From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Henley Passport Index
Mains level : Ease of foreign travel for Indians
India now ranks at 83rd position in the Henley Passport Index, climbing seven places from 90th rank last year.
Henley Passport Index
- The 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.
- It was launched in 2005.
- The ranking is based on data from the IATA (International Air Transport Association), 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.
India’s performance this year
- India is ranked at 83rd position and shares the rank with Sao Tome and Principe in Central Africa, behind Rwanda and Uganda.
- It now has visa-free access to 60 destinations worldwide with Oman and Armenia being the latest additions.
- It has added 35 more destinations since 2006.
- Japan and Singapore has topped the list.
- The US and the UK passports regained some of their previous strength after falling all the way to eighth place in 2020.
- The passport of the Maldives is the most powerful in South Asia (58th) enabling visa-free entry to 88 countries.
- In South Asia, Bangladesh (103rd) is ahead of Pakistan (108th) and Nepal (105th).
- Afghanistan undoubtedly stands at the last rank.