After reports began circulating about the Ministry of External Affairs pondering over removing the residential address page from the Indian passports and changing its colour from blue, the Ministry cleared the air on Friday issuing a statement. There were further reports that after the new passport will come into effect, it will not serve as an address proof anymore. The MEA spokesperson said, “A three-member Committee comprising of the officials of the Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Women and Child Development was constituted to examine various issues pertaining to passport applications where mother/child had insisted that the name of the father should not be mentioned in the passport and also relating to passport issues to children with single parent and to adopted children.”
The official spokesperson further stated, “The Report of the Committee had been accepted by the Ministry. One of the recommendations of the Committee was that the Ministry of External Affairs should explore the possibility of doing away with the printing of information contained in the Passport Booklet such as names of father/legal guardian, mother, spouse, and address contained in the last page of the passport.
The Ministry has examined the recommendation of the Committee in consultation with the various stakeholders, examined the guidelines of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) regarding Machine Readable Travel Documents and decided that the last page of the passport and other travel documents issued under the Passports Act, 1967 and Passport Rules, 1980 would no longer be printed. The last page contains information such the name of the Father, Mother, Spouse, Address, Emigration Check Required (ECR) and old passport number with date and place of issue of the holder of the passport.”
“As the last page of the passport would not be printed now, the passport holders with ECR status would be issued a passport with orange colour passport jacket and those with non-ECR status would continue to get a blue passport. The Indian Security Press (ISP), Nasik, would be designing the new passport booklets in due course. Till such time the new passport booklets are designed, manufactured and made available to the Ministry by ISP, Nashik, the passports and other travel documents would continue to be printed with the last page. The existing passports would continue to remain valid till the date of expiry printed in the passport booklet,” the spokesperson added.