From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : About the Index
Mains level : Global visa policies for Indians
The Indian passport is closer to the bottom, ranked 84th in the world, according to the 2020 edition of the Henley Passport Index.
Henley Passport Index
- According to Henley & Partners publishes the ranking and the Index of the world’s passports “according to the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa”.
- The ranking is based on data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), a trade association of some 290 airlines, including all major carriers.
- The index includes 199 different passports and 227 different travel destinations.
- The data are updated in real time as and when visa policy changes come into effect.
- Since the index began in 2006, the Indian passport has ranked in a band of 71st to 88th. (The number of passports ranked has, however, varied from year to year.)
- The Indian passport’s 2020 ranking of 84th translates into visa-free access to 58 destinations, including 33 which give Indians visas on arrival.
- It ranked higher in both 2019 (82, with visa-free access to 59 destinations) and 2018 (81, with visa-free access to 60 destinations).
- Twenty of the 58 visa-free access destinations in the 2020 list are in Africa, and 11 each in Asia and the Caribbean.
- Serbia is the only European country to which Indian passport holders can travel visa-free. There is no major or developed country to which Indian passport holders have visa-free access.
- The top 10 most powerful passports this year are ranked in this order: Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Germany, Italy, Finland, Spain, Luxembourg and Denmark.
- Japan has been topping the Index for three straight years; according to the 2020 index, its citizens are able to access 191 destinations without having to obtain a visa in advance.
- Afghanistan at rank 107 is the weakest.
- Singapore, in second place (same as in 2019), has a visa-free/visa-on-arrival score of 190.
- Germany is No. 3 (same position as in 2019), with access to 189 destinations; it shares this position with South Korea, which dropped from the second place it held a year ago.
- The US and the UK have been falling consistently over successive Indices.