Old passports to continue

Nayanima Basu New Delhi | Updated on January 31, 2018

Not to issue a separate passport with orange colour jacket to ECR passport holders

Following a severe backlash, the government has decided that it will continue with the old format of passports in which the last page bearing name of father of the passport holder will be printed even as the idea to have orange colour jacket to ECR passport holders has been done away with.

The decision was taken at a meeting held on Monday by Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj and VK Singh, Minister of State for External Affairs.

“After comprehensive discussions with the various stakeholders, the MEA has decided to continue with the current practice of printing of the last page of the passport and not to issue a separate passport with orange colour jacket to ECR passport holders,” Raveesh Kumar, Spokesperson, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Wednesday.

Earlier this month, a three-member Committee comprising of the officials of the MEA and the Ministry of Women and Child Development was constituted to examine various issues pertaining to passport applications such as name of the father for children with single parent or what to write in the case of adopted children.

The committee had recommended doing away with the last page of the passport where the father’s name and address were mandatory. And it was also decided that since 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.

All these recommendations were adopted by the MEA. The centre had also decided that the Indian Security Press (ISP), Nasik, would be designing the new passport booklets in due course.

This triggered massive protests from opposition parties and various state governments. On Monday the Kerala High Court questioned the government’s decision. Hearing a public interest writ petition, the court observed that orange coloured passports would lead to segregation for those who have not passed Class 10 examination.  

Published on January 30, 2018

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