NEW DELHI: The Modi government has decided to reverse two ill-conceived passport decisions. In a statement on Tuesday, the ministry of external affairs spokesperson said the government would not issue orange-coloured passports to Indian nationals who needed an emigration clearance certificate. It has also decided not to discontinue printing the last page of the passport, which is used as a valid proof of address.
A few weeks ago, MEA and the ministry of women and child development (WCD) decided that Indians who had not cleared their class 10 exams and needed an emigration clearance check would be issued orange coloured passports, which was instantly criticised as being blatantly discriminatory to certain Indians.
Passports currently are issued in three colours. Government officers have a white passport, diplomats are issued red passports and all other passports are blue. After drawing a lot of flak, the MEA announced on Tuesday it was reversing the decision. The last page of a passport contains the personal particulars of the holder, and is generally regarded as the only identity and address proof of a person that is verified by the police, and thereby more secure.
“After comprehensive discussions with the various stakeholders, the foreign ministry 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,” MEA spokeperson Raveesh Kumar said in a statement.