Indian e-passport would look like an ordinary passport with an embedded electronic chip. The chip would contain the photograph, fingerprint and personal information of the holder so that the passport could not be duplicated. An e-passport is machine-readable, enabling quick processing at airports. The passport comes with a built-in security (biometric) feature, which comprises an integrated circuit (IC) embedded in the back cover that stores the data, including photo. These also make the passport tamper-proof. In ordinary passports, this data is typically displayed on the photo page.
Already, 35 countries have shifted to the e-passport system, and more countries are queuing up. The biometric passport is an offshoot of the 9/11/01 attacks in the
With almost 500 million passports in circulation and the cost of a single e-passport ranging between $8 and $15, it has opened up a huge market for information technology (IT) firms. Ashok Chandak, director, NXP Semiconductor India, is bullish about his company’s future. “We command market leadership in supplying ICs for e-passports. Around 85 percent of the developed countries adopting the electronic format are using NXP chips and identification systems,” says Chandak.
Gemini Traze RFID India is also looking forward to cashing in on the e-passport market. Pradhyumna Venkat, the company’s chief executive officer, has recently stated that his company has been talking to a few countries who are in the deployment stage of e-passports. Most of these are in
M. Vidyasagar, executive vice-president and head, Advanced Technology Centre of TCS in