The Indian Passport is issued by the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, through a network of 37 passport offices across the country and the 180 Indian embassies and consulates located abroad. The document serves as an essential travel document for individuals who travel abroad for education, tourism, pilgrimage, medical attendance, business purposes and family visits. The passport certifies the holders as citizens of India by birth or naturalization as per the Passports Act, 1967. In India, the Consular, Passport and Visa Division of the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India provides passport services through Central Passport Organization (CPO) and its network of passport offices, and Passport Seva Kendras (PSKs). Non-resident Indians (NRIs) can avail passport and other miscellaneous services through the 185 Indian missions or posts. It needs to be mentioned that the passports issued to individuals are machine-readable, as per the guidelines laid down by the Indian Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).