Machine Readable passports
Please refer to the attached circular below from the Ministry of External Affairs, which states that the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has set a deadline of the 24th November 2015 for globally phasing out all non-Machine Readable Passports (MRPs).
From 25th November 2015 onwards, foreign Governments may deny visa or entry to any person travelling with a non-MRP passport.
All handwritten passports with pasted photos earlier issued by Government of India are considered non-MRP passports. All 20-year validity passports will also fall in this category. The Government started issuing MRP passports since 2001. All new Indian passports are ICAO-compliant MRP passports.
Indian citizens residing in India and abroad and holding handwritten passports as well as 20-year passports with validity beyond the 24th November 2015, should, therefore, apply for re-issue of passports and obtain MRP passports well before the deadline in order to avoid any inconvenience in obtaining foreign visa or immigration problem.
I would say a good thing done. E-governance is always better than manual governance.
It would reduce the passport inspection time at ports.