Government today launched the ambitious 'E-passports' scheme with President Pratibha Patil receiving the first copy from External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee here.
While the E-passports launched today are meant for the diplomats, it would be issued for the category of officials from next month and general people from September next year.
"Around 80 lakh e-passports would be issued by 2010," Mukherjee said.
The new passports would have an electronic chip containing all personal data and help reduce the procedure at immigration.
"It is compatible with international standards and identity cards and would protect against fraud and security breaches," Mukherjee said, adding it was easy to verify the authenticity of e-passports.
The new passports have been designed indigenously in India by the Central Passport Organisation, the India Security Press, Nasik and IIT, Kanpur.