID page and it is scanned optically.
However, an electronic passport has a higher advantage with biometric data (fingerprints) and a chip containing the ID details of a person. Being digital it also comes with added securities which adds more value to it.
After receiving their e-Passport, travelers’ procedure would be hassle-free and improve their airport experience.
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Which Countries are Using e-Passport?
Not all countries use electronic passports. But the number is increasing. Currently, there are around 120 countries including the US, UK, and Germany using e-Passport. As this type of passport brings more security and improves data reading at the airports to save time for the passengers more countries will be coming aboard soon.
What do you think about ePassport? Do you think the government should have introduced it earlier? or do you expect it to suffer the same fate as MRP with delays and quality issues like MRP in its initial days? Do leave your valuable opinions in the comment section below.