Faced With Protests, Govt Cancels Plan For Orange Coloured Passports

| January 31 , 2018 , 08:17 IST

Faced with criticisms and protests, the government has cancelled plans for issuing passports with orange coloured jackets to those persons who have not passed their Class 10 examination. The government also announced that it will not be discontinuing the printing of the last page of passports, as it was considering earlier.

"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," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in a statement.

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Earlier, the government had announced the discontinuation of the printing of the last page of the passport which was used as address proof after petitions that the name of the father be removed from passports. In addition to removing the last page, the government had announced that an orange coloured back would be issued to ECR (Emigration Clearance Required) passport holders.

The ECR or 'Emigration Check Required' category is marked for applicants who haven't passed Class 10 and are travelling outside India for work to a group of 18 countries, and are required to get an 'Emigration clearance' certificate before leaving the nation.

The announcement of the orange passports earlier this month was met with criticism as the orange passports would promote discrimination.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi also slammed the colour coding of the passports, saying that the colour coding could lead to discrimination against poor and illiterate workers.

"Treating India's migrant workers like second-class citizens is completely unacceptable. This action demonstrates BJP’s discriminatory mindset," Rahul Gandhi had tweeted on January 14.

Currently, Indian passports are issued in 3 colours, white for government officers, red for diplomats and blue for all others.