Civil Aviation Sector – CA Policy 2016, UDAN, Open Skies, etc.

India improves position in Henley Passport Index, 2021


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.

Global performance

  • 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.


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