While speaking at the commemoration ceremony of the golden jubilee of Indian merchant chamber’s ladies wing, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that Indian women need not change their names in passports after their marriage. It may be recalled that women-friendly rules were announced last year as well, which have been a huge relief to divorced or separated women. Last year, the passport offices had stopped the practice of asking for the name of the spouse. The new rule announced today by PM Modi is part of the efforts to modernize the passport issuance mechanism.
The idea for the new rule was discussed by a parliamentary panel that comprised of officials from the Ministry of Women and Child Development, the MEA and the Central Passport Organization. The panel had found that there was no real need to mention the name of the spouse in the passport. It also noted that the information provided on Page 2 such as name, sex, nationality, birth, and passport details of the applicant were enough for immigration purposes. The panel also took into consideration the various complaints of harassment filed by women in relation to their passport registration process.