Wednesday, 23 May, 2018

Change in passport's colour reflects BJP's discriminatory mindset: Congress president Rahul Gandhi

Passports may no longer be valid proof of address Change in passport's colour reflects BJP's discriminatory mindset: Congress president Rahul Gandhi
Theresa Hayes | 14 January, 2018, 16:41

"Treating India's migrant workers like second class citizens is completely unacceptable. This action demonstrates BJP's discriminatory mindset", Rahul Gandhi said in a tweet this morning.

There was, however, no word from the ministry on whether the passport would cease to be a valid document for proof of address for official purposes as a result of the move to do away with the personal details page.

The foreign ministry has announced the news last week.

The last page that has the address of the passport holder on it also mentions status of ECR or ECNR on the very same page.

As per the new design of the passport, the last page would be blank; and this means, the address won't be present there.

The last page of the passport, which would be discontinued, contains information such the name of the passport holder's father, mother, spouse, address, Emigration Check Required (ECR) and old passport number with date and place of issue. The decision has been taken by the government in order to lessen the information on the passport.

A MEA representative did not react to an email looking for input but rather Surendera Kumar, under-secretary of approach and lawful issues at the consular, travel permit and visa division of the service, affirmed that the change could happen when the "next series" of identifications is being issued.

Media reports also claimed that the ministry is also considering to change the colours of the passports.

Govt. officials have a white passport, and diplomats have red passports, and this colour combination won't change.

Those who need emigration check (ECR) in the passports will now have an orange coloured passport; right now, ECR required passport was blue, along with those which don't require ECR.

Passport applicants who have not passed Class 10 are given passports with the ECR category, which means if they want to travel overseas for work to a group of 18 countries they are first required to obtain an "Emigration clearance" certificate before they can leave India.