Lotus emblem on passports: Staff unable to clarify reason
Kozhikode: The employees at the passport offices are confused over the emblem of lotus printed on the new passports brought for distribution. The lotus is printed inside a rectangle on the page where passport officer’s signature and seal are seen. The staff are unable to clarify people’s doubts regarding the emblem. The lotus emblem caused suspicion as it is the election symbol of the ruling party in the Centre.
In the old passports, the space below the second page that contained the signature of passport officer was empty. Now this page is printed with the lotus in the rectangle. Also, the separate columns for entering the name and address of the passport holder are removed in the new passports.
The passport booklets with new codes were first brought for distribution at Bengaluru passport office in south India. Distribution started in Kochi by November last week. Now, the new passports are used in all 36 passport offices in the country.
Part of security measures
Chief Passport Officer Arun Chatterjee said that the design of passport booklets was changed in order to ensure security and to find out fake passports. The lotus in rectangle is printed as a latent image on the second page. This can be seen clearly from the opposite side of the page. Apart from this, the word ‘India’ also is written in English.
The security codes have been introduced as part of the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s criteria. This is checked at airports, emigration and embassies in order to ensure that they are not fake. Apart from the lotus emblem and the word India, there are about 10 other codes in the passport. It should not be publicized, he said.
The emblem of lotus, which is the national flower, will be changed in the future. There is no other reason behind choosing the lotus. It need not be made a controversy, Arun Chatterjee added.