New Indian passports will have a lotus symbol printed on them. This move by Indian government is facing harsh criticism from individuals and organisations, who deem it unnecessary.

However, the Ministry of External Affairs of India (MEA) has issued a clarification on this. In a recent media briefing, Raveesh Kumar, official spokesperson, MEA, India said that the printing of lotus symbol is a part of the government’s enhanced security feature to identify fake passports.

He further stated that the move is in accordance with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) guidelines.

ICAO is a UN specialised agency that works with its 193 member states and industry groups to create international civil aviation standards and recommended practices, and policies for a safe, economically sustainable and environmentally responsible civil aviation sector.

The lotus symbol was chosen as it is the national flower of India. Although, other national symbols that hold a primary importance in India’s past and present will also be used on the passports on rotational basis.

Only time will tell how effective this new step is.