Rahul on govt's passport plan: This demonstrates BJP's discriminatory mindset

Rahul on govt's passport plan: This demonstrates BJP's discriminatory mindset

Gandhi said the move shows that the government was treating India's migrant workers as "second class citizens". "This action demonstrates BJP's discriminatory mindset", Rahul Gandhi said in a tweet this morning.

While passports were considered to be one of the most authentic address proofs until now, this may not be the case soon if the Ministry of External Affairs has its way. The page now includes the name of the father or the legal guardian, the names of the holder's mother, spouse, and their address.

Even when the new series will be issued, all existing passports will remain valid till their expiry date.

"The decision to keep the last page of the passport blank was made to protect the citizens' details", Surendera Kumar, the undersecretary of policy and legal matters at the Consular, Passport and Visa Division of the ministry, told the newspaper.

Booklets with new orange jackets will be designed and printed at the Indian Security Press (ISP) in Nasik.

A new passport to be issued this year will contain a microchip which could store personal details including biometrics of the holder, the Immigration Department said.

The ministry is also considering a possible change in the colour scheme of passports.

According to the ministry, the decision to do away with this page was taken in view of concerns expressed by single parents and those with adopted children about the requirement of details of parents in the passport. According to Indian Express, MEA is considering keeping the last page of the passport, which now contains many details of the holder including the address, blank.

Passports are now issued in three colours - government officers are issued white passport, diplomats issued red passports and all others are blue. Even under the blue passports are two sections - those who require an emigration check (ECR) and those who do not (ECNR). While Indian passports come in a blue jacket, diplomatic and official passports carry white and red jackets, respectively.