Passport Current Affairs - 2020

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Passport Renewal Reminder Services begun by Passport Seva Kendras

On January 28, 2020, the Ministry of External Affairs launched the Passport renewal reminder services. The Passport Seva Kendras operating under the Ministry of External Affairs will send SMS about the renewal

Highlights

The ministry is to send two Reminder messages, one before 9 months and another before 7 months. Along with the reminder message, the passport holders will also be informed about the authenticate website of the Ministry which is www.passportindia.gov.in.

Indian Passport

The Indian Passport is issued by the Ministry of External Affairs. The passport serves as a proof of Indian Citizenship under Passports Act, 1967. Around 65 million Indians hold passports as of the end of 2015. In 2015, India issued around 12 million new passports. This number has so far been exceeded only by US and China.

Types of Passports

There are three types of passports as follows

  • Ordinary passport-It is dark blue in colour. It is issued to citizens travelling for vacation, business trips and study.
  • Official Passport-It is white in colour. It is issued to individuals representing Government of India
  • Diplomatic Passport-It is maroon in colour. IT is issued only to top government officials and diplomatic couriers

Recently, India has ranked 84th in Henley’s Passport Index.

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Henley Passport Index launched

Recently, Henley Passport Index was launched. The index was launched based on the data collected from International Air Transport Association (IATA). Around 199 different passports and 227 different travel destinations were considered to launch the index.

The Index is based on the number of destinations their holders can access without visa.

Highlights

According to the index, Japan has the world’s strongest passport. Japan has been holding top rank position for the past 3 years. According to 2020 index, the citizens can access 191 destinations without the necessity of obtaining visa in advance.

Japan was followed by Singapore, Germany, South Korea at second, third and fourth places respectively. US and UK have been falling places for two year are now in eighth position.

India ranked closer to the bottom at rank 84.

History of performances

UAE was the historic performer of Henley Passport Index 2020. UAE has jumped 47 places in the past 10 years. It is currently at 47th position.

India was in Rank 71 as the index was released in 2006. Today Indian citizens can access only 60 destinations in the world without obtaining prior Visa.

Visa Free Destinations

There are 58 destinations in the world that does not require prior Visa. 20 of the 58 are in Africa, 11 in Asia.

There is no developed country or a major power in the world where Indians can travel without Visa. Serbia is the only European country where Indians are allowed to travel without visa.

What is Passport Index?

Passport index is an online tool that provides insights about visa-free travel option. The score also says how welcoming the countries are. The Passport index includes Visa-Frees score, World Openness score, Welcoming score and Global Mobility score. When these scores are high, passport index is also high and such a passport is said to be highly powerful.

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