MEA does a U-turn on passport revamp
NEW DELHI: Your passports will retain the last page with your address and other personal details. Yes, they can be used as address proof. And, they won’t sport orange jackets.
Owing to protests and concerns from various quarters, the government has reversed its decision to revamp passports, the ministry of external affairs (MEA) said in a release on Tuesday.
“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 (emigration check required ) passport holders,” the ministry said in the release.
A decision was taken by the ministry on the recommendations of a three-member committee comprising officials of the MEA and the ministry of women and child development, not to print the last page of the passport booklet. The MEA had decided to issue a passport with an orange jacket to holders with emigration check required (ECR) status, with a view to help and assist them on a priority basis. ECR status is issued to
citizens who have not passed Class 10 and such passport holders have to take clearance from the immigration office while travelling abroad for work.
The ministry had received several individual and collective representations requesting it to reconsider the two decisions.
“The decision of MEA on both these issues was reviewed in the light of these representations,” said the release.
Without the last page, the practice of using the passport as an address proof would have stopped. The decision to have an orange jacket, critics said, would discriminate against citizens on the basis of educational qualifications.