Indian Passport More Secure With 'Lotus' Upgrade: External Affairs Ministry On Controversy
India’s national flower – Lotus is now being printed on Indian Passport to catch hold of fake passports. Passports with lotus symbol were being issued since last month.
The Ministry of External Affairs on December 12 clarified that the lotus symbol was printed on Indian passports as a part of new security measures. The ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar, during his weekly media briefing, said, “Lotus is our national flower and is part of the enhanced security features to identify fake passports.” He also said that other national symbols will also be printed on the passport.
He said, “Right now, it is lotus, and then next month there will be something else.” Symbols like a national flower or national animal will be used Kumar concluded. The lotus is also the party symbol of the ruling party Bharatiya Janata Party.
The matter was brought up in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday by Opposition members. Congress MP MK Raghavan had said using the lotus symbol on Indian passports was “further saffronisation” by the government.
Kumar said the new security features were introduced as part of International Civil Aviation Organisation guidelines.
According to the Henley Passport Index, which measures the strength of passports of all nations on the basis of the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa, India was ranked 86th spot for 2019. Indian passport holders can travel to 58 destinations across the world either visa-free, after obtaining a visa on arrival or with an electronic visa.