India ranks 81 in the world. It has improved from its previous standing of 86 last year. However, India’s position was a tad better a few back. In 2014, the country was placed 76, while it was 71 in 2006.
Related read: Indian passport ranking 2016
Henley and Partners Passport Index.
Japan was at the top of the class. They pipped Singapore this year.
Afghanistan and Iraq.
Powerful passports allow you to travel to a country without a visa or by getting one on arrival.
Strong passports aren’t only helpful for a country’s tourism figures, it also gives their citizens and companies an edge in global trade and banking. With increased globalisation, it is important to maintain a healthy relationship with international clients. It is always better to meet them face-to-face rather than sit in your office cubicle of your home country and speak to them.
A stress-free crossing of visa hurdles also helps students and professionals. For students, it becomes easier to enroll in school and universities across the world, while professionals can benefit in their careers by moving countries for better opportunities. Getting a long-term visa or permanent residency also becomes easier in the process.
India has visa-free or visa-on-arrival agreement with 60 countries. However, you cannot travel visa-free to economically powerful countries like the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Japan or China. This means students, professionals and companies have curtailed movement compared to many of their peers.
For instance, if you hold a Japanese passport, you can travel visa-free or get your visa on arrival in 190 countries. Singapore has agreement with 189 countries, whereas the US and The UK have smoother access to 186 countries. This suggests better movement of labour and capital.
This suggests that a US or a Japanese student has the option of going overseas and studying in the best universities in the world at fraction of a cost (US universities are one of the most expensive in the world). Its similar in the corporate world too. Setting up offshore companies becomes a tad easier because the people in power can visit most of the countries with limited hassle.
Maldives is the top dog in the region. Ranked 55th, the island nation has visa-free access to 87 countries.
Pakistan is bottom from third at 104, while Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Bhutan are placed 101, 100, 99 and 86. As mentioned earlier, Afghanistan retains the wooden spoon at 106.
As for our neighbors, China, they are ranked 71.
Not having a passport can restrict your mobility. You can’t go overseas for leisure, business or education.
Passports are also handy identity proofs. In India, you can use your passport to initiate a range of tasks. From opening a demat account for trading to getting a voter card, you can use your passport as a photo/address ID card in India. Its usage is similar to that of an Aadhaar, PAN or voter ID card.
The FMCG companies wanted the rural demand streak to continue this year as well, especially because demonetization in 2016 and drought in 2014 and 2015 had hobbled rural demand for consumer goods.
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