Simple Idea to save passport pages!

I have a simple suggestion that can reduce the rate at which a passport runs out of pages. Do read and if you agree, share this post.

Running out of passport page is a worry for every traveler. A 36 page passport typically exhausts in 9-10 trips. One international trip means about 4 stamps or one full passport page. One stamp while leaving India, one more upon arrival at destination country, one while leaving the foreign country and one last stamp while being admitted back to India.  Many countries  still stamp a paper via on passport that takes one full page. Of course frequent flyers have an option to take a 60 page passport, which is twice better but still will exhaust after 15-20 trips. Assuming a modest 4 trips an year, even a 60 page passport will exhaust in 5 years, half its indented life of 10 years validity. Plus some countries insist on a few blank pages before applying for visa.

Exhausting the page means one has to apply for new passport. Besides time, effort and money, it is also an impact on nature. If a simple change can save thousands of new passports every year, why not give it a try?

So here’s my suggestion. What you see on left side is the current design of immigration stamps- elliptical, takes one fourth of the page. Effectively only 4 such seals fit in a page. What can be done instead is change the design of the immigration stamp, to be a more rectangular one. See the image. With rectangular shape, a single passport page can hold at least 10-12 entries comfortably, facilitating 3x more trips. All critical information can still be captured, hence there’s no concern of losing information or clarify.
Please bear with me for my amateur design-not a graphics expert- have made an attempt to illustrate using MS Paint

Do you agree?
A rubber stamp costs less than INR 100. Replacing them across 100+ airports in India should cost just a few lakhs (30 international airports * 20 stamps per airport * 500 Rs per stamp= 60k + some logistics/administrative expenses) which is a very small amount and can bring down new passport applications-due to pages exhausted- by one third- saving lots of paper, time and money for passport holders and so on.

Possible problem: One possible problem might be getting a rectangular stamp with rotating date selector- immigration stamps need to include date, hence they can’t be as cheap as a static rubber stamp that costs under Rs 100. This is the reason I’ve factored Rs 500 above per stamp. May be a bit of customization needed to accommodate all the info+ date, or an immigration officer will have to use 2 stamps- one for all the static information and one more for date. If there’s a will power to adopt, I am sure stamp design can be modified to support the needs.

I will tweet this proposal to honorable Sushma Swaraj Madam- hopefully she sees a value in this suggestion and forwards it to concerned department for evaluation and implementation.

Of course in the long run we should move towards an all electronic passport- already in place in many countries-just scan and proceed, no manual immigration counters.

Update: No response/reaction from Sushma Swaraj- may be she didn't notice, may be she didn't like the idea or find it worth considering. Not planning to tweet again as it may amount to spam.

24 comments:

  1. Fairly decent idea. Also this can track when we left out of the country and when did we came back sequentially. Randomly stamping is another issue to track

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  2. That's a nice and practical idea, agree with you:)

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  3. ಒಳ್ಳೆಯ ಯೋಚನೆ ಹಾಗೂ ಸಲಹೆ. ಸಚಿವಾಲಯದ ಪ್ರತಿಕ್ರಿಯೆಯನ್ನು ನಮ್ಮೊಂದಿಗೆ ಹಂಚಿಕೊಳ್ಳಿರಿ.

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  4. Great suggestion, Shrinidhi.
    Adopting simple changes like this will save time & effort.
    Queues at passport-offices will reduce.
    Welcome step for paper-conservation too.

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  5. Thank you for sharing this important information with us. It'll help us a lot

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  6. Great suggestion. But the elliptical stamps should also be unique in a sense for each countries so as to maintain some distinction.

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    1. Ok.. Some design aspects can be built into the new rectangular stamp as well

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  7. Changing even a line in a Govt operation is a labourious process. There has to be several committee, referrals, proposals, conclave, designs and technicians brought into play, design made, tender given - received and then implemented. It will take 2-3 years even if they accept the proposal now. It is not as easy as you think, so stay with it and continue to pursue.

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    Replies
    1. I understand. But passport office has become very efficient in recent times. Thought they are open to ideas

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  8. The question is not just about changing indian rubber stamps but also changing rubber stamps all over the world.

    Second although your design might not be feasible for the simple reason it may be too easy to replicate them ,having that that some of the stamps are also look relatively simple but the fact that the immigration officer most of the times ,does a manual sign.

    But at the rate at which travel is growing perhaps some sort of digital signature may arrive in future ,but i think few years down the line there might be a downward trend in the size of stamps hopefully

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    1. Not necessary to change all over the world.. indians can stamp in above specified format, others can still put oval stamps in adjacent pages.

      What is so hard to replicate current design? Also all data are stored electronically- stamp is just a formality

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  9. Replies
    1. Thank you. Unfortunately Sushma madam chose to ignore it

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