Some international organisations do not recognise Indian passport as valid identification document for ‘they are not secure enough and can be manipulated’, a US-based Indian citizen has just found.
Suniti Sanghavi is a scientist with a jet propulsion laboratory in California. Suniti says she wanted to use her Indian passport to open an online bank account in Germany.
“Turns out, I can’t do it as an Indian citizen because Indian passports are not secure enough and can be easily manipulated by potential fraudsters. Not Pakistan, not Bangladesh, just India,” says Suniti, who has been living overseas for over 20 years.
Suniti Sanghavi is leaving for a sabbatical year in Germany with her German husband and needs a German bank account. So she used an online tool, Web-Id, to carry out an online legitimation.
She explains, “This process could be initiated from our home in the US so that we can already make a security deposit for our apartment there and things like that. Today I was supposed to carry out an online legitimation for this purpose using my passport as the only permissible ID.”
However, Suniti says she could not do it because her Indian passport is “not secure enough.”
Suniti says the bank official checking her identity documents told her that Indian passport was not considered safe. She told NRI Affairs, “The person at the other end said that they did not recognise Indian passport as valid identification because it is so easy to fake.”
“Why are we so cheap that we can’t even manage to use the basic state-of-the-art for a document as important as our passport? I’ll now have to be listed as a dependent on my German husband’s bank account before I can get an account of my own in Germany. What would have been my option if I was single or had an Indian spouse,” asks a frustrated Suniti.
In 2019, India had added enhanced new safety features to the make the passport more safe. National flower `Lotus’, among other national symbols, is now being printed on the passport as an effort to identify fake passports.
Indian passport ranks 85th on the Henley and Partners Passport Index of 2021 with a score of 58, which means Indian passport holders can visit 58 countries without a prior visa.
India shares the rank with Tajikistan. Japan’s is the most powerful passport with a rank of 193.
World’s 10 most powerful passports:
- Japan: 191
- Singapore: 190
- Germany, South Korea: 189
- Finland, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain: 188
- Austria, Denmark: 187
- France, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden: 186
- Belgium, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States: 185
- Australia, Czech Republic, Greece, Malta: 184
- Canada: 183
- Hungary: 182