Passports may soon stop serving as valid proof of address in India, with the Ministry of Externala Affairs announcing that the last page will no longer be printed in the new passports issued.
The last page of the passport includes the father or legal guardian’s name, along with the names of the holder’s mother, spouse and their address.
Spokesperson for the foreign ministry, Raveesh Kumar, said that the decision was taken based on the recommendations of a three-member committee – comprising officials from the Ministry of External Affairs, and the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
He also said that the last page of the passport will be blank in the new version. The information will still be stored in the system of the Ministry, so it will not affect the government.
"As the last page of the passport would not be printed now, the passport holders with ECR (Emigration Check Required) status would be issued a passport with orange passport jacket and those with non-ECR status would continue to get a blue passport," he added.
According to a report published in Hindustan Times, Surendera Kumar, under-secretary of policy and legal matters at the Consular, Passport and Visa Division of the Ministry of External Affairs, told the newspaper that the decision to keep the last page blank was to protect the details of the passport-holder mentioned in the document. Surendra also said that the changes would be carried out when the next series of passports are printed.
Passports currently are issued in three colours. Government officers have a white passport, diplomats have issued red passports and all others are blue.
These changes will not affect people holding the old passports, which will continue to remain valid till they expire.
Raveesh also said that the Indian Security Press in Nasik will begin making the new passports soon. And till they are designed, manufactured and made available to the Ministry of External Affairs, the last page will continue to have all the details.