The handwritten passport will not be accepted globally from November 25, 2015. The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has decided to do away with non-machine readable (or handwritten passports)
globally. After the deadline, no country will accept the handwritten passport.
Till 2001, India, which is also a part of ICAO, was issuing passports which were not only handwritten but also had a validity for 20 years, thus many of it are still in practice.
Any Indian citizen, whether residing in India or abroad who has such passport with validity beyond November 24, 2015 has to apply for re-issue of their passports.
While machine readable passport may not come as a surprise to many Indians, here are some little-known factoids you probably didn’t know about that little blue book:
There are three kinds of Indian Passport:
Type ‘P’ for “Personal”
Type ‘D’ for “Diplomatic”
Type ‘S’ for “Service or Official”
Standard passports have 36 pages, but you can also opt for a passport containing 60 pages.
India ranks 59th in the list of most powerful passports in the world.
An Indian passport holder can visit 58 countries and territories visa-free or with visa on arrival.
Since September 2007, India has had a new passport issuance system under the Passport Seva Project.
Under this project, currently there are 77 Passport Seva Kendras in the country where front-end activities of passport issuance, dispatch and online linking with police are done.
Every Indian passport contain a note (in English and Hindi) from the President of India addressing the authorities of all states, identifying the bearer as a citizen of the Republic of India.
The note from the president reads as:
These are to request and require in the Name of the President of the Republic of India all those whom it may concern to allow the bearer to pass freely without let or hindrance, and to afford him or her, every assistance and protection of which he or she may stand in need. By order of the President of the Republic of India इसके द्वारा, भारत गणराज्य के राष्ट्रपति के नाम पर, उन सब से जिनका इस बात से सरोकार हो, यह प्रार्थना एवं अपेक्षा की जाती है कि वे वाहक को बिना रोक-टोक, आज़ादी से आने-जाने दें, और उसे हर तरह की ऐसी सहायता और सुरक्षा प्रदान करें जिसकी उसे आवश्यकता हो । भारत गणराज्य के राष्ट्रपति के आदेश से दिया गया