Nepal, Machine Readable Passport & the Technical Details

The latest political happenings in Nepal, affecting Nepal
Ganesha
Posts: 634
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 8:51 am
Contact:

Nepal, Machine Readable Passport & the Technical Details

Postby Ganesha » Sun Apr 11, 2010 11:00 am

[Update: Application Form for Nepali MRP Passport can be downloaded at http://www.cpo.gov.np/]

I was reading news about the MRP episode in Nepal and found out that much media did not know or talk about the technical details of what a Machine Readable Passport was. I myself was thinking that machine readable passport was akin to a passport with a chip, which was wrong. To clear up the confusion here is what I found upon a quick research.

1. What is a Machine Readable Passport?
A Machine Readable Passport or MRP is a passport which has two lines of letters and numbers at the bottom, on the identity page/photo page, an example of which is shown below. These two lines can be read by a special scanner, the information obtained from which is checked against a computer database, at airports.

P<NEPNEPALITHAR<<GANESHA<RAM<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
L898902C<3UTO6908061F9406236ZE184226B<<<<<14


(Those of you who have visas of foreign countries, look at the last two lines on that specific country's visa in your passport and you will see these two lines. The two lines in these visas and the machine readable passport are created based on the same principle and procedure.)

2. What is the difference between the current Nepali passport and the Machine Readable Passport to be switched to?
The Nepali machine readable passport will have the above mentioned two lines of code on the picture page. This is the only key difference. You need nothing else for the conversion.


3. How is the two lines of extra code on the Nepali Machine Readable Passport going to be printed and where?

There will be a software which generates the two lines of code based on the passport number, passport holder's name, name of the country, etc. A laser printer at the current passport issuing offices across Nepal can be used to print all these details on the passport.

4. Does the Machine Readable Passport have a microchip in it?

No. Machine Readable Passport does not have a chip on it. An e-passport has a microchip embedded on one of the pages of the passport with all the details in digital form from page 2 of the passport, but not the Machine Readable Passport.

Now, based on the above details, we can answer the following questions, on a logical basis.

5. Will the details of Nepali people be revealed to foreign countries where Nepali Machine Readable Passport is going to be printed?
No. The blank passports are going to printed abroad (like the current Nepali passports were being printed in Malaysia.) but the details will be filled up, within Nepal, in the regular Nepali Passport Offices.

6. Could the current Nepali Passport been converted to Machine Readable Passport?
Technically, yes. Refer answers 2 and 3.

However, on machine readable passports, all details are filled up using laser printers. It is the author's guess that the passport was redesigned for input with laser printer and hence the requirement of reprinting. Also, there is an opportunity of adding new security features on the passport.

Now, go back to the stories on the Nepali media and find who said what about the MRP and figure whether they are correctly informing you or not.
aawartan.org - nepali forum

kazi
Posts: 978
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 11:55 am

Re: Nepal, Machine Readable Passport & the Technical Details

Postby kazi » Sun Apr 11, 2010 4:02 pm

Thanks for the information @Ganesha. Is there any reason why these have to be manufactured in other countries?
--
"Mother and motherland are more precious than heaven." But that does not mean we must cling to our mothers. The least I can do for Nepal is to bring awareness among the Nepali people. And this Nepali forum is the platform for me.

Ganesha
Posts: 634
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 8:51 am
Contact:

Re: Nepal, Machine Readable Passport & the Technical Details

Postby Ganesha » Sun Apr 11, 2010 4:10 pm

We don't have security printers in our country. And I think the government does not give license to the private sector to install one..otherwise, we could have had one a long time ago. (Can someone verify it?)

A lot of things can be printed with security printers. Bank check books, share certificates, school certificates and anything of value, apart from bank notes and passports that require it to be made difficult to forge can be printed in that security printer. Having one in Nepal would save us a lot of money, create employment for a few and importantly, relieve us from dramas like this one of MRP from happening frequently.
aawartan.org - nepali forum

kazi
Posts: 978
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 11:55 am

Re: Nepal, Machine Readable Passport & the Technical Details

Postby kazi » Sun Apr 11, 2010 5:20 pm

I see. First, its surprising that the government does not want to acquire such a technology (or, maybe they can't)? Second, what about forging the passport number? Is that possible to do?
--
"Mother and motherland are more precious than heaven." But that does not mean we must cling to our mothers. The least I can do for Nepal is to bring awareness among the Nepali people. And this Nepali forum is the platform for me.

pkreli
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 11:17 pm

Re: Nepal, Machine Readable Passport & the Technical Details

Postby pkreli » Sun Apr 11, 2010 8:50 pm

Exactly what I'd been guessing but 'didn't have the time' to do further research. While I am also against the idea that the government didn't follow the proper procedure in the whole matter, I found it odd that they were creating a hype that personal data will be accessible to the printing company in India.

Nevertheless, I am very happy that the government scrapped the decision. Basically I didn't like our government so publicly becoming an Indian puppet.

Yeh I am also wondering a lot why the government does not acquire the technology for secure printing. A lot of hassle like this could be prevented.

Thanks Ganesha for posting the details about MRP. How about posting one for 'what is a Secure Printer' ? :)

pkreli
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 11:17 pm

Re: Nepal, Machine Readable Passport & the Technical Details

Postby pkreli » Sun Apr 11, 2010 9:26 pm

Eh sorry, you have already linked to Wikipedia for security printing.

Ganesha
Posts: 634
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 8:51 am
Contact:

Re: Nepal, Machine Readable Passport & the Technical Details

Postby Ganesha » Sun Apr 11, 2010 9:44 pm

@kazi. Everything can be forged and passport is I believe one of the many things that are constantly forged, irrelevant of who does it and what the technology used is. The state of Israel did it very recently, of the British passport, resulting in expulsion of diplomats from Britain!

@pkreli. Let me sight an example. Nepal always goes in for a lease (wet or dry) when RNAC needs more carriers. Very less times in the history of RNAC has it happened that proposals to **buy** an aircraft have been floated. The only reason is, if you buy something, you buy it once and you will not have an opportunity to buy such big things frequently. If you lease, you can always go and renew it or float an option for another lease when the current one expires. And these things come with an almost unimaginable amount of commission everytime a deal is made and that is what everyone is eyeing at. Hence we never end up buying but always leasing and contracting out. Same case with notes printing, passport printing and a gamut of other similar things.
aawartan.org - nepali forum

bikalpapaudel
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Apr 11, 2010 11:54 pm
Contact:

Re: Nepal, Machine Readable Passport & the Technical Details

Postby bikalpapaudel » Mon Apr 12, 2010 1:22 am

^^
Let me sight an example.

Sight an example? :P

Nice FAQ kinda thing though. I so dread Media these days. Indian media jastai hola ki bhanne darr chha -- ra tyo hudai chha. :oops: Ajha ma ta medicine ma bhaako hunaale jaile tyo "Doctor ko laaperwaahi!" bhanne news auchha, taile TV banda garidinchu. Doctor mula haru laparwaahi gareko galat ho, tara that is greatly exaggerated by the media; and the Consumer/Patient's fault is almost never highlighted.

pkreli
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 11:17 pm

Re: Nepal, Machine Readable Passport & the Technical Details

Postby pkreli » Mon Apr 12, 2010 7:26 am

On the other hand, there is some basis for concern I think and there may be some truth in the media hype. According to the news that came out, the package deal with India consisted of not only printing the passport but also providing the server, software, networking equipment, laser printers and all - the whole package.

I think even the PM said the gov opted to go with India because it was providing the whole package with technical support so it will be a complete solution.

I don't feel comfortable with this since the server, software etc will be provided by Indian government owned company, they will have to be provided access to the servers for technical support. Who will stop them downloading records during such 'technical support' jobs ? Maybe I am being paranoid, but they can even plant keyloggers and what not.

Umesh
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 10:56 am

Re: Nepal, Machine Readable Passport & the Technical Details

Postby Umesh » Mon Apr 12, 2010 11:19 am

pkreli wrote:.... they will have to be provided access to the servers for technical support. Who will stop them downloading records during such 'technical support' jobs ? Maybe I am being paranoid, but they can even plant keyloggers and what not.


I am also guessing the current concern is exactly the one you pointed out. Pkreli ji, being 'more paranoid' than you, I would not hesitate to predict that Nepal government *might* even say that because this is so big technical issue, we cannot print individual passports in Nepal, and therefore you need to wait 2 weeks after the application while your passport is being printed :lol: and being delivered. What say?


Return to “Current Affairs”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest