A Correspondent

Emigration work is set to be streamlined

Information on passports issued anywhere in the country through computer networkQuestion Document Examiner for verification of suspected counterfeit passports Iris scanners and retina finger printers for keeping records through analysis of biological features

NEDUMBASSERY: Emigration work at the Cochin International Airport here is set to be streamlined and upgraded in keeping with international standards with arrangements being made for the induction of advanced technological gadgets.

Besides this, information about passports issued anywhere in the country would be made accessible to the emigration officials here in the near future through an extensive computer network.

On Wednesday, Emigration SP K. Sadasivan will formally inaugurate the process of technological evolution meant through the induction of these new equipment.

Biometrical devices, like iris scanners and retina finger printers, used for keeping records through statistical analysis of biological observations and phenomena, especially based on the features of retina which are supposed to be unique for each individual, would be introduced in the coming weeks. Passport reading machines meant for machine-readable passports will also be made available. The details of the passport holder could be verified by swiping the codified entry given at the bottom of one of the passport pages against the machine. This is expected to enhance the efficiency of the verification process besides saving time. Twelve such machines have been brought in for the service.

Another device is the Question Document Examiner, which will be used for verification in case of suspected counterfeit passports. The device will effectively disclose any tampering with the passport by passing infrared and ultra-violet rays through it. Two Question Document Examiners will now be available for the emigration work here.

Training required for handling these equipment will be imparted to the emigration officials in the coming days.

Besides this, an extensive computer network has been put in place making available information on passports issued from any passport office in the country by the mere entry of the passport number. This facility virtually bringing information at fingertips would be soon activated.

Currently, 23 emigration counters at the arrival side and 12 at the departure side are operational at the airport. The total staff strength of the emigration wing comes to around 80, headed by a Superintendent.